Since I can, I’ll kick this off. The first smartphone I owned was Apple’s original iPhone released, if I recall correctly, in 2007. Prior to that, I had used a company issued Blackberry. My personal mobile solution was a combination of a Palm PDA and various flip phones. Some of those Palm PDAs were able to leverage the flip phone’s Internet data connection via Bluetooth. An early version of hotspot tethering, so to speak.
When Apple announced iPhone, I saw an opportunity to consolidate my personal mobile solution to a single device and one that promised seamless integration with Apple’s Macintosh computers. I’ve been a Mac user since words like beleaguered were used to describe Apple. At one point Michael Dell (of Dell computers) said of Apple (and may have been taken out of context):
I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.
iPhone launched with the then revolutionary concept one paid the full cost of the device up front (no two-year contract). Regrettably, the revolution didn’t extend to AT&T’s cellular service (iPhone was initially exclusive to AT&T). That still required the obligatory two-year contract. Industry pundits at the time deemed iPhone to be both overpriced and underpowered (iPhone launched lacking then relatively new 3G data speeds). I do remember the experience on AT&T’s 2.5G EDGE network as being pretty bad. Google Maps on cell (yes iPhone launched with some Google apps notably Maps and YouTube and there was no third party app store so Apple and Google worked together to put them there) was glacial. According to the pundits, iPhone and Apple were destined to fail miserably. Hmm…
I’m a tech geek, so though satisfied for the most part with Apple’s ecosystem, I kept my eyes and ears open. I was aware of Republic’s emergence in 2011, however, Sprint being Republic’s cellular partner made Republic a non-starter for me. Nothing against Sprint per se, it’s just in my location Sprint’s 3G network was (and is) abysmal.
Meanwhile, I stumbled across Republic’s then sister service RingTo. Previously, I mentioned being a tech geek and I’m a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) geek in particular. I presume most folks here are aware VoIP is the technology powering the WiFi portion of Republic’s blended calling on Android.
As Android matured, I played with relatively inexpensive Android handsets but one iPhone or another remained my daily driver for the most part. Two things happened in 2014 that made me a Republic member. Sprint lit up its 4G network in my area and my friends at RingTo provided an opportunity to acquire a Republic Moto X2. In many ways, the X2 is still my favorite Android phone though I’m quite satisfied with Google’s Pixels on Republic also.
These days my Republic Android (currently a Google Pixel 2 XL) is my daily driver, however, I suppose like many folks here, I’m also family tech support. Generally, family remains on iPhone and so bribes me to keep a foot in Apple’s ecosystem by collectively gifting me new iPhones every now and then. Therefore, in addition to the various Androids I’ve used with Republic (and other service providers I’ve experimented with), I also keep an iPhone active. In fact, having moved my iPhone from AT&T to T-Mobile Prepaid my combined monthly service for an Android on Republic and an iPhone is less than what I paid AT&T for an iPhone alone.
I’m looking forward to meeting my fellow iPhone beta testers here and hope to help them and Republic inaugurate iPhone on Republic as needed. I enjoy helping fellow members and Republic. I want to see Republic succeed. Android dominates market share by percentage but in the U.S. iPhone’s market share is more than large enough that exploring possibilities for supporting iPhone makes eminent business sense.
There are those who might contend someone willing to pay for an iPhone is uninterested in lowering their cost of service by using a provider like Republic. I say that’s nonsense. iPhone users don’t necessarily wish to pay more than is necessary for service any more than folks using Androids such as Samsung’s S series or Google’s Pixels.