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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay after being 2 years without a cell phone, I think I need to bite the bullet and buy a Blackberry to hold me until the iPhone is going to be released in Canada. I don't expect that will happen this year so my question is this:

If I were to purchase a Blackberry today, in order to get a decent price I have to lock myself into a 3 year contract. If I do that, and Rogers brings the iPhone to Canada in a year, what is there policy with regards to upgrading my phone?

Is it worth looking into a used or refurbished Blackberry?

One of the main reasons that I want to go the Blackberry route is to allow me to test and support my Daylite customers who are trying to synchronize their Blackberries with Daylite. I want to experience first hand the joys (grin) that they are experiencing.
 

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If it has been at least a year into your contract you might be eligible for a $75 credit towards a new phone. The iPhone may or may not qualify (quite possibly not). You will have to sign another 3 year contract to get the "upgrade" but it doesn't get added to your current contract, it starts the day you sign and the current contract is void.

Don't expect to see door crasher pricing on the iPhone anytime within a year of it's release in Canada.
 

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If you're considering moving up to an iPhone, don't expect a price break when it's released. I doubt that Rogers will be discounting the iPhone until it's been out for a long time.

So one option would be to take your cheap Blackberry now, but be prepared to pay full price for the iPhone when it comes out.
 

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The issue of a "break" on the iPhone will be moot. There is only going to be one way to obtain it in Canada, and that's on contract with Rogers. That said, the phone will be pitched as if it has some handset subsidy since you will be required to be on, or extend, the duration of your contract.
...
As an alternative you can also buy a Blackberry or other phone elsewhere outright and use it if it is a Rogers phone, or if it is unlocked.
 

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Buy a used BB on E-bay for 100 bucks or so and activate it with whoever and go month-to-month (no handset purchase, no long-term contract). Then when iPhone shows up you can cancel without penalty and sell the BB on ebay again. You can even take your number with you now if you decide to go with Bell or Telus in the short term and move to Rogers later for the iPhone.
 

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I talked with a guy from Wireless wave a while back about the Iphone...He said that it wouldn't be coming out until 2 years from now....so you may be waiting a while...

In terms of buying a 3 year contract...I would say.....really what your doing is buying the phone for 3 years...thats why the phone is so cheap because you pay it back during the 3 years you are with their service.
 

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With all due respect, the only purpose of listening to something that Wireless Wave person would say is if you wish to be pitched and sold what they are selling that day. While it won't be next month, without a doubt it will not be 2 years from now.

But the reference to the monthly fee is a good one; people seek free phones and then forget that how much they pay each month should be a factor.


I talked with a guy from Wireless wave a while back about the Iphone...He said that it wouldn't be coming out until 2 years from now....so you may be waiting a while...

In terms of buying a 3 year contract...I would say.....really what your doing is buying the phone for 3 years...thats why the phone is so cheap because you pay it back during the 3 years you are with their service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Can somebody explain how you go about getting service if you buy an unlocked phone? Both Tiger Direct and Factorydirect.ca show the Blackberry 7105 unlocked for around $130.

What do I do after I purchase an unlocked phone? This is all new to me. Back in the 'old' days, you bought a phone, it came with a plan, you paid the bill.

Can you go month to month using a Blackberry without getting into a contract?
 

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The thread title about "upgrades" was a bit misleading. The term usually applies to having a current cell phone/plan and upgrading the hardware.

If you are a new customer, though, you might as well take the heavily discounted handset offered by Rogers. In fact, whenever possible, it's going to be a better deal taking Rogers' discounted phones. Not only do they take $$$ off by getting you into a contract, which you can't start a new account without, generally, in any case; but you get the full warranty on the phone.

Forget the factorydirect.ca cell phones. They have worthless, limited warranties and are generally the kind of return or reject that nobody wants for a reason. tigerdirect.ca warranties are also usually entirely limited, to a few months and for specific reasons. If you buy their phone and it has bad pixels, for example, forget about getting it replaced. And if you can return it, there will be a prohibitive restocking fee. And tigerdirect.ca rebates are notoriously non-materializing.

