All that know me, recall that I used to work for the “Mother Ship” for 6 years – I spent those years working in Apple’s education division managing technology teams and deploying student information systems. Those were some awesome times.

That is the time when I was fully infected with the Mac Fanatic bug. Ever since then, approximately 9 years now, I’ve converted all of my personal computing technology to Apple equipment. I’ve had multiple of darn near everything that’s come out in that time period:

  • iPhone (original, 3, 3GS, 4)
  • iPod (classic,shuffle, nano)
  • iPad (1 and 2)
  • AppleTV
  • PowerBook G4, MacBook, MacBook Air
  • Mac Mini
  • Mac Pro (G4 tower with dual CPUs – this was a sweet system)

I’ve always considered myself an early adopter and someone as close to the bleeding edge of technology acquisition as my checkbook will allow. It has not always been easy to feed my hunger for the latest gadget, software, or utility that Steve Jobs touted during his emotion-stirring keynote addresses. And yes, I’ve attended every MacWorld Expo for the past 9 years; either as an employee of Apple, as a regular attendee, and more recently as a member of the media, reporting for THE Tech Scoop.

Recently, on a trip back from the Interop technology conference, in Las Vegas, I had an interesting shift of thought, while flying somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 feet. Maybe it was the high altitude, maybe it was all the walking from the Luxor to the Mandalay Bay hotels, then again it may have been all the Tanqueray and Tonics I drank that week…

Regardless, I decided that it was time to broaden my horizons and not focus so much of my usage, testing, and opinions on solely one platform. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still an Apple Fanboy and, if it makes sense, I’ll never have any hesitation recommending Apple products to friends, family and business associates.

Without completely jumping ship, I decided to first start relatively small. My compute platform will remain Apple and my MacBook Air will always be with me (I’ve slept with MacBook Air on many occasions…that could be a whole other blog post…). What I’ve researched initially is switching from the iPhone 4 to an Android Powered device. Diehard Apple enthusiasts would call that blasphemy, but I welcome the criticism (and hope to read your comments below).

When I returned to California from my Interop trip, I confided in a technology professional colleague of mine that I knew would give me non-biased feedback and would help steer me in an objective position.

Even though I’ve been with AT&T Wireless for over a decade, I seriously considered making the switch to Verizon Wireless. The Verizon network, where I live is just simply better, plus they’ve already rolled out 4G so, not only would calls not drop as frequent, but I’d have access to a higher performing data network.

The smartphones that I narrowed my choice down to were:

AT&T Wireless

Verizon Wireless

Obviously from the selection, the only real thing Verizon had going for them in my decision was their perceived superior network.

Swinging my plan into action, last Friday afternoon, I launched a chat window with both AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless and wanted to hear pricing, upgrade, and transfer options from both providers – obviously looking for the best overall deal. With me being such an impulsive consumer of technology, obviously I wanted to make this transaction happen more sooner than later.

My chat sessions ended somewhat disappointing – I wasn’t moving to a new smartphone for anything less that ~$250. I will say however that both company reps were extremely helpful – I did, however, find that the AT&T rep was more helpful and consultative as opposed to the Verizon rep that seemed to only want to make an online sale.

Heading home that night I had yet another conversation with someone I typically speak tech to. She stated that she, in fact, had one of my choice smartphones at home, still in the box, hardly used. She had moved from the Android to the iPhone 4 due to “ease of use” considerations.

Were the stars aligning? Should I have played the lottery that night? Maybe so, because that was the exact smartphone that my other technology colleague highly recommended.

In Summary

I took the device, since she was no longer using it. Tried it out for the weekend. Found that yes there are some differences between Android and iOS, but initially the pros out weigh the minor cons.

I haven’t used the phone completely but for may 12 hours (transferred my SIM card this afternoon), but I am now officially 100% running on Android 2.2.1 on a HTC Inspire 4G.

I plan to write a week’s worth of user-experience reviews as I work my way through this shift. I will document the good, the bad, the positives and the negatives. My plan is to do it completely unbiased, and hopefully more honestly that many of the other comparative reviews have been (since I’m independent and not getting paid by Apple, HTC, Google, or AT&T Wireless, I can say pretty much what I really feel). And yes – that means I did stay with AT&T Wireless – customer service and professionalism go a long way!!

Do you think I’m crazy for switching? Do you agree with my thought pattern? Let’s talk – leave a comment below.