We’ve all had the “fun” of getting a new phone that mandates a wireless carrier change. Whether it was the first Motorola “flip phone” or the newest Blackberry, all the wireless companies since the very beginning have made the process as time consuming and expensive as possible. Since we’ve all had our own bad experiences and probably have disparaging opinions of each of these companies, I thought I’d point out the best experience I’d ever had … at an Apple store, no less.

Due to issues with her existing carrier, my spouse wanted an iPhone in the worst way. I have never been an Apple fanboy, but when the new 3Gs arrived in June, I was there when the door opened with all the characters typical of what most people think Apple owners are like. But, I noticed that several of the people there were obviously not the run of the mill Apple folk, but more like me. After a little discussion, I found that most wouldn’t own an Apple computer, and for these people the iPhone doesn’t seem to be identified as an Apple product, which obviously it is, but more of just a cool phone. My check out process on the first day of it’s release was tedious due to the crushing crowds and ironically, computer problems. In contrast, last night was utterly painless. Stepping into the store close to closing, she selected her iPhone, chose her wireless plan, transferred her existing phone number and walked out with a working phone … total time from my front door and back, was less than thirty-nine minutes! Opening the box for the first time, light emitted like a halo around the phone and trumpets were heard in the distance … OK, maybe not, but it should have. Once a diehard Blackberry user, that has very probably come to a permanent end after only a day with her shiny new iPhone. After seeing what it could do in a much, much more simplified way, she was hooked. I have to admit that the Blackberry is looking more like an electronic anachronism, than ever before. Much like someone who insists on using a typewriter, time has passed RIM by. While at their booth at CES, you could tell how far they were behind the times simply by the apps they were hawking. The Blackberry mother company “RIM”, was touting the apps as the “newest things”, and they probably were for Blackberry users … but stale news for iPhone users as they’ve been available for quite a time at the iTunes store. A year is forever in the tech world.

The number one complaint among the iPhone aficionados is distaste for AT&T. Everyone loves the phones, but not the phone company … just like James Coburns’ character “Dr. Sidney Schaefer” in the “President’s Analyst” who pointed out that everyone hates the phone company. Even its stockholders! But in fairness, at least they waived the famously irritating “activation fee”.

In the very best tradition that all geeks can identify with, at 6:33am, the morning after she got her new iPhone, news broke of the next new iPhone. Possibly coming with dual cores, better camera, 4G capability, video chat, OLED screen and a removable battery ….. it promises that Steve Jobs can afford more black turtle neck shirts.