Almost 10 years ago, a computer manufacturer developed a SmartPhone that would end up obsoleting Palm's TREO, The legendary BlackBerry, Motorola, and even NOKIA's SmartPhones. Until Apple entered the wireless industry, the carriers ruled with iron fists. NOKIA and Motorola did challenge that rule, but it was not until APPLE developed their iconic iPhone that things really changed. After all, AT&T initially had a 5 year exclusive on the iPhone. After two years into it, they had a problem the other carriers could only dream about - too many SmartPhone subscribers on their network. Apple's iPhone was so highly regarded that people were reluctantly signing up with AT&T just to get it. Apple has created a global product that works with every carrier. I hope they don't become too complacent the way PALM and Blackberry did. At this time next year, there may be a brand new iPhone standard and here is why...
One of the reasons that Apple iPhones are so successful is they play nice with Apple and Windows computers. I personally prefer my Mac computers, but do have several Windows computers for certain applications. One is a laptop with Windows 10. I had a Microsoft 2 Surface tablet and was not terribly impressed. The latest Surface 3 and 4 models look pretty incredible though and rate terrific. I believe that what Microsoft has been doing to Apple's iPAD tablet business this year is going to happen next year when Microsoft finally manufactures a great Windows 10 device. After all, Microsoft has the same ability to play nice between computers and Smartphones. The touch screen interface with panels is far better suited for SmartPhones than laptops anyway. The now defunct but still available NOKIA 950XL showed the most promise but didn't quite pan out for Microsoft. I believe Microsoft has the only OS that might even be better than Apple's. It would be ironic if Microsoft came back to unseat APPLE as the SmartPhone OS champions. If this happens, the soonest would likely be the end of 2017.
I've been in the wireless industry since 1990. About the only thing that has not changed since then is the fact that the best time to negotiate a new wireless deal has always been between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. So far, this year is no exception. We have already had a pre-Thanksgiving special from T-Mobile offering two FREE lines when paying for two lines. They just announced even crazier deals. It's important to note that while these deals generally last for the life of your agreement, there is usually a very small window to grab them. In the case of the below promotions, you have three days. If you want in on any of the below, contact me as ASAP as T-Mobile requires the paperwork to be submitted before the deadline. Check these...
From November 24 - November 27, 2016, eligible T-Mobile customers who trade-in a qualifying fully owned Apple, Samsung, or LG phone from any carrier can get the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus for free!
From November 24 - November 27, 2016, eligible customers who trade-in a qualifying fully own Apple, Samsung, or LG phone from any carrier can get the Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, or LG V20 for free!
I will be announcing deals from Sprint and Verizon as soon as they are launched. Stay tuned...
Today's top SmartPhones like the Apple 7+/256GB and Samsung Galaxy S7/EDGE will cost almost $1,000. I'm often asked which devices are the best and surprisingly, it's not always the big dollar models. Don't get me wrong, if you're looking to give me a SmartPhone for Christmas, please make it an iPhone 7+/64GB. That being said, here are my favorite models for those who want the most bang for the buck...
APPLE iPhone Options
iPhone SE (MSRP $399.99 or $16.67 x 24 Months)
This model is one of Apple's best kept secrets. This model is the same size as the 5s model screen size wise, but has the same guts as last year's top of line 6s series. While it does not have the 3D touch feature, it does have Apple's amazing A9 processor and 12GB camera and lots of other goodies. Great for women, kids and men with Donal Trump hands (some post election humor).
iPhone 6 - This model is getting harder to find. It is almost three years old but probably the best iPhone that I have ever owned, in terms of stability and reliability. I gave my wife my iPhone 6/128GB and moved up to the iPhone 6s+/64GB. Bad move! While the screen was larger and brighter, the accelerometer would stick and the device's battery life has steadily decreased. Thew iPhone 6 retails now for only $449.99 for the 16GB version.
Apple is now selling carrier unlocked refurbished devices at discounted pricing in their stores. They put a new battery and new cover on these models along with a one year warranty. Don't expect to find any of the newest iPhone 7 models or the SE. They do have the 6 and 6s series though. Grab one and call me to activate!
There is no shortage of good Chinese made SmartPhones. Motorola was bought out by Lenovo and has several great new models. Huawei's latest models are getting pretty good reviews. There are also some fine devices coming from South Korea. LG in particular is making some great models. The LG G4 and G5 are very popular as are the HTC models.