Many Rogers dealers offer 30 days/30 minutes/250Kb data limits on returns (get this in writing when you buy) on not only the phone but your contract also; or you can call Rogers and ask that problems be worked out, if its a handset purchased from them.

Even if you take the Rogers cell phone and sell it in favour of something you buy elsewhere, you're still further ahead.

Non-Rogers handsets can be used on the Rogers system simply by placing your SIM card (comes with your Rogers phone) into the other phone--provided the phone was previously "locked" to Rogers, or is "unlocked" or has never been locked. This lock is a provider-based lock which you can either unlock yourself or have someone else unlock for you for a fee.

You also have to take care to get only a GSM phone (that uses a SIM card) and take care to get one that used Rogers' frequencies, the 850 and 1900 Mhz bands. fido phones only need 1900.

Blackberry phones require a special blackberry data plan in addition to a voice plan.

You can change phones and plans at any time, with no contract extension required.

Back to your original question: suppose you sign up now and the iPhone comes out soon? The way things currently work, after a period of time, you can re-sign your contract, extending it, and get a new handset. Some people get this after a few months, some after a year or two. It depends on several factors and the kind of plan you have. It is conceivable that many people will be re-signing in order to upgrade to the iPhone.



Can somebody explain how you go about getting service if you buy an unlocked phone? Both Tiger Direct and Factorydirect.ca show the Blackberry 7105 unlocked for around $130.

What do I do after I purchase an unlocked phone? This is all new to me. Back in the 'old' days, you bought a phone, it came with a plan, you paid the bill.

Can you go month to month using a Blackberry without getting into a contract?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oakbridge, if you can wait until June 4th, the Blackberry Pearl will be available for $199 on 3 year new activations; that price necessitates a $40+ voice or voice/data plan.
I was talking about upgrading. I was referring to making a purchase now and upgrading to the iPhone when Rogers gets their act together.

If I understand you correctly, let's say that on June 4th the Pearl goes to $199 with a 3 year plan for new activations, which is what I am. If I sign up for that, and the iPhone comes out within the next year, I'll be able to upgrade to the iPhone and stay with the original 3 year plan that I had on the Pearl.

I am concerned that the iPhone will be for New customers only or that there will be a hefty price to switch.
 

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Rogers Wireless has millions of subscribers in Canada. They won't be ignoring this huge existing market when they introduce the iPhone.

There are several ways to upgrade when you are already a customer. OB, I'll send you a note and you can call me, I think it might be easier to explain the best way to go about it that way.
 

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I recently went through a BB purchase and activation with Rogers.
I was told by my company to purchase a cheap BB and sign on without a contract because our corporate agreements are with Bell and Rogers is an exception for us that is approved for world wide travel/usage since Bell doesn't have GSM BBs yet.

So I picked up a BB Pearl on eBay for roughly $300 and went in to a Rogers store to activate it. Imagine my surprise when I'm told that I have to sign up for a 2yr contract to get the data plan that I want - max currently offered is 35MB - they no longer have the unlimited plan.

Contract cancellation is now subject to a max $400 penalty instead of $200.

You're better off buying a BB on a 3yr plan (get the cheapest price on the phone).
If you need to cancel to switch to an iphone at least you can sell it on eBay and recover part or most of your cost.

If you don't need to use much email, just buy the cheapest BB you can find - under a $100 on eBay, and sign up for a lower data/voice plan that doesn't require a contract.

In any case, call Rogers first or go into a Rogers store to make sure you understand your options before you make a financial committment; subsitute your preferred carrier for Rogers

Most BBs will be locked to the carrier - you can unlock it easily enough for some $$

Hope this helps.
 

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Just as an aside, if you're a Mac user you may want to think seriously about whether a Blackberry is going to meet your needs.

I was a die-hard Blackberry user for a long time, and when my 8700 suffered a fatal accident back in March, I actually picked up the Nokia E62 instead of a new BB, and I've been much happier with it in terms of Mac compatibility.

