So for those of you who don’t know, I started using the Tour 9630 the day of its release. Aside from one little tiny problem (shattered screen which I replaced via insurance) I have been incredibly happy with the phone. It does everything I need it to do and more.
However, this is not a Tour review, nor is it really a BlackBerry review. It’s more of a carrier review. I have made my less than favorable feelings of the Verizon Wireless issues quite present over the past year and a half or so, which is why that it surprises even myself that I am writing this.
2 of my biggest complaints over the past couple of years has been the way that Verizon has locked down BlackBerry’s GPS and WiFi. On top of that however I suppose you could add the lack of new BlackBerry Devices to their network, high data prices, unfavorable tethering experiences etc.
I’m assuming that the CEO’s of Verizon have read my posts and reacted accordingly (ya right) but honestly, they have taken what the community has said demanded and worked with it. I can now use the GPS chip on my tour with whatever software app that I choose, and affirmatively all new BlackBerrys starting with the Storm 2 will be available with Wifi. On top of this, in the past 1 year, Verizon has released a total of 5 new BlackBerry devices (Storm 1, Storm 2, Tour, Pearl Flip, and 8530) 6 if you count the different iterations of Tour, which i don’t. That’s pretty impressive for a carrier who only a year and a half ago carried a whopping 3 different BlackBerry Devices.
Being the number 1 carrier in the country, as of January 2009, Verizon has yet to have any of the coverage meltdowns that ATT has shown in several of it’s major metropolitan iPhone communities. While I grant ATT a little bit of sympathy about the sheer amount of data added to their infrastructure in such a short amount of time, C’mon they have had the iPhone for over 2 and a half years and the 3G for a year and a half now and the problem is getting worse.
I won’t lie and say that I have never had a little bit of iPhone envy, but if it won’t work when I’m in a big city, then screw it. The horror stories that I have heard about the 3G connections in San Francisco, the Heart of silicon Valley, and to a lesser extent New York City, truly make me grateful for having my service with a reliable and reputable carrier.
Added to all of this are the “There’s a Map for That” ads that we have seen from Verizon attacking ATT directly, as well as the Droid ads Slamming the iPhone on most every negative feature.
Where did this “new” feisty, physical and in some respects brave Verizon come from? Could it be that they are getting desperate with the success of the iPhone? Just another marketing platform? Whatever it is, the recent events of the past year have really gotten me buzzed up about Verizon. I wouldn’t change carriers even if i had the choice… which brings me to my last point.
Now before anyone jumps on me and claims that my review was somehow influenced by Big Red, I do want to call out something that in my mind almost outweighs all the positive things that they have done. The EFT Price increase structure that we spoke of earlier to as much as 350 bucks. Shame on you Verizon, you have done so many good things for the BlackBerry Smart Phone community this year, why tarnish your record with something like this?
Overall I must throw my weight behind the “guy in my corner” a little bit, but I do pay close attention to news unrelated to BlackBerry and Verizon. I am amazed at the idea of true competition in the sector working like this to create a better experience for the end user.