A week ago I discussed the ways not to get an iPhone in Vermont since we’re not covered by AT&T’s own network and in honor of the iPhone’s release. Now that people in other states have had their iPhones for a week, the in-depth reviews have been rolling in: Steven Frank’s, James Duncan Davidson’s, Steve Dekorte’s, and Jason Kottke’s are my pick o’ the litter.
As I also noted, my friend Jimmy drove to New Hampshire to pick one up with the goal of using it until AT&T cancels his contract. His initial lists of wants has been posted as well. And, of course, I’ve now gotten to play with the iPhone a couple of times at the office.
Jimmy has stated that he’s been able to hit 100+k on EDGE in Watebury, VT, so Unicel’s EDGE network can’t be half bad. Although, I have to wonder whether using data services while roaming will alert AT&T that much earlier and cause them to cancel his contract sooner rather than later. Only time will tell.
There has been other news on the iPhone front too. On the day of the iPhone release, AT&T and Dobson (i.e. Cellular One) announced the purchase of Dobson. This should be great news for the rest of the country, but Cellular One left Vermont years ago, so we’re still stuck1 with RCC (i.e. Unicel).
However, all is not completely lost, even if AT&T does cancel Jimmy’s contract (or anyone else in Vermont), Alex King has verified that the iPhone works without AT&T service. You do have to get a contract in the first place, but that does mean that the iPhone won’t as quickly become a useless brick in a drawer when the cell phone technology becomes outdated and sure gets me closer to buying an iPhone.
One thing that I had originally investigated, but failed to mention in my original post, is the idea of getting a pre-paid plan (i.e. a GoPhone plan) from AT&T. I had immediately and completely ruled this out because you cannot roam on a pay-as-you-go plan (see the GoPhone coverage map) and so Vermont is completely out of the picture. For a while there, it looked like this wasn’t even going to be possible for anyone anyway, but the tried-and-true way of getting a GoPhone contract has been discovered. Still great news for others.
The bad news so far: even another AT&T SIM card won’t work in the iPhone, so the hope for unlocking the phone is not even an easy first step.
We may not actually be getting much closer to having true iPhone support in Vermont, but atleast hope is growing. Again, I’m still not ready to give up my Newton, but the iPhone would be a great companion. :)
BTW – Don was on TV again regarding the no iPhones for Vermont issue. Of course, I don’t know where he got the statistic that we’re the only state that doesn’t get AT&T service.
1 Now, I’m not sure I actually want AT&T to own Unicel as well as Cingular and Cellular One, but I sure would like an iPhone.