On having to give up my iPhone...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by xraydoc, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I had been afraid this was going to happen eventually, and - unfortunately - it has. I think I have to give up my iPhone.

    I work at a large hospital, as some of you know, and while I'm the chief of my small division and the residency director, I am not high enough on the corporate food chain to make any kind of meaningful changes in IT policy. I need access to my corporate email on my phone, and the IT department (after claiming to have investigated) has determined there are "security issues" which prevent them from rolling out email access to iPhone owners. And for other reasons unknown to me they do not offer BlackBerry access. This leaves Windows Mobile as the only option for getting email on a mobile device.

    On top of that there is no AT&T signal inside the main building (where I spend 80% of my work time). Now, I'm not sure if this is due to poor AT&T coverage despite the fact I get 5 bars of 3G in the parking lot, due to the architecture of the building, or if its done on purpose. The hospital has a deal with Verizon to provide hospital pagers and hospital-owned cell phones, and, unsurprisingly, there's superb Verizon access thoughout the building courtesy of microcells thoughout the interior of the hospital. Excellent Sprint signal as well. But zero - and I mean ZERO - AT&T signal unless you happen to be standing next to a window. Is it possible to block AT&T's frequencies while letting in the CDMA signal of Sprint and Verizon??

    Anyway, so now I'm stuck. I need to have mobile access to my email (yes, "need" in every medico-legal sense of the word) and lack of AT&T signal with no change in the 18 months I've been with AT&T is becoming a hassle.

    On top of that, the communications people can forward my pager messages via SMS to any cellphone, which would eliminate having to carry the pager and a cellphone. Except, of course, not really an option with the iPhone since there's no damn AT&T service inside the building (I really think they must somehow be blocking the signal).

    I'm pretty much at the point where I am at a significant disadvantage without mobile corporate email and without viable cell signal in the building. As such, I'm pretty much forced to move to a Windows Mobile device on either Verizon or Sprint. I'm almost tempted to keep my AT&T's iPhone service too, just so I can still have it, but its hard to justify the cost of two cell contracts and juggle two phone numbers. And even if there were a CDMA/Verizon iPhone (as rumored), I'd still be locked out of my corporate email. Why they wont put in a BlackBerry server I don't know, but its obviously something they don't want. While not necessarily a bad thing in terms of protecting personal healthcare information, my institution is VERY tight with security.

    So it looks like Windows Mobile for me. After many hours of research, it looks like I'll end up buying an HTC Touch Pro on either Sprint or Verizon (they come out next month), or a Sprint Treo 800w. They're both practically bricks compared to the sleek iPhone, and I used WM 5.0 Moto Q in the pre-iPhone days, so I'm none too happy about this.

    Anyone have any words of support or cheer? Other than getting a new job (obviously not an option), I think I'm pushed out of AT&T and the iPhone.

    Sucks to be me. Maybe I can duct tape an iPod touch to the back of the new phone ;)

    Edit: If you've got any Windows Mobile suggestions - other than taking a hammer to it - please share.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    First, I love my iPhone and can hardly imagine what life was like before it. Oh, wait I can ... fewer dropped calls. That aside, I do love it.

    Words of support and cheer? Basically I see your story as a tale of why the iPhone and AT&T as a married couple are in no way ready for the corporate world in every instance. I mean, we'd all like to think that is the case, but you're walking proof that is not at all the case.

    While I appreciate the sadness of the situation, I can appreciate it more that you'll have a working device that is actually useable in your building.

    My words of cheer for you would be that the idea of strapping an iPod Touch on the back of your soon-to-be new brick isn't all that uncommon. In an episode of Flight of the Concords on HBO (a series that I am becoming quite hooked on) there is an episode called "Mugged". You should watch it. One of the characters takes a 35mm point and shoot camera and tapes it to a cell phone (an old-ass phone). It was done as a gift for someone who wanted a camera phone. You have to download the episode and watch it to really appreciate it. :)

    Sorry you gotta let your phone go but the Touch + Verizon is a very happy combo if you can't have an all-in-one.
  3. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    FWIW, the Touch Pro is a pretty cool phone. I seriously thought about one before giving in and changing carriers to get an iPhone...

