Our contract is pretty much up with Verizon, our current carrier. We've been with Verizon since 2002 and been very happy with our service. I've been very interested in upgrading from a cell phone to something a bit more feature-heavy. You know: something with a decent web browser, e-mail interface, camera, maybe some other features.
Despite what I recognize in the iPhone to be the epitome of such a device, I was so turned off by Apple's launch of the iPhone, and not interested in changing carriers, that I'd simply categorized the iPhone as something I would not have.
So... I was very interested in the new Blackberry Storm. Basically Blackberry and Verizon's answer to the iPhone, it also has a browser, GPS, what have you... I knew it wouldn't be as slick (this was Blackberry, after all), and so Jamie and I hopped in the car to check it out and maybe re-up our plan.
Basically, the thing never worked. The interface was relatively intuitive, and I liked that you literally clicked the screen to make selections. And my worries about fat-fingering the virtual keyboard were completely unfounded. That part of the technology was rock solid.
This was also true for the Samsung Omnia I looked at (Samsung's answer to the Storm, I guess). I actually liked the Omnia's interface better, but the screen seemed to have less real estate, and while I was able to look up a sample site (I looked up this site), I couldn't figure out how to click on a hyperlink from this page. And, honestly, it all just felt very, very cramped. Like... what's the point? It did use Windows, which was kind of cute.
I never could get a webpage to open on the Blackberry. It kept launching a Beyonce video whenever I clicked "Browser". The GPS didn't work on either device. Mail seemed iffy. I couldn't get a clear answer about web-mail versus signing up for some other mail... (I don't think the sales person was very educated on the devices and services) It just seemed like the foundational technology... the hardware... was fine. Everything else seemed like a mess.
Now, I know these devices have lots of people messing with them, and it was late, so who knows how many had pawed the devices before I touched them. But... their stuff didn't work. Not a strong sales pitch.
So... I don't know what we're going to do. Month-to-month with Verizon, but I think were going to go to an Apple store in January and look at the iPhone, check out the costs there (they are high, but so was the cost of the Storm and Omnia). But we may also just be in for phones. I dunno.
The whole thing was disappointing, to say the least. The iPhone has been out for a while, and the competitors just aren't keeping up. I predict another two years (at least) before they're at where iPhone is now, and who knows what Apple will have done by then...