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Consumer Reports: signal issues not unique iPhone 4, no reason not to buy - Page 9

post #321 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkiran View Post


PS: I was careful enough to take only my 3GS and leave 4 at home

But a terrible tragedy!!

Happy Interdependence Day, even though I'm dual nationality, US and UK.
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post #322 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1122 View Post

Well, it looks like Consumer Reports found the issue after all. This is their follow up tests at home.

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/ele...reports-s.html

I just came in here to post that:

Quote:
As the online debate continues over possible signal problems with the iPhone 4, I've been able, during informal tests over the weekend, to reproduce the signal loss that's at the heart of the controversy.

While we've been unable to date to create the reported conditions in our National Testing Center in Yonkers, New York, I and a colleague did repeatedly experience loss of signal when using an iPhone 4 a few miles north of there today.

While in my home, I held the iPhone in my left hand, gripping it with normal pressure. My palm covered a gap between parts of the metal band that forms the outer ring of the iPhone and serves as its antenna. As I did so, I moved my pinky finger to the corresponding gap on the other side.

Almost immediately, the signal strength began to drop in the meter from the original three or four bars—depending on my location within the house—to zero bars. The drop took about 5 seconds.


Apple has admitted to problems with the metering on its iPhones, and there's some question about whether the drop in displayed signal is merely a metering issue, and whether call quality or the ability to place calls is affected.

In my informal tests today, however, the drop had a significant effect on both call success and quality. When the phone was in the low-signal state in my hand, calls placed to it from another cell phone (a Motorola Droid, running on Verizon's network) repeatedly failed.

And when I initiated a series of calls to editor Paul Reynolds, and then placed my pinky over the gap in the iPhone 4's band as I continued speaking, the calls consistently deteriorated. Paul first heard my voice breaking up, followed by static and the dropping of the call; again, the elapsed time from the placing of the pinky to the call being dropped was about 5 seconds.

Our findings are not definitive, by any means; they are informal tests by journalists rather than lab tests by Consumer Reports testing staff. And among the scores of comments on our last post on this topic are those that report fine and consistent signal experiences with their new iPhones.

We'll continue to explore this issue and continue our efforts to determine the extent of this problem.

In the meantime, I'll be appearing this evening at 6:48 pm on the Fox News network to discuss the iPhone 4 and Droid X, which we recently place in a head-to-head smartphone face-off.

Now what say ye?
post #323 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I just came in here to post that:



Now what say ye?

I think this was already posted earlier on in the thread, but it's good to read it again.

Edit. Sorry Mazda 3s I think that was in a different thread, not this one.
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post #324 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

I missed this post, but I'm sure you won't believe me.

I would have thought the dialogue came up in this case because it switched from wifi to cellular when the wifi stopped working. If you can prove that that wouldn't have happened, please do.

Excuse me? You're the one proposing a wild, unsubstantiated, senseless theory.
post #325 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

I'm curious, but to some extent you're right. I already know how my phone behaves and that's my biggest concern. The bigger issue is whether Apple is being misleading, which from their actions and what they've said so far I know they are. That makes me question the keynote too.

No, I think the bigger issue is whether you were involved with Glenn Beck in the murder of a girl in 1990 and helped cover it up.
post #326 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

No, I think the bigger issue is whether you were involved with Glenn Beck in the murder of a girl in 1990 and helped cover it up.

Ehhhh?
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post #327 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Excuse me? You're the one proposing a wild, unsubstantiated, senseless theory.

I think I'm right in thinking that it's highly likely that the "Could not activate cellular data network." message would pop up when the phone tries to activate data. If you think that's not the case, fine. I can't be bothered trying to prove it does and you can't be bothered trying to prove it doesn't. Let's drop it (no pun intended).
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post #328 of 452
Now that Apple has ANOTHER killer device out there, the competition is ramping up the FUD and throwing fodder to trolls and astroturfers in order to run with it.

i can't wait until the iPhone 4 arrives in Canada later this month so I can upgrade from my 3GS on the Rogers network and continue to get flawless reception.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Ehhhh?

You missed that one. Shame. It was really good, too.
post #329 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Now that Apple has ANOTHER killer device out there, the competition is ramping up the FUD and throwing fodder to trolls and astroturfers in order to run with it.

Trolls and astroturfers

What did you make of the new Consumer Reports piece posted a few posts up?
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post #330 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Ehhhh?

Blindness is a condition as well as a state of mind.

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Blindness is a condition as well as a state of mind.

