Tomas Stockton is offered a “free” iPhone 5 from AT&T. So why isn’t he getting it?
Question: I recently spoke with an AT&T representative via chat about a billing issue with my U-verse Internet account. After resolving the issue, she offered me wireless service.
At first I declined, stating that I was happy with my current carrier. But the representative persisted and offered me a family plan consisting of four lines of service and four “free” iPhone 4s’s for $179 per month with all taxes, surcharges and fees included.
Then I asked about the iPhone 5s and the representative stated that I could switch all of my iPhone 4s’s to the new iPhone 5s’s for free after 30 days. I was very skeptical and told her to contact me in 10 days. I printed our chat session as evidence.
A few days later, I called AT&T and spoke with a different representative and explained the offer. After I told her that I had it in writing, she agreed to honor it. She said that after 30 days, all I had to do is walk into an AT&T corporate store and pick up my free iPhone 5s’s. [continue]
Sprint promises it will unlock Bill Fuller’s iPhone. Why won’t it?
Question: I have two iPhone 4S smartphones that I bought in 2011 under a two-year contract with Sprint. I made my final contracted monthly payment earlier this month. Both phones are now fully paid for and ostensibly are my property.
Sprint’s service coverage has been largely reduced in my area and I have frequent dropped calls and very low 3G speeds.
I recently received a notice from Sprint that on-network coverage in parts of Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas, (including along the I-70 Corridor), Southwest Kansas and Oklahoma Panhandle will change to roaming (off-network). Customers with Sprint-branded devices will be impacted when using services in the affected areas. [continue]
Question: I’m at a dead end and feel I have been tossed aside by the corporate giant that is Verizon in hopes that I will just become mute and complacent. I will not!
I have been a Verizon customer for approximately 10 years. For the past two years, I have had an iPhone that uses their 3g network for data. My relationship with Verizon was fine up until this point.
The area in which I live is highly seasonal and the population grows by 3.5 million in the summer months. Verizon’s 3g network can not handle this and I do not get data coverage from Friday nights until Monday morning all summer long. This issue is even prevalent in the off season when there are a lot of people around (malls at the holiday, etc.). However, I test my phone next to someone with another carrier and their phones work fine, no matter where. [continue]
There are more than 50,000 iPhone applications out there, accounting for over a billion downloads. Hard to pick just a handful to take on your next trip, isn’t it?
No worries. As someone who stood in line to buy the first iPhone, and has pretty much bought each subsequent iPhone within 24 hours of its release — not always with positive results, but that’s a story for another day — I’m here to help.
Here are five almost free iPhone “apps” I can’t leave home without. [continue]
You get this: Video uploads to YouTube from mobile phones jumped 400 percent in a week. The mobile video revolution has begun. And no one will be more affected than travelers.
Allow me an “I-told-you-so” moment. A few weeks ago, I predicted the new iPhone would mark a turning point in the way we get our information about travel and the way we share our travel experiences. But in order to do that, video use on the iPhone would first have to become ubiquitous. With a million iPhones sold in the first week, and YouTube being overloaded with iPhone-generated clips, I’d say we’re well on our way.
I bought an iPhone last week and took it through the paces, and I’m impressed by what I found. And I mean that in both ways: positively and negatively.
First, the cost. Although the new iPhone’s margins seem thin — it costs $179 to build and sells for $199, a profit of just $20 — Apple charged me far more to upgrade from my iPhone 3G. By the time I had paid all the extra fees, I was looking at close to $500. That’s ridiculous. It turns out that AT&T, the wireless network on which the iPhone runs in the United States, refuses to subsidize the new handsets.
I think the final barrier to the video revolution won’t be technology, but corporate greed. When the iPhone can run on any network — indeed, when a device with the same functionality of the iPhone is available without any of the restrictions Apple currently imposes on this gadget — then there’s no stopping this migration to video.
I’m disappointed that the 3Gs can only shoot standard definition video. But wait! It can shoot HD, according to those who have peeked under the hood. But HD has been disabled, presumably to spare the iPhone’s battery. Please!
But that’s where my disappointment ends. Shooting video on iPhone is as easy as taking picture. You have to remember to hold the phone correctly — horizontally, not vertically — otherwise the image is clipped when you try to edit it. Another caveat: Watch your fingers. On several occasions, I obscured the tiny lens, rendering the video unusable.
Image stabilization is as good as any I’ve experienced on a conventional video camera. The sound quality is decent enough for a video postcard and works well with the VGA-resolution video.
Here’s a little clip I shot this weekend of our trip to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Fla.
The rudimentary built-in editing features allow you to shorten a clip and then post it to YouTube. If you want more, you’ll have to switch to iMovie, Final Cut, or another video editor.
And that brings me to importing. For now, iPhoto is the best way to pull the clips on to your computer. My iTunes player all but ignores the video I take, which is really annoying. I’m sure a fix is imminent.
What’s really needed is better program for importing, editing and compressing video and then exporting it to YouTube or one of the other video sites I discussed in my last post. Apple also needs to figure out how to make the iPhone zoom, and it needs to make it easier to attach this new camera to a tripod.
Patience, my friends. I’m sure all of those features are on the way.