    You could always get a G1 iPhone on Pay-as-you-Go so you still have one. ;)
  4. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Aug 23, 2008
    Although there really isn't a way to get around IT's refusal to allow email for iPhone, in terms of network, you can get a first gen iPhone and unlock it for T-Mobile.
  5. xraydoc thread starter macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I'm not sure how good, if any, of a T-Mobile signal there is. I suspect since there's no AT&T (a GSM system), but both Verizon and Sprint (both CDMA), that I'll have the same trouble with T-Mobile as I do with AT&T.
  6. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Aug 23, 2008
    I think (which I know very little of) CDMA has wider frequency range, and lower ones, which allow better penetration of building. I guess either way, you are out of luck buddy.
  7. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    You work in a hospital.
    Most hospitals are dead zones for any RF signal.
    They don't want them interfering with the equipment.
    A GSM signal is noticeably "noisy" and is well known for causing signal interruption in other devices. Place you iPhone next to a radio and then call it.
    You will here the GSM chatter on the radio just before your phone rings.
    That would also explain why you have Verizon CDMA repeaters in the hospital.

    We actually have AT&T repeaters in our building since we use them and Verizon for our corporate Blackberry's.
  8. xraydoc thread starter macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I know. Sucks. I've had my iPhone since Launch Day 2007. Love it. But my kids currently share a 16GB 1st gen iPod touch. Might have to steal that from them...
  9. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Man, that royally stinks. I'm sorry to hear, but you're probably right...it's probably best to give up your iPhone. :(
  10. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2008
    will the hospital pay for any part of the phone and or bill? then you could keep your iphone and get the touch pro. the touch pro is pretty cool though if you cant have the iphone. too bad the touch hd isnt coming to the US
  11. Archie- macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2007
    While you wont have the iPhone, you may find the Touch Pro to be a pretty good phone, especially since you used WM before.

    Changes you will notice

    Super-high dpi VGA screen.
    no memory problems, due to the 256 MB RAM and 512 MB storage.
    good battery life (due to wm 6.1)
    A very good browser (with better rendering than Safari for example) courtesy of Opera Mobile 9.5, which makes good use of the VGA screen.
    A full 5 row QWERTY keyboard with a control key, so you can actually easily cut and paste without even touching the screen.
    A2DP support.
    TouchFlo3D, which is a prettier interface than the iPhone's. Not more efficient, but much prettier. (here's a pretty good walk though http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Oej2V8U-4gM )
    Youtube videos look better, as the Touch Pro always downloads the high-res version.
    Much better camera, with auto-focus and an OK LED flash. The panorama function is especially good. You can also actually record video without voiding your warranty.
    Turn by turn GPS navigation.
    Being able to tether your laptop
    disk mode
    Takes 16 GB microSD cards (less than $100 these days)

    Probably the only thing you will find annoying is having to slide out the keyboard, and not having as good media access as an iPhone. Its otherwise a great device.

    Security wise your IT department will appreciate full device encryption and being able to remotely deactivate your camera,not to mention Common Criteria Certification for security.

    The Touch Pro is a really polished device. The stylus (which you can use to make drawings) is magnetic, and gets sucked into its silo automatically. Its also active, meaning when you pull it out the screen comes to life. You can mute a phone call by simply turning the phone over. The D-pad "breathes" to show when its charging, and there is a ring of light that spins around to show you have received an e-mail. The scroll wheel is capacitive, not mechanical.

    Again, a great device, with great aesthetics and thoughtful design. Not perfect, but pretty good. Get the new Kinoma Play and you may not even miss your ipod.
  12. rotobadger macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2007
    First, sorry to hear about your dilemma. I just thought I'd point one thing out though...your lack of signal is not due to deliberate interference from the hospital. It is against the law to knowingly use a device to deny a user of their service. A restaurant was looking into using a device like this to create a "no cell zone" for diners and it was shot down as unlawful.

    Good luck!
  13. TheConfuzed1 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2003
    Is it possible to have another device forward those emails to your iPhone? :D

    Perhaps you can have one device at work, and another at home (iPhone).

    If you can get the first to forward your email and while you're not working, your phone calls, to the second, you would have access to your email from each, and you wouldn't have to carry both devices at the same time.
  14. BOSS10L macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Sorry to hear it, doc. I don't know a whole lot about the technical aspects of cell phone reception, etc, but it sounds like you've got an uphill battle with an IT group who doesn't want to support the iPhone, and a hospital who gets the pot sweetened through Verizon.

