There's a Map for That!

by - November 04, 2009

In general, I'm not a big fan of technology. I think we've, for lack of a better explanation, made our lives overly complicated by trying to make things simpler and better.

Computers annoy me to no end - they never seem to cooperate and prove to be especially fickle in those moments when you desperately need them to work. And then there's the internet, or rather internet service providers (commonly known as ISP's). First there was dial-up and all of the problems that went along with it. Now there's DSL and wireless, which are supposed to be amazing in terms of their service. Bologna. Just last night my DSL just stopped working. For no reason. Everything was set up correctly, all the right lights were blinking, and my computer was shown to be connected, but it was all lies! There was no internet, and consequently I currently hate my ISP. With that being said, however, I obviously could not survive without my computer or the internet.

Which brings me to cellular devices. I don't consider the new cell phones to be phones at all. They've got way too much other stuff on them for them to be simply a phone. Now we've got the iPhone with its thousands of applications (all designed to make life simpler, of course) and the Blackberry with all its different versions, also with thousands of applications, and we can't forget Google's version of the smart phone. All come with text messaging capabilities, cameras to take pictures and record videos, and of course limited internet access. They're all designed to keep you in touch with everyone you could possibly know (and even some people you don't) at all times through all possible means.

But not all service providers were created equal. In the grand scheme of things, there are really two major contenders for the title of "Best Cell Phone Service Provider" - AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Both offer nationwide (their versions of it anyway) coverage as well as 3-G coverage. Personally, I prefer Verizon over AT&T, but that's mainly because my neck of the woods (a.k.a. the middle of nowhere) doesn't fall under AT&T's coverage. With that said though, I prefer AT&T's "More Bars" commercials over Verizon's "Can You Hear Me Now?" ads.

Which brings me to what started my technology-hating kick today - a commercial. More specifically, a lawsuit over a commercial. That commercial is Verizon's new "There's A Map For That" ad, which makes fun of Apple's "There's an App for That" spot. AT&T is suing Verizon...not because the commercial is poking fun at the iPhone, which they provide the service for...but because of the maps used in the commercial.

In the commercial, Verizon displays two maps: one showing its national 3-G coverage and another showing AT&T's national 3-G coverage with blank spaces to show the areas not included. The Verizon map is (obviously) more colored-in than the AT&T map...which is what all the hullaballoo is about. AT&T says the map used to show their 3-G coverage is misleading because they offer regular phone service in the blank areas. Apparently their customers are getting confused. I guess their customers aren't capable of understanding that the commercial is about 3-G coverage alone.

So does that mean Verizon is the more intelligent choice? Well, that depends on your phone preference. I, for one, don't look at 3-G coverage area to determine which service provider best fits my needs because when it comes down to it, a cell phone's most important feature is just that...the phone!


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