1. Scott R's Avatar
    I just posted this over at treocentral.com (I've been a long-time Sprint/Treo user, just recently switching to AT&T/iPhone). I'll probably get bashed over there, but I figured I'd repost it here (I suspect that the reaction here will be more cordial).

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    I've been wanting to try out a new phone after using my Treo 700p for quite a long while. I had the itch and was leaning towards the iPhone, but hated the AT&T rate plans. With the pre coming out, and rumors of an iPhone refresh, I figured I'd wait it out till the details for those two devices hit. I was on SERO, and it was sounding more and more like Sprint would require a plan change to get the pre. When that became official, and I had a chance to play with a pre and read about the iPhone 3GS, I played around with the rate plans online and discovered a funny thing. The Sprint plans certainly give you more for your money, but depending on your needs, it's actually possible to configure an AT&T plan that's *cheaper* than a Sprint pre plan.

    So here's my situation...We have two smartphones in my house (my wife and mine). I want us both on the same network so as to take advantage of unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes. My wife and I are both long-time Treo users, and she's been relatively happy with the Treo line, but was also interested in the iPhone. Our SERO plans were individual plans, but were very cheap, so even for two of them, it worked out to be much cheaper than even the cheapest family plan options. I looked online at my past Sprint information (kudos to Sprint for making this easy to look up online), and saw that we only used about 200 anytime minutes on average. We of course also had some nighttime/weekend minutes which would have come out of that unlimited bucket, as well as a lot of minutes mobile-to-mobile, which are also unlimited. My wife likes to SMS me, and I'll reply (or occasionally initiate an SMS to her), but our total number of SMS messages is pretty low. Nevertheless, I think I paid for $5 or $10 for 500 SMS messages or something (way more than we needed).

    Initially, I figured that if I got us iPhones, I'd get the $5/month (per phone) 200 SMS message plan, but with the iPhone 3.0 update offering "push" notification support, I figured it might be worth trying an IM app (e.g., Beejive) to see if that could meet our limited messaging needs. The jury's still out on that, but here's how the plans (for our needs) compared...

    Sprint's cheapest family plan w/data:
    - 1500 anytime minutes
    - unlimited mobile-to-mobile
    - unlimited nights/weekends (starting at 7pm)
    - unlimited data
    - unlimited SMS
    - navigation included
    $130/month

    AT&T's cheapest family plan w/data:
    - 550 anytime minutes w/rollover
    - unlimited mobile-to-mobile
    - unlimited nights/weekends (starting at 7pm)
    - unlimited data
    - no SMS
    $120/month

    I should add that neither one of us needs the turn-by-turn GPS functionality (though I wouldn't mind having it), because my wife has a standalone GPS unit already, and my car has built-in GPS.

    The number of anytime minutes is significantly higher with the Sprint plan, but if we only use 400 minutes/month on average, then it doesn't really matter, and with the rollover feature AT&T offers, if we do have a few months here or there where we exceed 550 minutes (so long as they aren't our first few months), we'll be "protected" by the unused minutes that have rolled-over from our typical months.

    Even if we decide that the instant messaging app workaround ($10 one-time purchase) isn't working reliably, we could add $5 x 2 for 200 SMS messages, which would bring the cost on par with Sprint, but if we can get by without SMS, we're $10 ahead.

    Again, YMMV (and for many of you, probably does), but I figured I'd post this just to demonstrate that, though rare, there are scenarios (or at least one) where AT&T's plans can actually end up slightly cheaper than Sprint's. So, the claim that AT&T is *much more expensive* than Sprint is untrue in my scenario and, in many other scenarios, is at least exaggerated.
    06-23-2009 04:57 PM
  2. infenit101's Avatar
    Trust me you don't want to use an IM service for texting. Between two people who have an IM client it is great but when you start IMing numbers it gets really annoying.

    So honestly the 10 dollars you save with ATT isn't really worth it. Especially considering you can get sprint's tv service and gps with their plans. I would really have to go with sprint in terms of value. They have the best plans even though not the best coverage (well depends where you are).
    06-23-2009 06:38 PM
  3. infenit101's Avatar
    Trust me you don't want to use an IM service for texting. Between two people who have an IM client it is great but when you start IMing numbers it gets really annoying.

    So honestly the 10 dollars you save with ATT isn't really worth it. Especially considering you can get sprint's tv service and gps with their plans. I would really have to go with sprint in terms of value. They have the best plans even though not the best coverage (well depends where you are).
    Oh and that 200 text messaging plan is bull**** as it counts incoming and outgoing. So thats 100 messages/ 30 days equals 3.3333 messages a day. That's enough for 2 replies and one sent message or vice versa.
    06-23-2009 06:40 PM
  4. Brickman's Avatar
    Scott R. I LIKE your thinking!! Sometimes you just have to justify your purchases!

    I say if you use IM go ahead! That is how my brother and I communicate. GTalk. I only have 200 text messages per month and I never go over.

    Now my teenagers on the other hand have unlimited text and some months I think they may go over that!

    Sprint certainly has the best rate plans right now, but at least in my area their coverage is WAY behind AT&T and VZ.

    I still ant reason is a good reason to get an iPhone!!
    06-23-2009 07:19 PM
  5. infenit101's Avatar
    oh no mms.
    06-23-2009 10:11 PM
  6. thinkTwice's Avatar
    Trust me you don't want to use an IM service for texting. Between two people who have an IM client it is great but when you start IMing numbers it gets really annoying.
    This is true. I just got Beejive 3.0 with push notification. It's easy for you- all you do is put +1 and then their number and text away. The other person first gets a text message that looks like some bs spam text about wanting to accept all incoming messages from your account. And there is no way for the other person to create a new text message- they have to keep the last message to reply back to you.
    06-24-2009 08:10 PM
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