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post #331 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtisEMayle View Post


I guess.
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post #332 of 452
It seems that AI didn't noticed that it was a blog entry from one of the Consumer Reports journalists, really NOT some kind of review from their testing labs, meanwhile it is not surprising that they didn't updated their story with the day-after findings of this same CR journalist ...

Quote:
While in my home, I held the iPhone in my left hand, gripping it with normal pressure. My palm covered a gap between parts of the metal band that forms the outer ring of the iPhone and serves as its antenna. As I did so, I moved my pinky finger to the corresponding gap on the other side.

Almost immediately, the signal strength began to drop in the meter from the original three or four barsdepending on my location within the houseto zero bars. The drop took about 5 seconds. (...)

the drop had a significant effect on both call success and quality
. (...)

And when I initiated a series of calls to editor Paul Reynolds, and then placed my pinky over the gap in the iPhone 4's band as I continued speaking, the calls consistently deteriorated. Paul first heard my voice breaking up, followed by static and the dropping of the call; again, the elapsed time from the placing of the pinky to the call being dropped was about 5 seconds. (...)

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/ele...reports-s.html
post #333 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Trolls and astroturfers

What did you make of the new Consumer Reports piece posted a few posts up?

It's a manufacturing issue, not a design issue. Get over it.

Only a limited number of the units sold have this "issue."

What's the big deal?

And if it's such a problem, why are these things continuing to sell out, with so many happy customers?

The REAL issue here are the trolls and astroturfers infesting Apple fansites. AI bannings are way too lenient.
post #334 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

The AnandTech tests were the only effective and scientific tests conducted yet.

The results were clear.

1) The iPhone 4 gets a signal in areas with reception where earlier iPhones would be completely dead.
2) The iPhone 4 "death grip" issue is real, but it causes a maximum drop of 24dBm.
3) The only time it will be enough to drop a call is in cases where earlier iPhones would never have made a call, and would have simply displayed 0 bars. So, even after the death grip, the iPhone 4 still has much better reception than earlier iPhones.
4) The bar inflation issue is real.
5) Other phones suffer from attenuation just like the iPhone 4 does.
6) The iPhone 4 death grip attenuation is more than other phones' attenuation, but even after the attenuation, the signal is much better.

Problem here is, -24dB can kill your signal if it is not perfect to start with. I don't know how good is AT&T coverage over there, but Vodafone (NZ) is showing anything between 1 and 5 bars across Auckland - according to my 3Gs. I have a few (noticed) spots around the city with "No signal" on 3Gs, while my business cheapo Nokia E63 is showing perfect reception almost anywhere... sad.

Additionally, signal drop is much more severe than other (compared) phones:

Signal Attenuation Comparison in dB - Lower is Better

………………Cupping Tightly………Naturally……..On Open Palm…….Naturally Inside Case
iPhone 4………………24.6………………19.8………………….9.2………………………………7. 2
iPhone 3GS………….14.3………………..1.9………………..0.2………………………………3. 2
HTC Nexus One…..17.7……………….10.7……………….6.7………………………………7.7


Interestingly 3Gs has least attenuation, but it does have horrible reception to start with anyway (proud owner here! )
post #335 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

And I am old enough to remember when Consumer Reports was above paid reviews (blogging in today's vernacular).

They used to only review a category of products and impartially evaluate them, this blog entry just reeks.

It's the blog. It's not their full lab. But it's their reaction.

I know your hopes are up to make Apple go bankrupt because of this little parlor trick, but the fact is, it's a minor effect.

Most people that I know kept their iPhones in a case of some kind just to keep it safe, or look cool. Now they have another reason. There are tons of other cases for the iPhone 4 that are either available now or that soon will be.

You'll have to get one for your Nexus One, just to be consistent.
post #336 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Problem here is, -24dB can kill your signal if it is not perfect to start with. I don't know how good is AT&T coverage over there, but Vodafone (NZ) is showing anything between 1 and 5 bars across Auckland - according to my 3Gs. I have a few (noticed) spots around the city with "No signal" on 3Gs, while my business cheapo Nokia E63 is showing perfect reception almost anywhere... sad.

Additionally, signal drop is much more severe than other (compared) phones:

Signal Attenuation Comparison in dB - Lower is Better

Cupping TightlyNaturally..On Open Palm.Naturally Inside Case
iPhone 424.619.8.9. 27.2
iPhone 3GS.14.3..1.9..0.2 3.2
HTC Nexus One..17.7.10.7.6.7 7.7


Interestingly 3Gs has least attenuation, but it does have horrible reception to start with anyway (proud owner here! )

So can 17.7 dB! Or even 10 or 9! Depends on how weak your signal is to start with. The AnandTech review points out that the overall reception of the iPhone 4 is BETTER in weak areas, no matter how much attenuation there might be.

