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HELLOROBO Part Deux: The "Help Robo Decide When to Buy an iPhone" Thread


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HELLOROBO Part Deux: The "Help Robo Decide When to Buy an iPhone" Thread
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-03-18, 19:54

I admit defeat.

I've officially succumbed to the iPhone. It's just so...iPhone-y. All other words fail me; that's the only adjective that can adequately describe its awesomeness. I mean, it's an Apple phone.

I never really stood a chance.

Of course, it helps that I'm officially free of paying T-Mobile an early termination fee (as described here). So now, the question is no longer if, but when.

Specifically, I need to decide whether I'm going to wait for a 3G iPhone or not. And I need to decide in the next few weeks.

There are two distinct scenarios:

1. I hop on GoPhone for a few months and then I sign a (two-year ) contract when the iPhone is released.

PROS: I get the iPhone the day it comes out, and I'd also be able to use GoPhone to make sure the network is kosher
CONS: I'll be on GoPhone until June, my iPhone will be EDGE only, and I'll feel really stupid when the 3G iPhone is released

2. I sign a one-year contract with AT&T proper, and pray that the 3G iPhone comes out in January.

PROS: My iPhone will have super fast data...
CONS: ...someday.

I don't know what to do. It might be one thing if I had until June to decide, but I only have so much time to cancel T-Mobile without paying their ETF. I mean, what if I sign a contract and then they announced that the current iPhone has 3G data? Or what if I sign a contract but the 3G iPhone doesn't ship until December '08? I guess in that respect hopping on GoPhone is the most flexible (I could always decide later that I want to wait for the 3G model, although I wouldn't be able to upgrade to it until ten months into my contract, no matter when it came out) but I'd only have voice and texts as long as I was on GoPhone (and not many minutes at that).

I get to pick my poison. I can have the best mobile web brower around, with slow data. Or I can have a sucky browser with super fast data. I can't have both (until some unspecified point in 2008).

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2007-03-18, 20:25

1) Never ever base purchase decisions on future, unannounced products (in this case, the 3G iPhone). We know it's coming because of common sense and because Apple has hinted at it, but we don't know when or under what circumstances.

2) Don't be an early adopter. The temptation is always there; the financial responsibility is not. The second-generation iPhone will be faster, cheaper, more feature-packed, less bug-ridden. While I find some people's feelings towards Rev A Apple products exaggerated, the general point stands. This is a completely new product of Apple's. Remember the original iPod? No clickwheel (just a mechanical scrollwheel), no Dock connector (therefore, no USB 2 and ver few accessories), no Windows compatibility. By now we have a color screen, contacts, calendars, photos, videos, games, 16 times the capacity and a much lower price. The original iPod was bought by a few hundred thousand people; starting with the 3G, the numbers went up into the millions.

3) Don't overrate 3G. Think a lot about what you're actually going to use 3G for. Web browsing? In that case, keep in mind that 1) the bandwidth matters far less than the latency and 2) the embedded CPU has a lot of impact on the page rendering speed. With later revisions, the CPU will be sped up, but with 3G, latency won't be much better, and bandwidth won't matter as much as you think it will. Where the bandwidth does help is, of course, in file transfers (and thus to a lesser degree also e-mails with large attachments) and – should it ever become practical – an application such as video conferencing.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2007-03-18, 20:40

chucker has great points for you. Also, there is not going to be a contract based price reduction on the iPhone as we understand now anyway. So there is no reason to think you'll have to buy your phone at a contract renewal for the price Apple listed. While this might change by the time the phone is actually released, there is currently no reason to not already be in a contract as it will cost the same if you are signing on new/renewing or buying outright.

If you want the phone and are willing to pay the price for it, then go for it. I'm personally debating myself wether or not to buy the iPhone or a Cingular 8525.

For the 3G part, how much are you really going to be surfing the web? Email is fine at EDGE so tethering or web browsing will be the only time you'll really see a major difference in the 3G speeds. Besides, 3G is patchy at best across the nation and by the time it is in full deployment you'd be ready for an update on your phone anyway.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-03-18, 22:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
1) Never ever base purchase decisions on future, unannounced products (in this case, the 3G iPhone).

