iPhone Turns 5: My Unexpected Journey to Becoming a User

It was about five years ago when I inadvertently switched from being a dedicated Palm device user to an iPhone enthusiast. My journey began months before when I had watched the iPhone announcement, which showcased what seemed like a groundbreaking device. However, I was deeply entrenched in the Palm ecosystem, having started with a Palm IIIxe and moved through various iterations of the Treo.

At that time, I was using a Treo 650, a successor to both my Treo 600 and 300. It was adequate, despite its frequent freezes requiring a battery pull to reboot, and the daily ritual of recalibrating the touchscreen.

The device was laden with software I had invested in heavily, making the thought of abandoning it for a phone with no third-party apps unthinkable.

Then, my Treo 650 began to fail. Keys needed excessive force to register, and the touchscreen recalibration became a daily necessity. Frustrated, I inquired about the end of my contract with Sprint, only to discover it was due to expire on July 3rd.

Excitedly, I planned to replace my failing phone with a Treo 755p advertised by Sprint for $280 with a contract. However, as an existing customer, the price was $429, not the $280 advertised for new customers.

Despite my attempts, Sprint refused to offer a fair price.

Disappointed, I considered switching to AT&T/Cingular and getting a “free” Treo 680. However, I decided to compare the costs more closely, asking myself: Which is more expensive: a free Treo 680 or an iPhone? The answer wasn’t straightforward, as the “free” Treo required a $40/month data plan, whereas the iPhone’s data plan was only $20/month.

Calculating the total costs, including the contracts, the iPhone was marginally more expensive but offered significantly better value, considering its integrated storage and superior design. Thus, I chose the iPhone.

After purchasing the iPhone, I had to wait a week for my Sprint contract to end before I could start using it. Shortly after, Apple reduced the iPhone’s price and compensated early adopters with a $100 Apple Store gift card, which I received from a friend.

Ultimately, Sprint’s inflexible customer retention strategy and the poor durability of the Treo hardware convinced me to switch.

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Donald is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest insights and updates on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, Donald covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest macOS updates. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex topics accessible to all. When he’s not writing, Donald enjoys exploring the capabilities of his MacBook Pro and capturing moments with his iPhone camera.