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iHype Part II: AT&T Reveals iPlans

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Yesterday, AT&T released details of some reasonable plans, all which feature unlimited data for email and web surfing, rollover minutes, 200 text messages, and unlimited AT&T mobile to mobile calling.

The $60 plan includes 450 regular minutes with 5,000 night and weekend minutes while the $80 plan includes 900 regular minutes with unlimited night and weekend minutes. The most expensive plan, which will run the consumer $100 a month, includes 1,350 regular minutes with unlimited night and weekend use. There is still no word yet on whether one will be able to tether the phone as a laptop modem, but you can bet a third party solution will be found.

Some might wonder why anyone would want to tether the phone as a laptop modem in the first place. The iPhone supports AT&T’s incredibly slow Edge service, which is equivalent to speeds of dial up modems that are gradually becoming extinct. AT&T has a much faster HSDPA network with speeds comparable to light broadband modems, just as Sprint and Verizon do with their EVDO networks. Fortunately, the iPhone supports Wi-Fi wireless Internet as well, but you have to be in a wireless hotspot for this to work. The Internet speed on the iPhone is a major disadvantage when compared to other Internet enabled smartphones.

Business users may want to exercise caution before investing in this phone. Unlike the Treo or Blackberry smartphone devices, the iPhone does not have a built in thumboard. Instead, it has what is described as a predictive QUERTY software keyboard on the device that you touch with your fingers. Something like this can cause a lot of problems, especially for people who are used to a thumboard with tactile feedback.

Still, the New York Times says that the iPhone may not be perfect, but lives up to most of the hype. Many early users have stated that using the iPhone is like having an actual computer in your hands, not some dumbed down mobile version of an operating system. Start lining up now and stay tuned to BC Magazine for more iPhone information.

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