After waiting a full year I finally have an iPhone (woohoo!). I’ve had it about a week and I love it! I’m very impressed with it, actually.

My new iPhone even saved me $18 yesterday. I was totally out of toner on my printer. I went to BestBuy to purchase another printer. I remembered that I had received a 10% off coupon from BestBuy in my email, but I was so totatlly out of toner that it wouldn’t print. So when I was at the register, in about 30 seconds I pulled up my Yahoo! email, pulled up the BestBuy coupon, zoomed in on it, and showed it the the cashier, asking if they would honor it since I couldn’t print it out. The cashier called the manager over, who then promptly approved the use of the coupon, saying that they had the same phone (iPhone). Thus I saved $18 on my new printer that I couldn’t have done without my iPhone.

I was reluctant to switch over to AT&T; from Verizon, but I felt the iPhone was worth it. You may find yourself in a similar situation…with the question of ‘What do I do with my old cell phone and my old cell phone number from Verizon?’

Here is my suggestion…set up call forwarding from your old cell phone to your new iPhone.

The call forwarding feature serves several handy purposes:

1) It allows me to not have to pay the $145 early termination fee that Verizon would charge to cancel my old number. Once my plan with Verizon is up I can choose to cancel it at no cost at that point, or I can keep it.

2) By keeping a separate cell number for forwarding to my iPhone, one that I use only for posting publicly to websites, job boards, and resumes, it allows me to keep my iPhone cell number private for just close friends and family. By keeping my iPhone number private this also greatly reduces unwanted telemarketing calls to my iPhone.

3) Friends that I haven’t given my new iPhone number to can still contact me by using the old number they are familiar with (I can pick and choose who to give the new number to).

4) I can turn off my old cell phone, and even let the battery run dead, and I will still get calls that are forwarded to my iPhone. I also never have to upgrade my really old ‘brick’ cell phone that is on Verizon (I was able to use the ‘new every 2’ $100 credit to upgrade to a new cell phone for another member of my family who still uses Verizon.

5) I only have to carry one phone (unless I need to carry my Blackberry from work, as I am not yet using the Exchange mode with my iPhone, which I hopefully will be able to do soon).

A few other points:
If I am running over on my monthly allowed minutes with AT&T; I can always drop back to my old cell phone on Verizon for a bit (which has plenty of minutes available even with the most basic plan) until I have more minutes to work with on AT&T.;

If I want to conserve minutes on my iPhone, and I am willing to temporarily turn off call forwarding and use my old phone, I can use my old Verizon cell phone to talk to other members of the family without using up my minutes due to the ‘friends and family’ type feature.

I’ve been doing this for a few years now and it works great…originally I was forwarding calls to my Blackberry, now to my iPhone. The only down-side that I’ve experienced is that if someone sends a text message to my old cell phone I won’t get it on my iPhone, but I find that most text messages I receive on that line are spam text messages anyway, so the up-side far out-weighs the down-side.

Here is a simple process for setting up the ‘call forwarding’ feature on Verizon

Verizon call forwarding:

1) Enter *72

2) Enter the 10 digit phone number you want to forward to, plus include a 1 if it is forwarding to a different area code (long distance).

Follow this format (1, area code, 7 digit phone number): # ### ### ####

Example: 1 800 555 1212

(I’m pretty sure it doesn’t hurt to put the 1 in the number even if you are forwarding to a local number.)

3) A beep will confirm that call forwarding was set up successfully.

4) *73 turns off call forwarding at any time.

I’d love to hear your comments, especially I’d like to know if this helps anyone in any way.