Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Palm Pre: serna’s Tale of Woe

Okay, I admit it; this is a pretty lame form of “woe”.

It started in January. I saw the phone of my dreams, and wanted it badly. I mean, go back to that link to my previous post, and watch the YouTube video—isn’t that a beautiful device? It was the first phone I saw that convinced me that having the phone tightly integrated to the web was a good idea, even though Canadian cell phone carriers are thieves when it comes to how much they charge for data.

But then in February my phone died, and I had to get a replacement, so I bought the iPhone. Which is also a beautiful device. (The Pre is beautiful in a certain way, the iPhone is just plain beautiful.) But when I bought the iPhone, it had not yet been announced if or how the Pre would be launched in Canada; I still assumed that Rogers would get the Pre, because, let’s face it, Bell Mobility hasn’t had a lot of cool devices over the last number of years. So when I bought the iPhone, I made a critical mistake: Assuming that Rogers was going to get the Pre—and that I could switch to the Pre when it came out, and let Andrea take my iPhone—I agreed to sign up for a three year contract with Rogers, so that I could get the iPhone cheaper.

So when Bell announced that they were getting the Pre, and when I found out that Rogers wasn’t, I was disappointed; I didn’t want to have to switch my service to Bell. But the real pain came the week that Bell was launching the Pre. I was getting all excited; I went to Best Buy, because they had those little plastic display models of the Pre, so that I could touch it. I read up some more literature and watched more videos of the Pre in action.

And then I called Rogers, to deal with that pesky three year contract issue.

“How much would it cost me to break my contract, if I left now?”

“Well, let’s see. It would cost you $400 to break your voice plan—$20 per month, to a maximum of $400—and an additional $100 to break your data plan—$X per month to a maximum of $100. So it would be $500.”

“Oh. Well… thanks for your time.”

So no Pre for serna. I’m not paying $500 to break my contract. (I would have been willing to pay something—I’m not sure how high my limit would have been, but something—but $500 is too much.)

Palm will be launching a GSM version of the Pre in Europe later this year; some are mentioning the possibility that Rogers might also launch a GSM version around the same time. That would be nice. But in the meantime, I’ve got the iPhone.

Which raises the question of what Andrea is going to do; she wanted the iPhone, when I was done with it. Her phone is lousy, and doesn’t always work. What do we do about her? Do we wait until Rogers [hopefully] launches the Pre, and then do what we’d originally planned to do? Or does she give up her phone altogether, and go to Bell, and get the Pre herself?

Who knows. When my heartache wears off, we’ll think about it some more.

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