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Monday Morning Mobile: End to Exclusivity

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By Seth Kaplan

RISMEDIA, January 31, 2011—Last Monday, my team and I decided to switch the e-mail servers for our company and mobilerealestateid.com. The new server, IMAP, would allow for e-mail syncing across multiple devices; read an e-mail on the phone, it gets marked read on the desktop and webmail and vice versa—pretty cool right? Well during this whole process, I realized that I had no clue what my password to the e-mail account on my BlackBerry was, making it a bit difficult to get in and change the settings to the new accounts. After trying every account password I could think of—with no success—I finally gave in and called Verizon support to help get me in.

What happened next has had me contemplating a major decision for the past week. I was of course, put on hold and transferred from the first person I spoke with to the department that was actually qualified to give me the information that I needed. As luck would have it, while on hold, I finally remembered the password I needed anyway. However, the person who would have been able to help me, had I still needed it, informed me that not only was I eligible to take advantage of a phone upgrade on my account, but I could use that upgrade for the iPhone 4.

Yes, the iPhone has finally run its course of exclusivity with AT&T and as of Thursday, February 3, 2011, all Verizon customers eligible for an upgrade can begin pre-ordering the iPhone. Most of us have probably already seen the iPhone commercials touting “two networks are better than one” with both AT&T and Verizon and the Verizon commercials with ticking clocks and the “wait is finally over” theme. The question becomes, now that I finally have the choice to take advantage of the iPhone, will I do it?

Being in the mobile business, we get asked often at real estate events, “what’s the best phone for me to have?” And my answer is always the same: it’s really a matter of what’s important to you. If you are all business all the time, then it’s hard to walk away from the BlackBerry’s dedication to e-mail precision and messaging. However, if your focus is with Web and apps and you haven’t converted to an android device yet while on Verizon, the iPhone is worth serious consideration.

Needless to say, while having the option to have the iPhone on Verizon is great, having to make a decision can be quite difficult. In some sense, not having the choice made it so much easier to simply stay with a BlackBerry for so long. In either case, I think the end of the iPhone’s exclusivity will prove to be a good thing when it comes to innovation and competition among networks. Our devices keep getting better and we keep getting more mobile. No decision needed there—that’s a good thing no matter what device you decide to get.

Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate ID. For more information, please visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.

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