2) Don't be an early adopter.
So I'm supposed to wait for the Rev. B iPhone, but I'm not supposed to wait for the Rev. B iPhone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
Remember the original iPod? No clickwheel (just a mechanical scrollwheel), no Dock connector (therefore, no USB 2 and ver few accessories), no Windows compatibility. By now we have a color screen, contacts, calendars, photos, videos, games, 16 times the capacity and a much lower price.
Yeah, but the original iPod came out over five years ago. I really don't want to wait five years to buy an iPhone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle2472 View Post
Also, there is not going to be a contract based price reduction on the iPhone as we understand now anyway. So there is no reason to think you'll have to buy your phone at a contract renewal for the price Apple listed. While this might change by the time the phone is actually released, there is currently no reason to not already be in a contract as it will cost the same if you are signing on new/renewing or buying outright.
Apple says the price is $499/$599 with a two year contract. I'm only assuming the "full price" will be higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle2472
For the 3G part, how much are you really going to be surfing the web?
Lots. I'm an internet addict...

Oh, and I probably should have mentioned it in my original post, but I currently do not have any sort of portable music player whatsoever. Like, not even a CD player. So I'm kinda looking to get one of those, and I'd rather not wait until next year.

I'm leaning towards getting the iPhone this June. Using a Mac has taught me to value interface over raw specs. All the 3G data in the world won't help me if the browser is a pain in the ass to use.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2007-03-18, 22:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
So I'm supposed to wait for the Rev. B iPhone, but I'm not supposed to wait for the Rev. B iPhone?
No. You're supposed to buy another phone for the meantime if you really need one.

Quote:
Yeah, but the original iPod came out over five years ago. I really don't want to wait five years to buy an iPhone.
Nah, not five years. Within even just a year, the iPhone will already be a heck of a lot better. Not just because of improved specs and removed bugs, but also because an ecosystem will have started to appear. Third-party accessories and software.

Quote:
Apple says the price is $499/$599 with a two year contract. I'm only assuming the "full price" will be higher.
Yup.

Lots. I'm an internet addict...

Quote:
Oh, and I probably should have mentioned it in my original post, but I currently do not have any sort of portable music player whatsoever. Like, not even a CD player. So I'm kinda looking to get one of those, and I'd rather not wait until next year.
Fair enough, but I wouldn't base a cellphone purchase decision on your music playback needs.

Quote:
I'm leaning towards getting the iPhone this June. Using a Mac has taught me to value interface over raw specs. All the 3G data in the world won't help me if the browser is a pain in the ass to use.
Sure. Just giving some pointers in the right direction. It'll be a great device, but you'll inevitably deal with some early problems.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-03-18, 23:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Fair enough, but I wouldn't base a cellphone purchase decision on your music playback needs.
I normally wouldn't, but the iPhone doubles as "the best iPod ever." Let's say I decided to wait it out for the 3G iPhone. To play my music in the meantime, I grab an 8GB iPod nano. Even if the Rev. B iPhone sees a $100 price drop, I would have spent $150 more by waiting - a not insignificant price increase. I'd obviously be able to sell my iPod nano to make some of that back, but the 8GB nano might only be $150 new at the time. Waiting would almost certainly cost me more - the argument, of course, would be that I would get a better phone for my money, but I would have also had to...well...wait.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
scratt
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2007-03-19, 00:18

Dude.. Whilst chucker has some valid points, with all due respect to chucker, he has not really factored in the emotions into this equation...

If you want one, then buy one! It has more than enough connectivity for most situations already. And if you are somewhere where they don't have Wifi and stuff kicking around then the mobile internet connection is probably going to be very slow anyway - regardless of the technology the phone uses!

I got a treo 650 sometime ago to fill the gap until the iPhone showed up. There is nothing wrong with it, but it will be in a drawer somewhere the first day the iPhone is available to me. Just as the rev A iPhone will be in another drawer when then next major upgrade to the iPhone comes out..