The talk is about only this, as though the metal antenna wasn't part of the reason why the iPhone 4 is much more sensitive, too.

It makes sense to me -- but I'd like to see the numbers from, you know, tests -- that if the antenna is more sensitive than others, then the attenuation by covering it with your fingers is also higher. Put a case on it. See the figures on the right? iPhone 4 = 7.2. Nexus One: 7.7. Uh-oh! But you haven't been freaking out hysterically about that phone, and it has higher numbers than the 3G or 3GS!

I've noticed absolutely no (so far) dropped calls since I bought the new phone, and that's in some really strange environments, too. The only place I couldn't get any bars is in the basement locker room in the Y I go to. No, sometimes I get EDGE there.

In other words, you can do this "bars" demonstration, but the "bars" are nonsense, unfortunately, and on more phones than Apple's. Everybody, I suspect, wants to show "5 bars!" to show how much better their phone is. Can you make phone calls with that Nokia?
post #337 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift View Post

So can 17.7 dB! Or even 10 or 9! Depends on how weak your signal is to start with. The AnandTech review points out that the overall reception of the iPhone 4 is BETTER in weak areas, no matter how much attenuation there might be.

The talk is about only this, as though the metal antenna wasn't part of the reason why the iPhone 4 is much more sensitive, too.

What I find most interesting is why the other phones attenuation is so hight when cupped tightly, especially the Nexus One, and why a case would help the Nexus One if it's already shrouded in plastic?
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post #338 of 452
that you guys are keeping the flame going while I am taking it easy and having fun out most of the day!
post #339 of 452
I understand the stories about how its just an error in the signal reporting in all that, and i would believe em too if i didnt go through today. I spent ALL day trying to contact about 30 friends on 30 DIFFERENT phone numbers in the same place (charles river). not one call got through. When one of them finally did call me, the proximity sensor wasnt working right and my cheek muted me and put them on hold. the hung up. FMi. I love iphone but damn, that was crazy. i had my case on and took it off a couple of times. when i did take it off it would drop calls, and sometimes switch to edge. thx to my phone not workin, i was alone for about 4 hours. on july 4. damn. im tired of apple saying there are no problems, today just sucked 4 me.
post #340 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reapern View Post

im tired of apple saying there are no problems, today just sucked 4 me.

How do you know that the fault was in your phone. There are tons of variables involved.
post #341 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reapern View Post

I understand the stories about how its just an error in the signal reporting in all that, and i would believe em too if i didnt go through today. I spent ALL day trying to contact about 30 friends on 30 DIFFERENT phone numbers in the same place (charles river). not one call got through. When one of them finally did call me, the proximity sensor wasnt working right and my cheek muted me and put them on hold. the hung up. FMi. I love iphone but damn, that was crazy. i had my case on and took it off a couple of times. when i did take it off it would drop calls, and sometimes switch to edge. thx to my phone not workin, i was alone for about 4 hours. on july 4. damn. im tired of apple saying there are no problems, today just sucked 4 me.

My sincere sympathy for you! No one can understand your problems better than I do, I went through each of them :-) The best way out is, incidentally, provided by Apple themselves. It's called 3GS.

Charles River is beautiful water. Great fireworks. I, personally, wouldn't let Apple spoil it for me.
post #342 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post

How do you know that the fault was in your phone. There are tons of variables involved.

Please!
post #343 of 452
Another interesting point can be derived from Anand's iPhone4 reception test, the dB range per bar: 1 bar is 6 dB, 2 bars is 4 dB, 3 bars is 2 db, 4 bars is 2 dB, 5 bars is 48 dB.

(The bar chart displayed in the test report is actually wrong because the text states "..4 bars begins at around -99 to -101 dBm. " but the bar chart displays -91 to -101.)

Apples claim that it displays up to 2 bars to many could be verified by making a bar chart for other phones. If for example each bar (except the fifth) should have a range of 6 bars and you include a rounding error Apples claim could be true.

J
post #344 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What I find most interesting is why the other phones attenuation is so hight when cupped tightly, especially the Nexus One, and why a case would help the Nexus One if it's already shrouded in plastic?

