Jan­u­ary, last year, I had thought per­haps my switch to Apple would begin with the first rev iPhone. By the time the iPhone debuted it didn’t pro­vide a good enough value propo­si­tion for me then. Fast-forward to July 12th, and you would have found me stand­ing in line to buy an iPhone 3G.

I did man­age to buy an iPhone 3G. How­ever, it was far from a smooth process. I called AT&T and the Cherry Creek Apple store to check avail­abil­ity and also if they can han­dle port­ing my num­ber from a pre­paid to a post­paid account. Apple said they had the phones in stock, and both said they could han­dle the num­ber trans­fer. 4 hours later, after dri­ving and wait­ing in line, I’m lead into the store by an asso­ciate named Kevin Cullins. Every­thing about the pur­chase was going smoothly up until the point Kevin tried to acti­vate the phone and was informed by the device that the num­ber was a pre­paid account and that I either had to open a new account or go see an AT&T rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Not want­ing to dis­ap­point, Kevin sug­gested I go to the local AT&T store just a block away and talk to his con­tact, Joel, and see about a way to cor­rect the sit­u­a­tion. Once I explained my sit­u­a­tion to Joel, he relayed it to his boss, Greg, who per­son­ally came out and told me to go back to the Apple store, pur­chase the iPhone but start a new account, and then return to the AT&T store where they’d switch my old num­ber for the new one and then can­cel the new one. After fol­low­ing his instruc­tions, I was finally able to go home with my new phone. The les­son here: if you’re an AT&T pre­paid cus­tomer, upgrade to an iPhone at an AT&T store. Thanks go out to the Apple and AT&T staff for mak­ing what could have been a bad expe­ri­ence into a good one.

To help pay for my iPhone, I finally dropped my land line which I used to give out to busi­nesses. It was a $45 per month lux­ury that when com­pared to a 3G data plan at $30 per month, pro­vided lit­tle ben­e­fit. I was hop­ing I would stay with a pre­paid plan, but after cal­cu­lat­ing the costs over 2-years, the pre­paid play would have been $160 more. So unless the contract-less price of the iPhone drops by at least $200 it’s not worth it in my opin­ion unless your credit doesn’t allow you to go with a con­tract. (Though if your credit is that bad, is an expen­sive smart-phone really for you?)

So I’ve been using it for over a week, and I have to say I’ve been thor­oughly pleased with my pur­chase. I’ve been using many of the fea­tures daily, and in fact, it helped with doc­u­ment­ing my acci­dent on Sat­ur­day where I got rear-ended where I was able to take pic­tures and notes. My favorite apps are Pan­dora and VNC. Pan­dora gives me cus­tomized, commercial-free (for now) inter­net radio that fol­lows me every­where I have AT&T data ser­vice. Much bet­ter than XM radio feature-wise if not qual­ity wise. Because the iPhone 2.0 soft­ware now sup­ports VPN, VNC lets me log onto my machines at work. All that’s miss­ing now is native shell access. Jail­break­ing my phone looks awfully appeal­ing now.

I’ve tried other people’s Black­ber­ries, Kyoceras, and Treos, and none of them were intu­itive to use. I don’t need MMS, heck I don’t even have a txting plan which is an indi­ca­tion of how much I use it. A tac­tile key­board isn’t nec­es­sary for me. If any­thing, I wish the phone had a bet­ter cam­era hard­ware and soft­ware com­pa­ra­ble to what’s found on phones by Sony­Er­ic­s­son and Nokia. Copy and paste would be nice, but it’s not a deal-breaker. The iPhone is not per­fect, far from it, but it offered me the best value propo­si­tion. I’m look­ing for­ward to the Android phones that will com­pete directly with the iPhone. By then, my con­tract should be over or I’d be eli­gi­ble for an upgrade.

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