Put it this way.. I constantly adopt first gen Apple products and have never had any issues with them. I have a Rev A 17"PBG4, and a Rev A Dual G5, and a Rev A MBP17". Not had an issue with any of them. I like having the newest thing out of the box, and don't mind about the premium. Heck, I buy most of my stuff outside the US so pay top dollar anyway!

[Also do note that sometimes they *take away* features on some Rev B stuff]

You can always wait for something better, and it's not bad advice.. But you could end up waiting forever....

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2007-03-19, 00:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Dude.. Whilst chucker has some valid points, with all due respect to chucker, he has not really factored in the emotions into this equation...
Well, yes. Hence me giving the "The temptation is always there; the financial responsibility is not." disclaimer; my post was a rational one, not a personal one.

Quote:
If you want one, then buy one!
Absolutely. The iPhone is no doubt one of the most exciting devices to have been announced in the recent years and it deserves all the buzz it has been getting. And there have to be early adopters so those who aren't can benefit from the feedback Apple has been getting from those who are.

Quote:
And if you are somewhere where they don't have Wifi and stuff kicking around then the mobile internet connection is probably going to be very slow anyway - regardless of the technology the phone uses!
That's a fair point, yes, but it doesn't have to be true. WiFi (attached to a broadband Internet connection) may not be around due to being impractical (low population density), whereas 3G cellphone towers can span much larger areas.

Quote:
You can always wait for something better, and it's not bad advice.. But you could end up waiting forever....
Yup.
  quote
cosus
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2007-03-19, 00:44

I hear I can get a free iphone by going on birthright to Israel. Free trip to Israel and free iphone? I just better take out a life insurance policy.

Retired 8 years ahead of schedule.
  quote
scratt
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2007-03-19, 02:18

...and get another passport as once you travel to Israel there are a lot of other quite nice holiday / business destinations that won't be pleased to have your custom any more...

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
  quote
HezMah19
Formerly "jmahe19"
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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2007-03-19, 05:30

Robo, I say get a cheap phone and wait till Rev. B. Personally, as I suspect it will be at least 12 months before there is an Australian release, I just bought a K800i to tide me over until the iPhone comes out... I have also skinned it to look like OS X yea....that helps with the wait...

Is prepaid an option for you? You could perhaps go prepaid with a cheapie phone, then if you REALLY must have the iPhone on release, you can?

jm.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-03-20, 00:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmahe19 View Post
Robo, I say get a cheap phone and wait till Rev. B. Personally, as I suspect it will be at least 12 months before there is an Australian release, I just bought a K800i to tide me over until the iPhone comes out... I have also skinned it to look like OS X yea....that helps with the wait...

Is prepaid an option for you? You could perhaps go prepaid with a cheapie phone, then if you REALLY must have the iPhone on release, you can?
Cingular/AT&T's prepaid system is called "GoPhone." When I was talking about hopping on GoPhone, that's what I meant. Sorry, I suppose that wouldn't be apparent to someone from outside the US.

And that's my current plan. I'll grab a prepaid GoPhone and use that until the iPhone comes out. This has the added benefit of allowing me to check out Cingular/AT&T's coverage before I sign a contract. I'll also be able to use my GoPhone as a backup phone, should anything happen to my iPhone (heaven forbid). Still, I'm planning on getting insurance for my iPhone, as long as it's the standard $5/month.

Part of me still thinks that we'll see the 3G iPhone at Macworld, but that's obviously not a guarantee, and I don't feel like waiting. Waiting until June is hard enough.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2007-03-20, 00:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
...
Still, I'm planning on getting insurance for my iPhone, as long as it's the standard $5/month.

...
Don't count on this. Cingular isn't PDA/Smartphone friendly. They do not offer their insurance for a phone like this. AT&T might change that, but I doubt it. You'll have to go through a third party company to get insurance most likely. Although I would personally be thrilled with they would give me insurance on the iPhone even though they wouldn't on my 2125 nor my 8125.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-03-23, 03:13

Super Happy Update Time OK!

After briefly reconsidering Sprint (until everybody I know warned me about their reception and customer service, a visit to a Sprint Store failed to change my mind, and some guy pulled a gun out while I was there, which I consider a poor omen) I'm planning on getting the iPhone again.

