While the offer wasn't as wonderful as it first sounded (the $150 gift card was applied toward the 5S purchase), it was still a very good deal. I spent about $75 total (new phone cover, charger and activation fee).
As someone who once eschewed ownership of an iPhone, the 5S is my second Apple product. I've never owned an Android phone so I can't say if the iPhone is better or worse. But in comparison to a Blackberry Curve 8310 (my first smartphone), it is worlds better and the closest thing to a pocket-sized laptop.
With the new 5S, I now officially have owned more cell phones than cars. I thought it'd be fun to recap the history of all the cell phones I've bought.
1. Motorola Microtec, 1997-1999.
source: Forum XDA Developers
As my first cell phone from Cellular One, the phone number they assigned me is the number I still have today. It was too heavy and bulky to carry in my purse so I kept it in the glove box of my car. I bought it primarily for emergency purposes. I don't think I actually talked on the phone more than a dozen times in the 2 years I owned it.
2. Nokia 8210, 1999-2001.
With this phone, I went from the bulkiest and heaviest to my smallest owned phone. It was the first phone I carried in my purse, the first and last phone to be charged roaming fees, and the last phone that I would turn off when it wasn't in use. I eventually gave the phone to a friend of an ex-boyfriend when I got a Nokia 3650.
3. Nokia 3650, 2001-2004.
Technology really jumped when I got this phone. It was my first phone with a pretty awesome camera and bluetooth. I knew it was a cool phone when I saw Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner's character in "Alias") carry it with her.
I kept this phone powered on at all times and became a fixture on my desk while at work. I sold the phone in its original box and all its accessories at a yard sale to a younger guy who had only a clamshell phone without bluetooth or a camera. He was so appreciative he insisted he pay me $40 cash for it.
4. Sony Ericsson W600, 2004-2008.
This phone didn't really offer anything more than my previously owned Nokia 3650. I got this phone because I was eligible for an upgrade and didn't want to fall behind having a phone without the latest technology.
I liked the swivel design and how it felt like a landline phone when I used it. I owned this phone longer than I normally would have, probably because I wasn't quite ready to give in to a Treo, the bulky smartphone all the techies had.
5. Blackberry Curve 8310, 2008-2012.
My first smartphone, cost subsidized from my employer. I was eligible to buy an iPhone but after 4 people "over" sang their praises about getting one, it only made me more determined not to get one. This was my way of not jumping on the hot and trendy bandwagon. It was the phone I began to send and receive email and text on a regular basis, which many use a lot more than voice calls these days.
It was this phone another boyfriend would constantly play with when we were first dating. It endeared me to him even more to see him so fascinated with a phone that could surf the internet. For our first Christmas together, I got him a gift card through his cell phone carrier so he could get his first smartphone.
Resistance is futile. I was in my interminable unemployment phase of 3.5 years and promised myself a new phone once I got back to work.
But as rebooting the Blackberry became a habit, I could no longer wait for a new phone. I found no other phones that had as much excitement as an iPhone, even after 3 generations. Nearly everyone I knew had an iPhone, so they were no longer the short-lived trendy gadget I thought they'd be. Once I got it, I knew I had some catching up to do. A phone with so much demand, my first 4S was stolen during practice at Classic Bowl.
7. Apple iPhone 5S, 2014-present.
My latest and greatest. Longer and thinner than the 4S, it's got all the cool features that makes the iPhone an essential, yet fun tool. The best feature I've found in the 5S so far is LTE.
When my 4S was in wi-fi territory, it often had problems loading and I'd have to turn off the wi-fi feature and revert back to 4G. With the 5S, it loads right away, thanks to LTE. The LTE speed is about equal to DSL speed. My cable internet connection at home is by far the fastest.
So that's all for now. If my next phone is an Apple, this will be the first line of cellphones I'll have owned more than 2 times.