Apple’s iPhone is set to launch in the US within the next few days. While some commentators are complaining over the supposedly expensive phone plans that need to be activate from AT&T, personally I think its a great deal. The low end plan (which includes unlimited data) will cost about US$60 per month for 450 rollover minutes (or about $20 more than AT&T charges for the minutes alone). That’s only $20 per month for unlimited data. Since no plans are being offered with anything less than unlimited data, my thinking is that Apple probably feels that the bandwidth fees would otherwise be unmanageable. Which makes me wonder how it will ever be sold in places like Canada where today one cannot get unlimited wireless data at any price. Even a $100 per month data plan from Telus, Bell or Rogers has a cap. Well, maybe the iPhone will pave the way to re-introducing unlimited wireless data plans in Canada.
Need an extra PC for the kids or for surfing at your local coffee shop? Then the Asus’ Eee PC 701 may be just the thing for you. The Eee joins what is becoming a crowded field as it joins the recently announced Palm Foleo Mobile Companion and VIA NanoBook Ultra Mobile Device.
Continue reading Asus’ Eee PC 701 Ultraportable Computer
No long after Palm announced its new Foleo device, VIA has come out with its competitive offering, the NanoBook Ultra Mobile Device. However, unlike the Foleo, this device is not an actual product but rather is a “reference device” (i.e., concept) to demonstrate what an OEM could order from VIA.
Continue reading VIA NanoBook Ultra Mobile Device
Boost Mobile‘s Unlimited by Boost service is another good option when traveling in the US so long as you plan to stay in one place for the majority of the trip. The cheapest phone available is about US$30. A GPS-enabled phone starts at US$50. Both come with $10 in calling credits. Add US$55 per month for Unlimited by Boost and you’ve got unlimited calling within a defined geographic area (a small per minute roaming charge applies for calls made outside the home calling area). On the next trip, bring back the phone and pay only US$15 to reactivate it. So unlimited calling for up to a month can be had for US$70-85. This includes US national long distance but not long distance to any foreign location (such as Canada). If you’re a Canadian roaming in the US, that translated into less than one hour of roaming fees payable to a Canadian home wireless carrier.
Rather than paying high roaming fees, visitors to the US may benefit from purchasing a local prepaid phone. One option is Cingular/AT&T’s GoPhone. A US$100 prepaid card provides service for an entire year. Add another card before the year is up and the balance rolls over. From that perspective, the pricing is similar to that offered by TMobile in the US.
Continue reading AT&T / Cingular’s GoPhone is a good option for travelers
While most of the commentary about Palm’s newly announced Foleo Mobile Companion appears to be negative, I think the device will be a welcomed addition. While a full blown notebook provides greater flexibility and functionality, I’d love to also have a cheaper device I can take with me to Starbucks or the back yard for taking notes, etc.
Continue reading Palm Foleo Mobile Companion
I recently acquired another SIP-based VOIP Wi-Fi handset, the Samsung SMT-W6100. The appeal was the inclusion of a mini-web browser (WAP 2.0) which could be used to log into hotspots that required authentication (or clicking on an “I accept” button before gaining access). The only other VOIP Wi-Fi handset that features a built-in browser is the Linksys WIP 330. However, the long term competition for this type of phone will likely be the dual mode (cellular/VOIP) handsets such as the Nokia N95.
Continue reading Samsung SMT-W6100