The One Plus 3 Flagship model has an MSRP of $399.99. This brand started by selling their One Plus One model first by invitation, then on the internet, but only on Tuesdays. They created a demand that far exceeded the supply. Their devices typically price out at about half that of the big boys for the same features.
For Windows models, NOKIA is out of the phone business but their 950XL can be found in the $300 range and is a beauty for Windows 10 platform advocates.
Safety and Security Tips...
Whenever you receive an e-mail requesting you click on a link, be very careful. Phishing is when spammers use send an e-mail from a company or bank you deal with requesting information. Never click directly on these links. It's better to go directly to the company's URL. Often times, right clicking the company name, or e-mail address will reveal the bogus sender. The other thing to look for is to make sure the beginning of the URL starts with HTTPS, not just HTTPS. This means the site is encrypted and secure.
If you get an e-mail from a friends e-mail address that says, "I thought you might enjoy this..." Don't do it. If you right click your friend's e-mail address, you will notice a bogus e-mail address appears. This is common spam.
If you are still using FREE non-secure Hotspots at Starbucks and other local establishments, why? All of the wireless carriers now support encrypted 4G Hotspots from iPhones and Androids, some even include it in their plans. Think about it! What is to stop anybody from naming their personal hotspot "Starbucks". A savvy hacker can do lots of nasty things to people that log on to the wrong network. If you have an iPhone, go to settings>Personal Hotspot and enable. Simply find the name of your network and enter the wifi password you see on the page.
Big Data Users
At the 20-30GB GB Data level, Verizon is actually the best choice for big data users. That's because the other three carriers throttle their 4G Unlimited plans at 22GB (AT&T), 23GB (Sprint) and 28GB (T-Mobile). Sprint and T-Mobile offer Standard Definition 480p 4G LTE on their Unlimited plans. While still DVD-quality, it is not as razor sharp and clear as 1080p. For an additional $20 (Sprint) or $25 (T-Mobile) per month, per line, you can add HD premium quality. What makes Verizon a great value is they already include this and 4G Hotspot in their plan. If you exceed your plan's data allocation, their "Safety Mode" is also included and "throttles" speeds down to 2G until the beginning of your next billing cycle. Dr Wireless offers zero interest financing as well as two year contracts with $450 instant device subsidy with both Sprint and Verizon. With T-Mobile, we offer zero interest financing.
T-Mobile Introduces Great Data Content Transfer Tool and it's FREE
We have a great new solution designed to make it easy to move content from one device to another without a trip to the local carrier store. Apple users can go to the Apple Store and download t-mobile content transfer. It can also be downloaded from the Google Play store. Make sure to wipe your old device and turn off "Find My Phone" before re-selling or re-cycling.
Check out the Dr's Sixteen iPhone Tricks
Lately, it seems that it is easy to find a great 3 or more line deal but single line deals are harder to come by. This is especially true for those who don't need a lot of data. Both Sprint and T-Mobile have Unlimited 4G data plans starting at $60 and $70 for one line. For those who only need one line and not a ton of data, here are your options...
Verizon's Small (S) plan and Medium (M) plans are good for minimal data users. The smartest move though is taking the Large (L) or higher plans. That's because these larger plans also offer:
-2GB per line extra 4G shared data
-Safety Mode (Verizon throttles speeds down to 2G instead of charging $15GB overage fee)
-Canada and Mexico roaming and Long Distance included.
In T-Mobile's case, we still have the North American Simple Choice Plans available
These TM plans start at $50 and include Unlimited Voice, Text and 2G Data. T-Mobile offers 2GB per line of shared Data on these plans. They are a good choice for travelers as all include FREE Canada and Mexico Roaming and LD. These plans also offer free data and texting in 140 countries as well as $0.20 per minute voice roaming.
Sprint Also offers some inexpensive plan options too
Sprint's comparison with Verizon is not quite accurate as Verizon has recently sweetened their plans. Still, Sprint is a great option for those looking to keep their monthly wireless costs to a minimum. Both Sprint and Verizon offer zero interest financing but still offer two year contract plans with $450 instant device credit.
If you're not sure which carrier of plan option is best, contact Dr Wireless for a FREE Consultation.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.