The BB is a nice device if you have a supported corporate e-mail system and BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) on the back-end, although more often than not, this is an Exchange system, and even that can have issues with Mac compatbility (with Entourage being the only effective option).

However, if you're looking at a BB to simply do local sync of iCal and Address Book data, and normal ISP-style e-mail, you might want to consider another option. The Blackberry is not iSync compatible, and the current solutions are either PocketMac (provided free by RIM, but ugly and buggy), or The Missing Sync for Blackberry, at additional cost.

While The Missing Sync works well, it provides no wireless sync capabilities, so you have to tether your Blackberry to your Mac to sync data up to it.

The Bluetooth features on the BB are very limited in general, so you may not get the same level of functionality with a Mac if you're used ot using your existing cell phone with Bluetooth-based features.

Further, don't even think of being able to use a software package like Salling Clicker or BluePhone Elite with a Blackberry.

On the other hand, a device like the E62 is fully iSync compatible, will do IMAP and POP-based e-mail wirelessly, and even supports Bluetooth 2.0 (higher data rates as well as multiple concurrent connections).

Don't get me wrong, the Blackberry is a great device, but it should be noted that it's a primarily e-mail focused device, with other features being somewhat secondary to that. There are better options out there, especially for Mac users.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just as an aside, if you're a Mac user you may want to think seriously about whether a Blackberry is going to meet your needs.

I was a die-hard Blackberry user for a long time, and when my 8700 suffered a fatal accident back in March, I actually picked up the Nokia E62 instead of a new BB, and I've been much happier with it in terms of Mac compatibility.

The BB is a nice device if you have a supported corporate e-mail system and BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) on the back-end, although more often than not, this is an Exchange system, and even that can have issues with Mac compatbility (with Entourage being the only effective option).

However, if you're looking at a BB to simply do local sync of iCal and Address Book data, and normal ISP-style e-mail, you might want to consider another option. The Blackberry is not iSync compatible, and the current solutions are either PocketMac (provided free by RIM, but ugly and buggy), or The Missing Sync for Blackberry, at additional cost.

While The Missing Sync works well, it provides no wireless sync capabilities, so you have to tether your Blackberry to your Mac to sync data up to it.

The Bluetooth features on the BB are very limited in general, so you may not get the same level of functionality with a Mac if you're used ot using your existing cell phone with Bluetooth-based features.

Further, don't even think of being able to use a software package like Salling Clicker or BluePhone Elite with a Blackberry.

On the other hand, a device like the E62 is fully iSync compatible, will do IMAP and POP-based e-mail wirelessly, and even supports Bluetooth 2.0 (higher data rates as well as multiple concurrent connections).

Don't get me wrong, the Blackberry is a great device, but it should be noted that it's a primarily e-mail focused device, with other features being somewhat secondary to that. There are better options out there, especially for Mac users.
I appreciate the advice and I am aware of most of it beforehand. Part of my reasoning for going with the Blackberry is to support some of my clients who are using a Blackberry with Daylite.

Combined with my need to finally bite the bullet and go back to carrying a cell phone. What? I don't have a cell phone? How do I survive without one? Well after carrying one 24/7 for over 12 years (I had one early), I gave it up and went back to the old fashioned ways of:

Not talking while I was driving
Not talking while I was standing in line at a store, fast-food place, movie theatre line-up, or anywhere else where I would be disturbing others around me who would be forced to listen to my conversation
Not talking while I was sitting at a table in a restaurant
Not talking while I was sitting beside a stranger on public transit
Not interrupting a face to face conversation with a "oh I just have to get this"
Not having annoying ring tones go off in the middle of a meeting, crowd, checkout line, restaurant
Not calling friends who I wouldn't normally call simply because I was stuck in traffic and bored

and all of the other rude inconsiderate ways that cell phone users show their ignorance. I realize that the devices can be of great benefit, but they have become one of, if not the worst ways in which people can show their lack of manners.

