Monday, April 7, 2008

In Search of the Perfect Communication Lifeline

Life without a cell phone is pretty much impossible, as I learned upon our return from "The Best Trip Ever". My cell phone loved Mexico so much, it decided to stay there permanently. The good news is that Verizon makes it way easy to kill the service and will even pause service until you decide on the next communication lifeline you want to share your life with.

I'd been living my life with a Krzr which worked pretty well for a phone, text messager, and camera. I really liked it, but knew it was time to make the leap to a smartphone. I had avoided it as I am just not willing to give up good voice quality for the other stuff, especially as I catch up on calls with family while out and about. Yep, usually from my car. But not to worry as I always go handsfree with my cool and groovy Jawbone. And, of course, I have the red one.

So, what to do? Like I said, voice calls matter to me and Verizon just has the best coverage, period. But, they also have the lousiest device selection of all the carriers. After reading the reviews and visiting the store, I decide on the Blackberry 8830 in red (of course). I am not in love, but I do get addicted to the track ball and full keyboard pretty quickly.

And then...I have dinner with my girlfriend Vibeke who shares how much she loves her iPhone. And then, Holly comes for dinner and brings her iPhone. She and Dave find the house easily with the cool map feature. I get my hands on it and I am in love , or at least lust. I think I can throw caution to the wind and pay Verizon whatever they want to get out of my contract.

And AT&T service at our place. Now, folks, we don't live in the boonies. We actually live in the burbs. And while I can justify a few dropped calls when I am out and about, no way can I justify no coverage at home base.

And then...I really do want a camera on my communication lifeline and the 8830 does not have one as business users apparently have no need for one. Because, of course, I only use my phone for business and don't have a personal life. And what is up with the text messaging issues? Is this all BB models, or I am just lucky?

And then...At CTIA last week, Verizon announces the Curve will be available in May. While this is not the perfect solution (it is not an iPhone and Verizon will not offer it in red), I'll have a camera with my communication lifeline. So, the 8830 will be going back to Verizon and I'll get a cheap phone and text messaging device until I can get my hands on the Curve next month.

And then...I'll be waiting with bated breath like the rest of us Verizon subscribers for the iPhone or the Blackberry 9000. All the while wondering why the carrier with the best service can't, or won't, offer the most desirable communication lifelines AND why the carrier with the most desirable lifelines can't, or won't, offer wider service coverage.

Is it really that hard to offer their customers the best of both worlds?

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