The Mobile Technology Landscape

 The mobile technology landscape continues to evolve quickly. Whether its cell phones, laptops, or tablets, trying to keep up with it can be exhausting. The most important thing to remember is that there will always be something bigger and better just around the corner. So with only a few exceptions, the best time to buy something… is when you need it! The key is to make sure you take the time to find the device that fits YOUR needs. YOUR NEEDS, not those of the salesperson, retail stores, or wireless carriers. 

Here is a quick overview of happenings in the mobile technology world. 

  • Apple has announced the new iPhone 5 and new iPods. They will continue to sell the older models at a reduced price. Rumors continue to swirl that the company will be releasing a smaller iPad in a couple months.
  • Amazon just announced several new models of their Kindle E-readers.
  • Nokia just announced 2 new models of upcoming Windows 8 phones
  • Google continues to sell their 7-inch Nexus  tablet
  • “Ultrabooks” continue to try to become the new standard in laptops
  • Blackberry continues to work to get their new mobile phone operating system, Blackberry 10, finished by early 2013.

So strap in and hang on. There will be new phones, tablets, and laptops every month. Take the time to figure out what is going to work for you.

Something to consider if you are thinking about purchasing an iPhone sometime in over the next month and a half.

Gigaom

All signs point to a new iPhone as being just around the corner. The latest one comes from retailers: Best Buy(s BBY) and Target(s TGT) are dropping the price of iPhone(s AAPL) models, according to AllThingsD. Target is now selling the 16GB iPhone 4S for $179 with contract (a $20 price cut) and Best Buy is selling the older 8GB iPhone 4 for $49 with contract ($50 off). This follows Sprint’s (s S) move last week to drop the iPhone 4S to $149 with contract.

Now, it’s not particularly newsworthy that national retailers are offering a discount to make a sale. Nor is it unusual that they’d do it knowing (or making an educated guess) that a new model is going to replace the units filling up their store shelves their backrooms in September or October.

What is interesting, however, is that Apple has been reportedly joining in by quietly…

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More on the $30 Verizon upgrade fee.

After catching my breath from my previous rant and digging a little deeper, I decided to wait a day and try speaking to another rep. This time I was told that the  upgrade fee is applied if you want to purchase a new device, prior to serving the full 24 months of your present contract. This still doesn’t make sense, as they already make you pay the non subsidized price if you haven’t completed at least 20 of the required 24 months. And in case you didn’t know, Verizon Wireless posted another record profit earnings this quarter. I find it extremely hard to believe that Verizon needs this fee to do anything that they are claiming. Unfortunately, if you want Verizon services, there is nothing you can do and that is exactly what they are “banking on” literally!

Verizon Wireless $30 Upgrade Fee

ALERT-All Verizon Wireless customers, starting April 22, 2012, the company has decided to reward all of its loyal customers by charging you a $30 “upgrade” fee anytime you purchase a new device that is “on contract”. In an effort to get more information, I called Verizon Wireless customer service to inquire as to what the fee was for. After initially being unaware of the fee,  the representative placed me on hold…she eventually came back and responded that the fees are to cover the costs of the “online educational tools”, the “wireless workshops”, and “consultation with experts”.

ME: “Being a techgeek, I do not use any of those services, so surely they can be waived, correct?”

REP: “Uhm, no, not that I am aware of.”

ME: “That doesn’t make sense, I have multiple lines on the account and none of us use or will ever use those services, but you are telling me that I have to pay $30 each time I want to purchase a new device, in addition to the device cost itself? And if I upgrade any phones to ‘smartphones’ that require the minimum $30 a month data plans for a paltry 2GB of data, I still have to pay the ‘upgrade’ fee?”

REP: “Yes.”

ME: “OK, thank you.” (May I have another?)

REP: “Is there anything else that I can help you with today?”

ME: “No thank you, you’ve been helpful enough.”

REP: “Well thank you for calling Verizon Wireless.”

I’m sure the company’s justification is, “Well, everyone else is doing it!” And they are correct, ATT, Sprint, and TMobile all charge “upgrade” fees, but that still doesn’t make it ok. Oh and by the way Verizon, your 4g LTE service still sucks on my Galaxy Nexus and is such a battery drain on the 3g/4g hand off, that I keep the 4g off. FIX IT!

Bottom line: Don’t renew your contract when it’s due and simply go month to month, and buy your device outright.

Hello world!

cgdconsulting4u is here to provide information, rumors, and advice as it relates to mobile technology. Follow me on Twitter @cgdconsulting4u

Happy Holidays to all

Have a wonderful holiday!

Have an Android phone but no idea how to work it?

     As is so often the case…people get new devices, but then have no idea how to use them to their full potential. Here is a simple and cheap solution, that is based on the web-based guide, but it puts everything right at your fingertips. Below is the description from the Android Market

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You’ve got your phone booted up. Now learn how to really use it.

Put the world’s best-selling and most up-to-date how-to guide for Android in your pocket for the introductory price of 99 cents. Or you can buy the eBook for $9 athttp://completeandroidguide.com

The Complete Android Guide app is the perfect companion to keep handy on your phone. Search through our extensive how-tos and tips to extend your phone’s powers, improve its battery life, connect to more pieces of your online life, and get the answers to the niggling questions not answered elsewhere.
Beyond the in-depth explainers on your browser, email, Gmail, and other pieces of your phone, our guide includes:
* 10 Things to Do Right Away on Your Android Phone
* 20 Great Android Apps to Check Out
* Fixes for the most common annoyances
* Guides to saving your battery and securing your phone
* Alternative recommendations to apps you might not love on your phone
The Complete Android Guide covers all Android phones, up through and including Gingerbread (2.3) on phones and Honeycomb (now at 3.1) on tablet devices.

Link to the app https://market.android.com/details?id=com.threeones.completeandroidguide&feature=search_result