As I have told people, I survived quite well for the first 33 years of my life. Then I was tethered to one for the next 12. I hope that what I've noticed during the last 3 years of not carrying one and seeing others will help me use mine with proper regard and respect for people around me.
 

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All very good points, and very indicative of the complete disregard that people have these days for normal human interaction and etiquette.... and unfortunately it gets worse these days, with the number of kids who have cell phones and aren't even being taught these things... My wife is a high-school teacher, and she has actually had parents call her kids in the middle of class for what are very obviously trivial matters, and then get irate that the teacher won't allow for this disruption.... :yikes:

As a consultant who works in a variety of different locations, I am more or less expected by my clients and business partners to have not only a cell phone but ready access to wireless e-mail. However, I decided a about fifteen years ago that I carry a cell phone for my convenience, not anybody else's.... Which means that just because the stupid thing is ringing doesn't mean I have to answer it.... Voicemail is there for a reason... :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
All very good points, and very indicative of the complete disregard that people have these days for normal human interaction and etiquette.... and unfortunately it gets worse these days, with the number of kids who have cell phones and aren't even being taught these things... My wife is a high-school teacher, and she has actually had parents call her kids in the middle of class for what are very obviously trivial matters, and then get irate that the teacher won't allow for this disruption.... :yikes:

As a consultant who works in a variety of different locations, I am more or less expected by my clients and business partners to have not only a cell phone but ready access to wireless e-mail. However, I decided a about fifteen years ago that I carry a cell phone for my convenience, not anybody else's.... Which means that just because the stupid thing is ringing doesn't mean I have to answer it.... Voicemail is there for a reason... :rolleyes:
I couldn't agree with you more. Any cell phone I've owned has had the ringer turned off and the vibrate mode turned on, except maybe if it was in it's charger. I realize that the male population in most cases has an advantage when it comes to vibrate, we tend to wear a belt to allow the phone to be clipped to our bodies. Women aren't always wearing the type of clothing that allows a phone to be attached and therefore the vibrate mode doesn't always work for them. But that doesn't mean that they (or males who choose not to use the vibrate mode) have to have an annoying ring tone that is at full volume.

Here's a guideline for selecting a ring tone. The cuter you think it sounds, the more annoying it will probably be to others. (and perhaps the more embarrassing it will be for you)
 

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I think Rogers gives you a month free of data when you buy a BlackBerry so you can gauge your use - don't know what restrictions this entails but something to consider. Since BlackBerrys use technology to compress data, you should use less data than you may think. Luckily for me, my work pays for my BlackBerry as I'd probably not be able to afford it otherwise.

Also, even if not using it with the BES, you will still be on the BIS which will allow you to set up your existing email accounts to send you your email messages. I tend to like sending messages more than talking on the a cell phone. My BlackBerry is set to silent out of the holster & when I put it in the holster, it is set to vibrate. I have my own Sony Ericsson phone for voice calls which I use with a bluetooth headset.
 

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Yes, the BIS is an acceptable alternative, although it's not without its limitations. Firstly, you don't get true "push" e-mail with BIS unless you're on Yahoo or GMail. All other mail services are "polled" and therefore can have a delay of up to 15 minutes.

You also do not (yet) get true two-way reconciliation with a BIS that you do with a BES or even a "real" IMAP client (such as those found on devices like the E62). This means that items deleted from your real inbox will not be removed from the Blackberry, and even the "read" flags will not transfer over. Personally, I got very tired of reading thorugh all of my e-mail on my computer and cleaning up my inbox, only to have to go to the Blackberry and do it all over again.

Reading and/or deleting items from the Blackberry will be reflected in your IMAP mailbox, however.

Further, sent items from the Blackberry do not get deposited in the "Sent Items" folder. Your only option is to BCC every message to yourself if you want to keep a copy, and then do something with back-end rules if that's an option for you.

None of this is an issue with a BES, however, which provides full two-way reconciliation of message status, deletions, and folders.

In my opinion, BIS is fine for the casual e-mail user, but if you have a large volume of e-mail, or are using it for anything more than casual use, it can become a real nuisance, real quick.
 
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