Some friends and I are planning on getting a family plan with Cingular, which should ease the pain of Cingular's higher prices somewhat. And if I got the bookstore job I want, I'd get a bit of a discount on top of that. Hey - when you're a poor college student who doesn't like living like one, $57 monthly sounds a lot better than $70.

And there's no way I'm not going to get an iPhone if my two best friends are getting one. Especially as I'd be signing a Cingular contract with them at the same time.

So...um...yay me ^_^

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
scratt
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2007-03-23, 03:16

Will they let friends get a family plan?
Sounds like a cool idea, but in my experience in the UK these sort of things have small print which mean you have to be a real family with a household etc.
I may be wrong, but do check the small print...

If not I'll get you a SIM free one over here in Asia..

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-03-23, 03:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Will they let friends get a family plan?
Sounds like a cool idea, but in my experience in the UK these sort of things have small print which mean you have to be a real family with a household etc.
I may be wrong, but do check the small print...

If not I'll get you a SIM free one over here in Asia..
They'd be stupid not to, considering all the add-ons we're getting. We're spending more for add-ons than we are for minutes - we're like a salesman's dream come true.

Anyway, the lady didn't seem to raise any objections when I told her about our plan, so hopefully everything's kosher.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2007-03-23, 11:08

The one draw back to your plan is if a friend doesn't pay his portion of the bill, you'll have to or your credit will face the cost of delinquency. You're all friends now, but what happens down the line. I wouldn't put myself in that situation if I were you. Make sure you're ready to pay the whole bill if you do something like this with your friends, unless your name isn't on the credit app.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-04-03, 10:02

Super Unhappy Update Time Oh Noes!

I've decided against getting the iPhone. It's simply too much money. Not the device - AT&T's plans.

If I went with Sprint: A (RED) RAZR, an 8GB iPod nano (or hell, a 30GB iPod), and service for the rest of the year would cost about $600.

If I went with AT&T: A cheapass GoPhone, the iPhone, and service for the rest of the year would cost about...$1,300.

And that's assuming that AT&T keeps their current MEdia Max plans for the iPhone. In all likelyhood, they'll charge more - iPhone users will use much more data.

I know I mentioned I was uneasy about Sprint's coverage, but: A) I used to have a VM phone, which uses Sprint's network and it seemed okay; B) I do have a trial period in which to cancel my service; and C) Even if I end up canceling after four months, I'll still have paid less than I would have with AT&T for those four months (ETF and all). So I figure it's worth a shot.

I'm calling T-Mobile today.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2007-04-03, 10:24

Verizon just started advertising a 30 day trial period too. You pay up front but if you transfer your number to another provider within 30 days they refund what they charged you. That's what they said on the TV ad, but I'm sure there's a mountain of small print attached to this offer.

I too am deciding whether or not to get an iPhone and I'm not sure it makes sense for me. If I want it, then all 3 people on my plan have to sign up for data access. So just because I want an iPhone, I'd have to pay for the phone, reup the contract (which is conveniently ready to occur in June) plus buy 3 data plans when only I'd be using it. Or I could get my own plan, but then I'd be paying beaucoup bucks compared to what I'm doing now.

I don't think it's worth it, especially when I don't really care for the phone piece of the functionality. I want everything else. I'm thinking the Fall '08 iPods will have the iPhone functionality minus the phone part. The Fall '07 iPod update may have the touch screen & coverflow functionality of the iPhone but I doubt it'll have the WiFi parts + browser.
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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2007-04-03, 10:27

Agreed Robo. That's why when I switched back in January from Verizon to T-Mobile instead of Cingular. Too expensive. I went to T-Mobile and got a Sidekick3 and I must say, I have been very happy with this piece of machinary ever since I got it. Their packages are pretty good too for the SK. I was going to get a BlackBerry Pearl, but BlackBerry packages are pricy. For my SK, you pay for your normal phone plan, then you get the $20 data package (which includes email, internet, AIM/Yahoo!/MSN, and unlimited text messaging), plus I get the equipment insurance which is like $5-6.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
  quote
Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-04-03, 10:33

Dude, I don't understand how you choose what pants you wear in the morning. You wanna be hip or not? If so then you gotta bite the bullet. Hell, my MOM even wants an iPhone that's how big this will be.

