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  1. 1. Cell Phone Buyer’s Guide Tech-Connect Community [email_address] Presented by: Zeke Crater University Library
  2. 2. Personal Versus UVa Phones <ul><li>This session is aimed primarily at personal cell phone selection </li></ul><ul><li>For UVa cell phone selection, please see </li></ul>
  3. 3. Cell Phone Buyers’ Guide
  4. 4. Intended Use <ul><li>Emergency only </li></ul><ul><li>Casual use </li></ul><ul><li>Land line replacement </li></ul><ul><li>Business phone replacement </li></ul><ul><li>Texting </li></ul><ul><li>Web browsing </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul>
  5. 5. TCO over the term of the contract <ul><li>Regarding price, concentrate on total cost of ownership, not initial cost </li></ul><ul><li>If purchasing an extended warranty or insurance, know exactly what is covered and what are the deductibles </li></ul><ul><li>Trust not the sales representative. Get it in writing. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Prepaid Cell Phones <ul><li>For light use of 30 minutes or so per month, prepaid cell phones probably have the lowest total cost of ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Prepaid / No Contract </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracfone / Net10 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virgin Mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MetroPCS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Carrier Prepaid / No Contract </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AT&T GoPhone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verizon Prepaid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T-Mobile To Go </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sprint Boost Mobile </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Wireless Carrier <ul><li>Carrier is almost always more important to your satisfaction than is the phone hardware </li></ul><ul><li>Coverage is carrier related </li></ul><ul><li>Some phones are carrier specific </li></ul><ul><li>However, no cell carrier is good at customer satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Some are less bad (Verizon and T-Mobile) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Wireless Carrier Market Share Carrier Customers Verizon 91 Million AT&T 83 Million Sprint 48 Million T-Mobile 33 Million TracFone 14 Million US Cellular 6 Million
  9. 9. Selecting Your Carrier and Plan <ul><li>There are many websites to help select your carrier and plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Knowing your usage pattern (how many minutes during which hours at which locations) is key to getting the best price </li></ul>
  10. 10. USA Versus World <ul><li>USA cell phone monthly rates subsidize the cell phone purchase </li></ul><ul><li>One can purchase an unlocked cell phone and use on a carrier without a contract (often called “month to month”), but USA rates are high enough to make a $200 phone “free” every two years </li></ul><ul><li>GSM versus CDMA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verizon and Sprint are CDMA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. USA Versus World II <ul><li>Multi-band (dual, tri, quad) refers to frequencies supported by the phone </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-mode refers to type of transmission technology used on the frequency (1G AMPS, 2G TDMA, CDMA2000, UMTS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, the iPhone and Nexus One both support quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz), tri-band UMTS (I/II/V or 2100/1900/850MHz on iPhone, I/IV/VIII or 2100/1700/900MHz on Nexus One), single-band WiFi (2.4GHz) and single-band Bluetooth (2.4GHz), thus supporting four modes </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Handset differences <ul><ul><li>Great differences between phone manufacturers and phone models in: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signal strength </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microphone volume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earpiece volume </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Know and understand the no fault return policy </li></ul><ul><li>Test the phone during this brief period </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be afraid to return the phone for a full refund </li></ul>
  13. 13. Dumb Phone Considerations <ul><ul><li>Carrier, carrier, carrier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handset voice quality, both microphone and speaker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are the buttons and display big and clear enough? In bright sunlight? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signal and transmission strength </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Camera and sending / receiving pictures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Battery life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data security </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Smart Phone Expectations <ul><li>Expect to miss several meetings per year because calendar synchronization is hard </li></ul><ul><li>Finger (ungloved) versus stylus touch screens </li></ul><ul><li>“ High” speed data coverage area is different than voice coverage area </li></ul>
  15. 15. US Phone Operating Systems Source: ComScore survey   October 2009 Non-Smart Phone 196,773,054 RIM Blackberry 14,963,238 Apple iPhone 8,970,049 Microsoft Windows Mobile 7,131,797 PalmOS / WebOS 2,843,534 Symbian 1,297,965 Google Android 1,020,364
  16. 16. Smart Phone Considerations <ul><li>In addition to the dumb phone considerations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you need a data plan? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will the phone sync to your email and calendar systems? With full feature support? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you need or want tethering? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replace MP3 player? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What does “unlimited” legally mean? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wi-Fi support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GPS and compass </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Picking The Monthly Calling Plan <ul><li>The cost of exceeding your plan limits (prime time minutes, evening minutes, weekend minutes, calls out of network, text messages) are often high ($10-$1000) </li></ul><ul><li>Know whether you can increase or decrease to the next calling plan tier without penalty or restarting your contract length </li></ul><ul><li>Regional versus national versus international plans </li></ul><ul><li>With multiple cell phones, consider getting a family plan </li></ul>
  18. 18. Carrier Store Versus Authorized Retailer <ul><li>Phone price differences </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives / sales differences </li></ul><ul><li>Different warranty, extended warranty, and insurance offers </li></ul><ul><li>I would like to say expertise difference </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, a non-carrier seller will have little to no relationship with you after the sale </li></ul>
  19. 19. Also buy… <ul><li>Accessories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Car charger? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second wall charger? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holster? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wired headset? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wireless headset? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faceplates? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Screen protectors? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Styli? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider buying these two weeks later, once you know your phone usage patterns </li></ul>
  20. 20. Exercise Caution <ul><li>Teenagers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Texting overages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data overages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ringtone or other purchases via phone can entail nasty ongoing charges – know and trust your vendor </li></ul><ul><li>Purchases are made in Europe and Japan with cell phones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Exercise Your Rights <ul><li>Telephone number portability – take your telephone numbers with you </li></ul><ul><li>Unlock a cell phone after the contract ends - use your phone on a different carrier’s network </li></ul>
  22. 22. UVa Employee Discounts <ul><li>Many if not all carriers give a discount off monthly charges to UVa employees </li></ul><ul><li>Often a salesperson tells you there is no UVa discount – this is untrue </li></ul><ul><li>Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all have UVa employee discounts </li></ul>
  23. 23. Cell Phone Buyer’s Guide <ul><li>Did we cover it all? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepaid or monthly? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solo or family plan? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smart Phone or FIYP (Fits In Your Pocket)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subsidized or unlocked? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which cell phone company is least bad? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you even need a cell phone? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>