Friday, December 26, 2014

How to Activate your new Unlocked iPhone 6

If you get a new unlocked iPhone 6 directly from Apple's on-line store, there are no obvious instructions for how to activate it. Here they are:

  • If you already have a SIM card for the desired service, simply transfer it to your new phone. You will need a "nano" size SIM card to fit the iPhone 6. You can trim your existing SIM card with scissors if needed, or buy SIM cutter on Amazon.

    To enable data with services like AirVoice, check the iPhone APN Changer at

  • For T-Mobile pre-paid service, have the box your iPhone came in handy and dial 611 for customer service. You will need the ICCID number that begins with "890" from the bottom of the box.

  • For T-Mobile post-paid service, you will need to visit a T-Mobile (or Apple) retail location with a government issued ID card so they can run a credit check before activating your new service.

    The T-Mobile Family Plan in particular is only offered as a post-paid option.

Why Consider T-Mobile?

The only way to order an unlocked iPhone 6 directly from Apple is to choose the T-Mobile configuration. Since T-Mobile is the only US domestic carrier offering WiFi Calling and HD Voice (at this time), you may want to try it. While T-Mobile does not have the extended coverage of Verizon or AT&T, their network coverage is improving rapidly (thanks to the influx of $5 Billion from their failed merger with AT&T). In addition, the iPhone 6 is the first phone to cover 20 LTE bands (including 700 MHz) making it well suited to T-Mobile's expansion plans.

T-Mobile's "un-carrier" moves have also been popular with consumers:

  • Separate cell phone service from buying a phone eliminating expensive 2-year contracts.

  • No overage charges because there is no overage. Unlimited voice or dialup speed is included. High speed LTE data is purchased separately in buckets.

  • No additional charge to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot.

  • Simplified pricing.

I have no connection to T-Mobile other than being a satisfied customer who appreciates their efforts to reform some of the most onerous practices of the cellular industry.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple Demonstrates Mac iPhone Integration at WWDC 2014

As the developer of Phone Amego which provides Mac telephone integration,
I was rather surprised by Apple’s announcement since they abandoned telephone integration once before and seemed uninterested in my pleas for help. In Mac OS X Tiger, Apple's Address Book had the ability to connect with a Bluetooth phone to provide two rather nice features:

• It could display caller ID information for incoming calls and bring up the corresponding Address Book entry if any.
• It could dial out by right clicking on a phone number entry and selecting "dial using name-of-device" from the contextual menu.

In Mac OS X Leopard, these features disappeared from Address Book with nary a trace. As for my reaction: I’m glad to see Apple is finally building the solution customers want. I understand Apple will be using WiFi instead of Bluetooth to achieve house-wide reliability. I also expect it will be iPhone only and they’ll leave Call Logging and CRM integration as 3rd party opportunities.

It's interesting that Apple choose WiFi over Bluetooth to achieve a no fuss solution. It certainly speaks to the complexity and lack of reliability I've had to deal with. It's also a solution only Apple could build since other developers don't have access to the phone application running on iPhone.

It’s early to tell, but I believe this could be good for Phone Amego as a “Lite" version that introduces more people to the technology. As users discover they want CRM integration or support for other phones, Phone Amego will be an obvious compliment to Apple's built-in solution. One of my marketing challenges has been to explain what Phone Amego does. Now that Apple has endorsed the concept, this will be easier.

To compete with free, Phone Amego needs to be much better and aimed at users who need more than Apple’s built-in solution. I welcome the challenge and hope to learn from Apple's approach.