Have you ever used EDGE? I think that is something you should check out before you write it off citing a need for 3G speeds.

In terms of cost, I, for one, believe AT&T will do something to offset the high cost of iPhone (ie. a data package).

User formally known as Sh0eWax
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-04-03, 10:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
You wanna be hip or not? If so then you gotta bite the bullet.
Dude, you sound like you're pushing drugs or something. Peer pressure FTW!

Whether or not I want the iPhone has never really come into question. The question is whether or not I can afford to spend $700 extra on my wireless bill this year. I can't. If that makes me unhip, than so be it.

And if I'd even consider spending that much on a phone, I'd like to think that I had more in mind than merely being hip.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
torifile
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2007-04-03, 12:07

Robo,

Make sure you check out Sprint's SERO plans. Do a google search for it. There's a long ass thread on slickdeals.net about it. I've got a kickass $50 plan. 1250 minutes plus unlimited internet and all sorts of other things. And they paid me like $200 to take a Moto Q and about $150 to take the Moto KRZR (on a $30 plan).

If it's not red and showing substantial musculature, you're wearing it wrong.
  quote
Partial
Stallion
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Milwaukee
 
2007-04-03, 15:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
And there's no way I'm not going to get an iPhone if my two best friends are getting one. Especially as I'd be signing a Cingular contract with them at the same time.

So...um...yay me ^_^
That's a really poor reason to drop 500 bucks. But, thats your decision to make. I am just amazed at how much money all the college kids around here seem to have.

Edit: Nevermind, I ended up reading the rest of the thread. Ultimately, you probably made the right decision. The iPhone is extremely overpriced and will be a 99$ a year after its released anyway. I for one don't see any point in dropping 600 more on a phone just to have it an extra year.

BTW, you can go month-to-month on cellphone service. You don't need to sign a contract, you just won't get a discount on the phones. You can get really cheap phones on eBay, though.
  quote
torifile
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2007-04-03, 15:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by tensdanny38 View Post
That's a really poor reason to drop 500 bucks. But, thats your decision to make. I am just amazed at how much money all the college kids around here seem to have.

Edit: Nevermind, I ended up reading the rest of the thread. Ultimately, you probably made the right decision. The iPhone is extremely overpriced and will be a 99$ a year after its released anyway. I for one don't see any point in dropping 600 more on a phone just to have it an extra year.

BTW, you can go month-to-month on cellphone service. You don't need to sign a contract, you just won't get a discount on the phones. You can get really cheap phones on eBay, though.
Let's try to keep this thread from devolving into another stupid tens -vs- robo flamefest, please.
  quote
Partial
Stallion
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Milwaukee
 
2007-04-03, 16:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile View Post
Let's try to keep this thread from devolving into another stupid tens -vs- robo flamefest, please.
Robo and I are cool. I put in my .02 USD and am done w/ the thread.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2007-04-03, 16:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile View Post
Robo,

Make sure you check out Sprint's SERO plans. Do a google search for it. There's a long ass thread on slickdeals.net about it. I've got a kickass $50 plan. 1250 minutes plus unlimited internet and all sorts of other things. And they paid me like $200 to take a Moto Q and about $150 to take the Moto KRZR (on a $30 plan).
Yup, I'm planning on hopping on SERO 500. But how the hell do you get paid to get a phone?

And did you like your Q?
  quote
torifile
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2007-04-03, 17:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
Yup, I'm planning on hopping on SERO 500. But how the hell do you get paid to get a phone?

And did you like your Q?
Multiple rebates. Check this thread for all the rebates available. I've got $900 in rebates in the mail when I only spent $400+tax on my 3 phones.

The Q is fine. It's pretty good at being my calendar/addressbook and pretty good at being my phone. It's not exciting and doesn't wow me but I just need something that works well. Plus it's nice and slim, as opposed to my previous Treos and 8525.

If it's not red and showing substantial musculature, you're wearing it wrong.
  quote
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