Is the iphone for me

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by PJNorwood, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. PJNorwood macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2008
    I need some help! I can't decide if I should make the leap or not. I have been a nextel/sprint customer for 11 years. I know it well, I know what works, what doesn't, where it works where it doesn't. But, I am in need of a more user friendly smart phone.

    Nextel does not and has not made any new smart phones for their nextel network in a long time and doesn't seem like they are going to. I use and like the direct connect but can probably get by without it. I need a phone that can sync w/ MS outlook Calendar and access my sbc yahoo e-mail. Being able to utilize a Internet explorer to access my companies MS Outlook e-mail would also be helpful. I travel throughout the 48 states 15-20 times a year. I need access to e-mail without dragging out my laptop. I am nervous about giving up what I know and going to AT&T. Consumer reports doesn't talk highly of AT&T service.

    Should I just simply move off the the nextel network and onto sprint and go with a blackberry or really make the leap to the incredible iphone?
  2. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    First off, I'd start off taking a look at the coverage map areas for your home and the regions you travel in. That would be pivotal for you. If you don't have coverage all the features in teh world are uselss.

    Secondly, you mention, "Being able to utilize a Internet explorer to access my companies MS Outlook e-mail would also be helpful." This could be a significant problem. Most likely your company is using a Microsoft Exchange Service. At present this is no support at all for using exchange server services. There was recent note that Apple has advertised a position available for exactly that. Obviously they are looking in that direction to capture the business market.

    Other traditional email retrieval and response should work fine.
  3. PJNorwood thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Thank you for your help. The service maps I have looked and they are about the same as sprint.

    MS Exchange server is what my dept. uses. But, we have a web site that allows us to access our mail through. So I thought the current no support for MS Exchange server I could get around.

  4. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Yes, if you have access through a web mail interface you shouldn't have any issues as long as your company supports the Safari browser. They may force Internet Explorer. You should make absolutely sure with a regular version of Safari (Not a problem if you're already a Mac user).

    Sprint and AT&T service coverage are often very similar.
  5. PJNorwood thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Wow I have actaully been learning! What is the best way to confirm if my co. supports safari? I am not a mac user currently but more and more may move in the in 09.
  6. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Using a PC you can go to:

    Here you can download Safari for the PC. Go to your company's web mail log-in page and see if it allows you in. You may discover that it rejects you and informs you that Internet Explorer is required.

    Also, if there is any Flash component to the process you will not be able to use it on the iPhone as Flash is not supported.
  7. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    The iPhone would be great for you (who isn't it great for :p)

    Your company's website should work fine on the iPhone, and like someone said, you can download Safari for windows, which of course is what the iPhones browser also relates too.

    I've had ATT for about 7 or so years now, and have never had a problem. I get more pleased by them each day. I called them the other day to get unlimited texting on my phone, but wanted to cancel the data plan on my mom's phone. We both decided she needed it (was kind of dumb to do) and calling them back the same day and having it fixed in under 3 minutes maade me happy.

    I've also lived in a area that gets great reception, and hope that's the same for you. I also live in 1 of 5 cities that has 3G in about every square foot of space, so i'll be all ready when 3G comes to the iPhone :) (don't get into that topic though, haha)
  8. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Hope this helps...


    I had Sprint for almost 10 years and they double-billed, overcharged, and renewed our 2 year contract like we were made of money. We would call and ask for a question about an new feature and next thing we know, "our contract has been renewed for 2 MORE years. Dump Sprint, 'cause their coverage is limited and dropped-calls are quite frequent, and if you go over your minutes you are billed $.45 per call (v. AT&T's ROLLOVER Minutes), then when you try to work out a way to address the issue they get you to go with a different plan and "poof" you have a new 2-year contract and you still pay the charges! Plus they have a very SMALL selection of phones. It's difficult to "jump" off their MERRY-GO-ROUND! IMO! Make the LEAP to AT&T and enjoy the awesome iPhone. :cool:
  9. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    Even if Safari works with Outlook Web Access, you won't enjoy the experience for long. First, the iphone mail app is designed specifically for the iphone screen and interface, so it is pleasant to use. Outlook Web Access is designed for a full size monitor so you are going to be doing a lot of zooming and scrolling to read your mail. OWA also uses popups, which won't make as pleasant an experience on the iphone as on a full size computer.

