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In search of an iPhone/AT&T buddy

I might get an iPhone, but before I spend the money to switch carriers, I need someone to test out the reception in my house.

Okay, I admit it: I want an iPhone.

I'm surrounded by them these days, it seems. On the bus. On the streets. At work. Everywhere I go, I see people pulling them out and the gadget hound in me is suffering a little bit.

Since the iPhone came out, and since Apple announced the iTouch, I've been parroting a standard line when anyone asks when--not if--I'm going to get one: I say, either when the iPhone is available on Verizon, my carrier, or when the iTouch has a 60 GB hard drive. Whichever comes first.

But, I feel my resolve weakening. I met some friends for breakfast yesterday and one was fiddling around with his iPhone, showing his collection of photos, and it looked so good. I started thinking, "Well, $175 isn't that much to pay to cancel my Verizon service."

But then I realized that before I would ever even think about switching to an iPhone, I'd need to know if AT&T's EDGE network works at my house, which is not in the best service area as it is.

So I said to my friend with the iPhone that I really needed someone with an iPhone to come to my house and find out what the reception is like since there's no way I'm spending all that money if I can't get online using AT&T's network, Wi-Fi or no Wi-Fi.

In essence, I need someone to come by and test the service for me.

Another one of my friends at the breakfast said that he, too, had been wanting the same thing.

And it suddenly struck us that there's a golden business opportunity here, borne of Apple's unfortunate decision to marry their lovely device with AT&T: iPhone Buddy. They'll come check service at your home or office and let you know whether switching is right for you.

Obviously, this is kind of silly, but what the heck? I know there are a lot of people who want iPhones but are outright suspicious of AT&T. But since most of us don't have the tech chops to unlock the phones, we're stuck with what Apple's offering us.

And in spite of ourselves, we still want one. It's sad, but there it is.