So my my cellphone has been recalled, owing to some mysterious non-compliance with some radio standards. Despite this, it still won’t give me cancer, apparently. Virgin Mobile is running an exchange program that is making it more difficult for me than it should: the web form doesn’t recognize my address, the phone queue is very long, and the phone reps a mite bit clueless. And in the end, my phone is not even from the batch that LG is worrying about, so I’m feeling a bit, shall we say, unnecessarily hassled.
Palm’s upcoming Pre is the first smartphone I’ve seen since the announcement of the iPhone that I might actually consider getting instead of an iPhone. (Not that I need a smartphone right now, but in the event that I do.) Watching the CES announcement drove home the fact that, for the first time, a competing smartphone manufacturer has actually tried to do the iPhone one better, rather than just play catchup. The Pre’s multitasking is an order of magnitude better than the iPhone’s: switching applications on my iPod touch suddenly feels clunky. (Ironically, the lack of true multitasking was one of the major problems of Palm’s last OS.)
Early reviews and first impressions are extremely positive — see, for example, Boing Boing Gadgets, CNet, Cult of Mac, Electronista, Engadget’s first impressions and interface tour, Gizmodo’s first look and look at the user interface, Scoble and especially Newsweek’s fine in-depth article — if not outright joyous that (1) beleaguered Palm is not yet dead and (2) finally, someone might actually give Apple a run for its money. But there’s still a lot we don’t know yet, such as what the Pre is going to cost, and how it’s going to work as a phone. Whether the Pre will turn out to be as good as it looks at first blush. The stakes for Palm are high: they’ve bet the company on the Pre, and if it fails, that’ll probably be it for them.
Previously: The Egregious Incompetence of Palm.
I don’t know, maybe the reason that iPhone users on the Rogers network are using far less data than expected is because Canadian customers, remembering stories of monthly phone bills running four or five figures thanks to data usage, are terrified of going over the limit, and are holding back accordingly.
In the first four weeks after the iPhone launched in Canada July 11, Rogers says 95 per cent of customers used less than 10 per cent of their plans’ data allotment. … In the first four weeks of usage, 95 per cent of customers used less than half a gigabyte and 91 per cent used less than 200 megabytes. Only a single customer exceeded the 6 GB threshold, [Rogers spokeswoman Liz] Hamilton said.
People scared of exceeding the limit will generally buy more than they need. But changes are afoot to address these usage patterns: Rogers’s iPhone plans will become less generous in the fall, but they will cap data charges at $100 a month no matter how much you use. And data plans will be unlimited for the first three months, and can be changed, so that people can find out for themselves how much data they would normally use if they weren’t holding back. Both go some ways to addressing the problems with limited data plans I outlined two months ago. Unlimited data would still have been easier for all concerned in practice, even if Rogers has a corporate allergy to it: it would not have saturated the network — not on a device with WiFi — and it would have put users at ease. Via MacNN.