I have been a loyal user of Palm’s PalmOS devices since their earlier days. I have gone through the full gamut of Handspring and later Palm devices such as the Treo 300, 600, all the way to the latest WebOS and the Palm Pre. I have also been a SprintPCS customer since 2000 for over 10 years. And I have finally made a big leap away from both Sprint and Palm. Here is why:
I have stayed with Palm devices all the way to the new WebOS launch. I waited about 6 months after launch to see what would happen before getting a Palm Pre. A year later, I would still use it but I got really sick of it. The main reason – the browser sucks and there are no alternatives. On Android, iPhone, Symbian even the low level J2ME phones all have alternatives. Not so WebOS. Then I started looking at some innovative mobile services out there such as RedLaser barcoding scanning, Square payments, etc. None of these were planning to support WebOS any time soon. Then I switched to Android – and you know – it was liked coming out of a dark place into the light. While I have never being a big fan of apps and concept of apps, on Android the app concept actually makes sense. I have apps like Google Reader, Mint, and Gmail all syncing in the background and ready to go when I am, instead of the browser. Any task I need to do has an app for that. I purposely did not want the iPhone due to its closed nature and expensive plans.
Why do apps make sense? Because even on a fast mobile device, browser access is still clunky. Applications that can store assets locally and sync in the background alleviate that to a very large degree.
As I mentioned above, I have been a SprintPCS customer for over 10 years. I have been paying $150 for a shared family plan of 1,500 minutes. Yes, I like mobile to mobile to any company, not just Sprint; and their network isn’t so bad. But the same exact plans I could get on Boost or Virgin Mobile for half the price (while ironically they are owned by Sprint). Why should I pay through the nose for the same exact network while getting nothing in return? The real clincher was the new $10 premium data fee imposed on all smartphones even though I use WiFi most of the time with my Palm Pre. It is not enough to gauge me on the plan, they want an extra $20 per months for nothing? So I said goodbye and got a Virgin Mobile Intercept instead for me and my wife.
More to come on Virgin Mobile experience…