Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sprint and Motrola conspire to sell me an AT&T (Cingular) iPhone

Sprint and Motorola must be conspiring to raise the share prices of AT&T (once Cingular) and Apple. I think the SEC should investigate.

How else can I explain the Motorola RAZR V3M? I bought this phone from pure necessity — an old phone had died and I needed a replacement. I don’t like any phone on the market today; this phone seemed to the best choice of a bad lot. A mixed bag of features, but the list price (which I paid, no contract extensions!) was about $200 or so.

Turns out, the phone is better than I’d expected. It took some significant effort, and lot of help from Google, but it’s possible to beat the Sprint out of it and make it a half-useful device with only a handful of atrocious usability flaws. True, Sprint’s high-speed network sucks the battery dry, but that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t so difficult to recharge it. Alas, that’s where the worm turns.

There are two big problems with the phone. One is the battery drain with data use, compounded with a difficulty in recharging. Despite the min-USB cable connector, it won’t charge from a conventional USB charger or a car USB power outlet. It will charge from a computer USB port — but only if one installs the (semi-secret) XP-only modem enabling utility. The other problem is that it can’t be used to attach a computer to Sprint’s data network — unless one installs the XP-only modem enabling utility.

The inability to accept a charge from a standard USB charger is highly annoying (it should), but I could live with that that if the RAZR would charge from my MacBook, iBook, iMac, etc. I could especially live with it (albeit gritting my teeth) if the phone would put my MacBook on the net when I’m not on a WiFi connection.

Alas, it’s not to be. Sprint and Motorola are simply insisting that I move to Apple/AT&T. Did Apple secretly give the CEOs of Sprint and Motorola backdated Apple stock options?

1 comment:

Scott Gruby said...

Please see my post over on my blog for a solution to charging the Razr over USB on a Mac.