You're not using the Nexus One to make excuses for the iPhone 4, I hope?
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post #345 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post

It seems that AI didn't noticed that it was a blog entry from one of the Consumer Reports journalists, really NOT some kind of review from their testing labs, meanwhile it is not surprising that they didn't updated their story with the day-after findings of this same CR journalist ...



http://blogs.consumerreports.org/ele...reports-s.html

Haha. Let's wait to see this article get updated. Although we "know" it won't, because it would be a negative update against Apple. And the venerable shareholding reporter couldn't have that.
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post #346 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post

It seems that AI didn't noticed that it was a blog entry from one of the Consumer Reports journalists, really NOT some kind of review from their testing labs, meanwhile it is not surprising that they didn't updated their story with the day-after findings of this same CR journalist ...



http://blogs.consumerreports.org/ele...reports-s.html

This journalist?
Quote:
Michael Gikas
Senior Editor at Consumer Reports
Publishing | Greater New York City Area
Current: Senior Editor at Consumer Reports Past:Managing Editor at The National Herald, Editorial Director, Purchase Office at Brodeur Worldwide, Home Electronics Editor at Times Mirror Magazin... Education: City University of New York City College

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Michael/Gikas


I don't believe that CR just picks up an independent journalist for their reports without due diligence. These blogs are not somebodies opinion that does not reflect the findings or observations coming out of CR's laboratory protocols and review processes.
Watch. The choice is yours. No need to dis either: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/v.../105241463001/
post #347 of 452
[QUOTE=AppleInsider;1667741]"There's no reason, at least yet, to forgo buying an iPhone 4 over its reception concerns," writes Consumer Reports

I have a reason for forgoing the purchase of an iPhone 4. Service. In my experience, AT&T offers service that is inferior to its competitors. I have had too many instances of "No Service" where Verizon is full bars, t-Mobile is marginal to full; same with Sprint .

Yes, it matters where you live and travel. In my circumstances, AT&T is not offering service that meets my requirements. Folks I work with are also migrating from AT&T to other services due to dropped calls and inferior coverage.

For the record: I had an iPhone 3G. I liked the phone. Quite a bit in fact. But as a telephone, lashed to AT&T, it was not meeting my needs. I sold it, and now have an Android phone through t-Mo. It may not have the cachet of an iPhone, but it does what I need for it to do: place and receive phone calls, handle email, and allow some web surfing. I am also paying quite a bit less, and customer service has been superb.
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post #348 of 452
Still no update to this AppleInsider piece and 2 new articles from them since CR updated the story. WTF AppleInsider!!

To quote again the current info at this site-

""Underplayed in the discussion is the fact that all phones are subject to interference from the human who is using them," writes Mike Gikas. "And even if the alleged signal loss is real, there's an absence of hard evidence that iPhone 4 reception is problematic compared to past iPhones; indeed, there's evidence of just the opposite."

The group adds, "most of the web sites reporting dropped signals and even dropped calls have demonstrated several techniques, or 'death grips' for recreating the problem (which we've yet been able to reproduce in a meaningful way). But those almost always require squeezing the phone hard, in an unnatural way. Those grips may also produce sweaty palms from exertion, with the sweat increasing conductivity—and possibly the degree of signal loss.""

I guess they're happy here sticking to this. \
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post #349 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Still no update to this AppleInsider piece and 2 new articles from them since CR updated the story. WTF AppleInsider!!

To quote again the current info at this site-

""Underplayed in the discussion is the fact that all phones are subject to interference from the human who is using them," writes Mike Gikas. "And even if the alleged signal loss is real, there's an absence of hard evidence that iPhone 4 reception is problematic compared to past iPhones; indeed, there's evidence of just the opposite."

The group adds, "most of the web sites reporting dropped signals and even dropped calls have demonstrated several techniques, or 'death grips' for recreating the problem (which we've yet been able to reproduce in a meaningful way). But those almost always require squeezing the phone hard, in an unnatural way. Those grips may also produce sweaty palms from exertion, with the sweat increasing conductivityand possibly the degree of signal loss.""

I guess they're happy here sticking to this. \

Are you really surprised at this [AI's reluctance to update the piece]?
post #350 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Are you really surprised at this [AI's reluctance to update the piece]?

Maybe it's naive of me but yes I really am surprised.
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post #351 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Friendly Grizzly View Post

I have a reason for forgoing the purchase of an iPhone 4. Service. In my experience, AT&T offers service that is inferior to its competitors. I have had too many instances of "No Service" where Verizon is full bars, t-Mobile is marginal to full; same with Sprint .

Yes, it matters where you live and travel. In my circumstances, AT&T is not offering service that meets my requirements. Folks I work with are also migrating from AT&T to other services due to dropped calls and inferior coverage.

