After months of speculation and rumors and waiting, Apple unveiled the Phone 5. (You probably heard.) Marketplace’s technology reporter Queen Kim has been covering the release and joins us now.
So did Apple’s announcement live up to expectations?
Queena Kim: Well yeah, considering everything was pretty much leaked before hand, it totally lived up to expectations.
Hill: What did we learn about this new phone?
Kim: Well it’s thinner. In fact they are saying it’s the thinnest phone in the world. It’s lighter than the last iPhone and it’s got a bigger screen: four inches.
Hill: Now what was the event itself like?
Kim: Well, I didn’t go.
Hill: What do you mean you didn’t go?
Kim: It’s all being live blogged, it’s on Twitter. I could pretty much follow everything, you know, everyone’s uploading their pictures. So, I was like, why do I need to get out of my pajamas. I can just sit here and read about it.
Hill: Now I understand Apple didn’t live stream the event, why not?
Kim: Well Apple wants to create this feeling of exclusivity. And you can sort of see it in its products, right? The cool kids have the iPhone and the iPad. And if you’re not invited you are not a part of the in-club and it makes you want to be invited all the more.
So what if you are one of those people that’s just got to have this new phone? That wants to be part of the Apple club?
Mike Gikas is senior electronics editor at Consumer Reports.
Mike Gikas: It looks like it’s going to be a recommended phone by Consumer Reports. I recommend that if they’re at the end of a contract to certainly wait for it to expire to get it for a good price. But this particular model looks like a winner with significant upgrade.
Hill: And what should consumers be aware of as far as their own contracts and their own situation goes before they make this jump?
Gikas: Early termination fees, which, although many of the carriers offer pro-rated reductions as the contract progresses, they can still be quite steep. And it looks like this phone is a lot faster, and you’ll probably have to purchase more data than, say, with other phones. And also if they have grandfathered their unlimited data plans, they most certainly will lose that when they get a new phone like the iPhone. So the price some consumers may pay will be higher monthly charges on their plan.
Hill: So for some folks, they’re just going to have to sit back and admire this phone, if they’re in the middle of a contract or don’t want to give up their grandfathered data plan?
Gikas: Right. Eventually, they’ll all be forced off by the middle of next year, but if you’re still holding on, that’s about the only downside there will be. The other thing people may want to consider is it’s a great time to buy an older model iPhone. The iPhone 4, for example, is now free. Or they can get an iPhone 4S, which is a pretty good phone itself, for as little as $100 now.
Even cell phone companies that don’t carry iPhones are looking to get a piece of the action.
“We don’t sell the iPhone today. But we certainly welcome people who want to bring their own and encourage them to do so,” Harry Thomas, director ofmarketing at T-Mobile. It has launched a new campaign to get customers with unlocked iPhones to move to its network.
“We think there’s a large second market for iPhones out there and as each device comes out on the market, it creates a secondary market that just gets larger and larger.”
BYOP: Bring Your Own Phone.
Kind of has a “ring” to it.
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