    If that isn't enough, OWA also makes extensive use of Active-X, which is not available on any browser other than Internet Explorer. Active-X is what makes OWA look and work nearly identically to the normal Outlook application. You can still access your mail without it, but the interface and fonts look like crap (picture using your favorite web site with CSS turned off) and you lose a lot of the bells and whistles that you would have using IE.

    If you want to preview how it will be on the iphone, try accessing your work OWA site from a mac or pc running Safari. If you only access work mail occasionally, it might be tolerable for you, but I doubt anyone would be happy working with mail like this all the time.
  10. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    It's not as if this situation is unique to Sprint. Verizon works exactly the same way.
  11. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    This was an incredibly useful post. I only have Exchange Server experience from the Outlook side of things. You answered a lot of questions and brought up a lot of pitfalls. I sure hope when someone is wondering about the iPhone usefulness with Exchange Server or Outlook Web Access in the future that they search (I know, that's asking a lot.) and come across your post.
  12. SpankWare macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2006
    I purchased my iPhone in September. Absolute best tech purchase i've made since I bought my Wii. I bought my wife an iPhone last week and she loves it. I spent several months knowing the joy of having an iPhone and I just couldn't sit by while my wife was stuck on anything else.

    As for what Consumer Reports thinks, here's what I said to my wife: Have we had any problems since we switched to AT&T? No. Did we have any signal problems while driving 1000 miles across several states? No. Have we had any problems in any city we have used AT&T in? No.

    While Consumer Reports ranks AT&T only above Sprint (the lowest ranked) we have had the same if not better quality of service from AT&T as we did on Verizon who is much higher ranked by Consumer Reports.
  13. zephead macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2006
    in your pants
  14. mrJnC macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    An additional perspective.

    If you're a very phone-centric person and expect that your phone should have GPS, MMS, full support of bluetooth, long battery life, loud speaker/speakerphone, many SMS utilities... the iPhone will fall short of expectations out of the box. (Some features can be enhanced by hacking but you're risking your warranty.)

    By sync if you mean wirelessly like a Blackberry, I'm afraid that the iPhone cannot do that out of the box either. It can fetch your mail on time intervals as short as 15 minutes, and allows yahoo mail to be pushed to you. All syncing (calendar, contacts, multimedia...) is performed by a cable connection to your computer. Just perform a sync when you need to. I sync the iPhone to my PC at work only for the calendar (outlook), and to my Mac for everything else. While you can receive email wirelessly, you cannot acknowledge Outlook meeting notices with the iPhone.

    You can use Safari to navigate to Web based Outlook. However, I wasn't able to view attached documents thru webmail like I could on a full blown Safari browser running on my Mac. You should probably borrow a friend's iPhone or iPod Touch and see if the webmail experience meets your expectations. I still could read through all of my corporate mail and mailboxes, but I use the iPhone mail client instead.

    Regarding coverage, I realize it's all relative but I've found AT&T to be better than Sprint overall, although AT&T does seem to have more difficulty in dense urban areas. If it's of concern, get a AT&T pay as you go phone and try it for a few months as you travel. That way you're not tied down to switch.

    The other aspect is using the iPhone email client to fetch your corporate email. Your company's server needs to already support IMAP or POP, and SMTP. If not, your IT department needs to be willing to listen and accommodate your needs. My IT department was very helpful. If they try to play the security card, mention that the iPhone does have SSL support. We actually improved our overall security compared to pre-iPhone, by identifying and turning off unneeded ports.

    Overall I'd say it's a good (not quite great) phone, but an excellent internet appliance. Whereas by comparison, most competitors are great phones but lousy internet appliances. (The Blackberry's forte is email, the Sidekick's is chatting, the iPhones forte is web browsing). While the iPhone may not compare as well to it's competitors on paper, it's how it does it and without drama. The interface is more than good looks, it's quite efficient, logical, and fast. The one weak point is if you're multitasking (playing iPod music and navigating Safari on dense webpages may cause both processes to be upset). But it's rare that when asked to do a single task that the iPhone doesn't deliver. For the most part, the OS is quite stable for a mobile device.

    Oh, and you'll probably encounter the 3G network argument sooner or later (the iPhone doesn't support the faster 3G network unlike some other smartphones). In most uses I'd say that EDGE + iPhone Mobile Safari is as about as fast as 3G + Windows Mobile Explorer... it's because Explorer is that bad IMHO. I use the iPhone on the EDGE network much more than I thought I would or could. And I find it telling that the most popular "smartphone" apps, are the ones that disable 3G so as to enhance battery life. Read into that what you will.

    Good luck on your decision,

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