For the record: I had an iPhone 3G. I liked the phone. Quite a bit in fact. But as a telephone, lashed to AT&T, it was not meeting my needs. I sold it, and now have an Android phone through t-Mo. It may not have the cachet of an iPhone, but it does what I need for it to do: place and receive phone calls, handle email, and allow some web surfing. I am also paying quite a bit less, and customer service has been superb.

There are a couple things I don't understand here. If you wanted the widest coverage, wouldn't you have chosen Verizon instead? I thought T-Mobile had the smallest coverage range of the four major US carriers. Did you try to jailbreak the iPhone to go with T-Mobile? I know it's frowned upon, but I also understand that it works.
post #352 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Still no update to this AppleInsider piece and 2 new articles from them since CR updated the story. WTF AppleInsider!!

(snip)

I guess they're happy here sticking to this. \

I don't know what is going on, but you can email the author and ask him. Every article author gets an email address.

Also, it's still a holiday weekend, they often have 10 stories a day during the week, about one story a day during the weekend.
post #353 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't know what is going on, but you can email the author and ask him. Every article author gets an email address.

Also, it's still a holiday weekend, they often have 10 stories a day during the week, about one story a day during the weekend.

That's true. He may not even know. I emailed him.
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post #354 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

And I am old enough to remember when Consumer Reports was above paid reviews (blogging in today's vernacular).

They used to only review a category of products and impartially evaluate them, this blog entry just reeks.

Yes, who IS watching the watchdog? Stephen Colbert, that's who:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...liam-mccormack
post #355 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

Yes, who IS watching the watchdog? Stephen Colbert, that's who:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...liam-mccormack

Colbert's argument sounds like some of the posters here, expect Colbert is only pretending to be serious.
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post #356 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Colbert's argument sounds like some of the posters here, expect Colbert is only pretending to be serious.

Yes, Billy Connolly.
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post #357 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Maybe it's naive of me but yes I really am surprised.

Considering who wrote it and what you want him to put in the update - don't expect that, ever.
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post #358 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Considering who wrote it and what you want him to put in the update - don't expect that, ever.

I haven't been aware of who writes the articles here, though I know he did the iPhone 4 review, that I thought was compelling and accurate.

There's no good reason not to include a CR update or a follow up article or both. If you're right and that doesn't happen I think, even here, most people aren't going to like it.
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post #359 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

There are a couple things I don't understand here. If you wanted the widest coverage, wouldn't you have chosen Verizon instead? I thought T-Mobile had the smallest coverage range of the four major US carriers. Did you try to jailbreak the iPhone to go with T-Mobile? I know it's frowned upon, but I also understand that it works.

Verizon would have been the best choice for range, yes. But their plans are overpriced, their customer service is dismal, and they play too many games.

t-Mobile, on the surface, does indeed have a smaller coverage area. But, they also have enough sharing agreements with other GSM companies that, when out of range of a t-Mo tower, I still get coverage just about everywhere I want it. Often the annunciator will show the same of some oddball phone company (Mamma Margolis' Activated Kosher Food and Cell Phone, Billie-Bob's Bait, Tackle & Telephone, etc), but it IS coverage. And best of all, t-Mo does not charge extra for this.

The few times over the years that I needed customer service help at t-Mo, they were friendly, polite, and fixed things every time. AT&T is still the company on which Lilly Tomlin based her routines. (I won't even get into my experiences with their landline/DSL/U-Verse idiocies).

Different plans and companies work for different people. I was a t-Mo customer in the past, gave AT&T a try, found them wanting, and moved back to t-Mo. So far, I am pleased as can be. If Verizon ever gets realistic about their pricing, stops crippling features, and stops putting odd-ball "gee we're sorry, we'll take that off your bill!" charges on their monthly statements* I may consider them.

* they do this on landline bills, not sure about cell.
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post #360 of 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

There are a couple things I don't understand here. If you wanted the widest coverage, wouldn't you have chosen Verizon instead? I thought T-Mobile had the smallest coverage range of the four major US carriers. Did you try to jailbreak the iPhone to go with T-Mobile? I know it's frowned upon, but I also understand that it works.

I apologize for not responding to your jailbreak question: I thought about getting someone to unlock it so it would work on t-Mo. But I also had someone at work willing to buy it, so I said what the heck and bought a new phone.

One last thing: note I said I bought the phone. t-Mobile has two ways of getting service: the usual two year contract with a subsidy on the handset, or buy a phone, then they set you up month to month right out the gate. I did the latter, and they have already unlocked the handset for me.

Contrast this with AT&T/Apple, who will not unlock a phone even after the contract is up. Nuts to both of 'em.
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