As probably everybody knows by now, Apple announced the iPhone 5 yesterday, with the first units available later this month. I'm sure millions of you have already read it, though that can't quite be right because this blog doesn't have millions of readers.
Not yet, anyways.
Though the timing was somewhat coincidental, I ordered a new phone yesterday.
It was not an iPhone 5.
But, I'd still like to tell you about it.
I ordered the phone through my job. For a long time, my employer would only provide phones to a select few and would only reimburse you for your phone if you could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were paying extra money to use the phone for work purposes. As most of the calling I do is from my desk phone, I never even bothered to investigate.
Still, a few months ago our director announced that they were going to provide smartphones to any employee in our group that was interested. When they first announced this, I passed. Reason being, I was still under contract with my private phone (under Sprint) and I wanted no part of having to carry two phones around. Been there, done that.
The contract on my line came up and I decided that now was the time to take advantage of the work offer.
Here's the current situation:
My wife and I, along with my in-laws, are on a Sprint family plan. There are four lines total. The bill comes out to roughly $222 per month. We pay $102 and my in-laws pay $120 so we're all paying between $51-60 per line. The difference is there because all three other lines other than my own have insurance coverage as well as a ‘premium data' charge (more on that in a minute) that I don't have on my phone meaning my line is a little cheaper.
Now, had I stayed with Sprint and upgraded, our bill would risen to $240. This is because activating any new phone kicks in the $10/month premium charge that they now tack on for all cell phones.
Which is complete crap because we don't even get 4G coverage here! That's right, our contract is paying $30/month for the ‘privledge' of using slow 3G service. And it would have gone up an extra $10 when I activated a new 4G capable phone…that wasn't using it.
The extra $8 would have come for the service plan. On my old phone, I had a SquareTrade plan that was really cheap, had no deductibles if the phone had a component failure, and a $50 deductible if it was in an accident. Pricing them out now, they've doubled the price, doubled the deductible to $100, and now you pay the $100 even if it wasn't your fault. I understand their reasoning (these phones are expensive and I'm sure they break) but they were nowhere near the cheapest, even with 30% off coupons that I regularly find.
So, that would have been an extra $18 per month.
By taking advantage of the work phone, I won't be paying that extra amount, plus we'll be able to drop a line from our family plan, which will save us an additional $22 ($20 plus taxes and such). This will leave three lines on the plan and the total bill should come in around $200. We'll end up paying a bit more on the single line (for my wife) that we have in our household, simply because it's not fair to ask my in-laws to increase what they pay. I have no problem with this. After all, we're saving $22 per month and avoiding another $18 in new monthly charges. That's $40 per month in savings, or almost $500 per year.
Considering that my work hasn't given out raises in three years, and still has indicated no sign of giving us a 401(k) match, any perk is worth taking. If they want to pay for a new phone, who am I to argue?
As to the actual phone, we get a list of phones we can choose from. They use the AT&T network which actually has 4G LTE service. This is about ten times faster than 3G service, and 2-5 faster than regular 4G. I narrowed it down to the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Samsung phone is newer, faster, has a bigger screen, and runs on the LTE network, so that won. The iPhone 5, which was released yesterday, now runs on the LTE network, and is probably bigger and faster yet, but after talking to other employees, I found that they traditionally take about 4-6 months after a product is released before we can get it.
I didn't want to wait that long because why not start saving now? Plus, the way things work, who knows if they would have potentially changed their mind or closed the window on new sign-ups?
So, I decided to strike while the iron is hot.
Either way, this will be a huge upgrade over my Blackberry.
I got the authorization form on Tuesday and placed the order yesterday. All just coincidence that it was on the same day as the iPhone 5 was released, though it will likely save my company some money since I heard that the Galaxy S3 (and the iPhone 4S) were lowered in price.
The biggest thing I'll have to deal with is that I'd like to keep my current number, but don't want to port it over to the work phone in the event that if I left someday, I would lose the ability to keep the number. I'm likely going to port it out to Google Voice which can then forward all calls and text messages to my Samsung, making it transparent and allowing me to own the number. At least that's my understanding of how it works. 🙂
Anybody order their iPhone 5 yet?