    Either way, it doesn't look good. :(
  15. xraydoc thread starter macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I've tried. First, I suspect it would be against our security policy to wholesale forward all incoming emails unencrypted across the public internet, but I have tried setting a rule in Outlook to do just that (as an experiment). However, it's non-functional. While the rule seems to be accepted by Outlook, it clearly doesn't function as nothing actually gets forwarded. Yet I can forward individual emails one by one via the forward button on Outlook without issue. So, even if I could, it would probably get me in to trouble as a potential HIPAA regulation violation.

    Secondly, I can't install anything on the PC in my office that could forward emails via SSL encryption without the IT admins doing it for me - no one but them have administrator access on the machines. And clearly I'd have a tough time getting them to do that for me. It was hard enough getting a newer Logitech driver installed for my ergonomic mouse.

    I think I'll have to live with a Verizon/Sprint WM phone and an iPod touch. Could be worse, but I'm going to really miss the iPhone.

    As Ellen Feiss would say, "It's like... a bummer."
  16. nimda0 macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2008
    That all sounds good on paper, but from someone who has personally used these devices I can tell you the ROMS that HTC puts out with Windows mobile 6.1 on them are garbage. Good battery life? No, not even with bluetooth disabled. Smoothness of operation? No, not at all.... lag city. Does it look neet? Sure does.... but is it better than your iphone? No.
  17. Justinerator macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2007
    Redondo Beach, CA
    You win, sir. Even in this unfortunate situation, you win with that comment. :D

    I suggest going for the voyager, it's superb (for verizon) and in addition just grab an itouch.
  18. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Before the iPhone I used to follow cellphone releases religiously. I went through many smartphones since 2001. Now I have lost total interest as the iPhone is perfection.

    I still keep up on the electronics industry in general and Verizon has some excellent offerings coming this month.
  19. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    My best advice is to get that guy from SNL's Weekend Update and have him tell them to FIX IT!!!!!

    I do find it hilarious that because of a security problem, you can only use Windows Mobile. That's just unbelievably hilarious. From what I know about smartphones, I could get being told you can only use a BlackBerry, but a Windows Mobile phone? I think your hospital IT people are a little douchy if they're relying on Windows Mobile.

    I would suggest buying your own iPod Touch, especially if you have WiFi in the hospital. If they don't, tell IT to break out of 1995 and put effin' WiFi in the hospital.
  20. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I didn't really keep up much because, well, most of the phones seemed to suck. I thought the Razr sucked just little enough to use for a few years. I never owned a BlackBerry because of the cost and "why would I need this?" But I threw down with an iPhone because when I first heard rumors of it, all I thought was "a phone and an iPod. Just one device now. Awesome." I've been learning about all the other stuff smartphones can do, so that's just gravy. I don't think I'd pay the $60/month for any other phone.

    I do hope the competitors at least stay close, but there's a reason Apple has sold 10 million of these already. If they ever get a "dumb" iPhone that doesn't have all the Internet extras that require the $30 data plan, I think they could really put a dent in Nokia's market share.
  21. Archie- macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2007
    The first Touch Diamond rom was laggy, but the one that followed a month later has been perfect, and the ROM for the Touch Pro has been good from the start.

    Regarding battery life, WM6 was better than WM5, and WM6.1 was a lot better than WM6.

    Read a review
  22. MikePA macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2008
    They probably don't because WiFi is a security nightmare and they don't want medical records traveling over it. Ever hear of TJMaxx? Perhaps you should break out and learn something about security, HIPAA and privacy.
  23. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Looks like you need a Windows phone and an iPod Touch.

    On the plus side you'll probably save money on contracts.
  24. xraydoc thread starter macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    There are multiple wifi networks in the hospital. Only one is open to the public and has every port blocked except 80, 8080 and whatever Citrix uses. No POP or IMAP mail, no file sharing (i.e., Back To My Mac)... Nothing.

    I don't know what the IT Dept is thinking regarding Windows Mobile (device encryption with password peotection on certain email accounts?) but they've denied everything else up to this point.

  25. SmartIndianKid macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2008
    Depending on how long you have to replace your phone, how viable is the Blackberry Storm as an option?

    It's a touch screen phone, similar to the iPhone, but supports Blackberry Enterprise and Internet Services.

Share This Page