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As AT&T gains on Verizon, CEO says exclusive iPhone fleeting

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
While AT&T added more customers last quarter than competitor Verizon -- thanks in large part to the iPhone -- AT&T's CEO admitted this week that his company won't have exclusivity on Apple's phone forever.

The concession by Randall Stephenson at a Fortune conference, as reported by PC World, comes as the chief executive is reportedly working behind the scenes to extend AT&T's exclusive contract with Apple.

Stephenson's comments were cryptic, at best. The CEO simply said that iPhone exclusivity with AT&T will not last forever. However, he did not elaborate.

On Friday, Verizon Wireless announced that it added 1.1 million subscribers during the last financial quarter. But during the same frame, AT&T increased its total number of customers by 1.4 million.

Many of AT&T's new customers are coming due to the exclusive iPhone contract. This week AT&T announced that more than 2.4 million iPhones were activated during the last quarter, with more than a third of those new customers.

That means of AT&T's 1.4 million new customers in the June quarter, at least 800,000 were iPhone subscribers.

AT&T's total number of customers sits at 79.6 million, which is 6.7 million higher than last year. Though it is still behind Verizon's 87.7 million total subscribers, the No. 2 carrier is gaining ground.

But without iPhone exclusivity, some believe AT&T would suffer due to alleged network superiority from Verizon Wireless. Pali Research has projected that AT&T will net less than 1 million new subscribers in 2010, compared with the 4 million it gained in 2008. The report operates under the assumption that the iPhone will leap to Verizon's network once the contract has expired.

"As the iPhone exclusivity period rolls off between AT&T Wireless and Apple, a material number of AT&T customers will flock to Verizons superior network," the firm stated. "We estimate that nearly a third of AT&Ts post-paid customers are being retained by AT&T primarily because of the iPhone exclusivity."
post #2 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Stephenson's comments were cryptic, at best. The CEO simply said that iPhone exclusivity with AT&T will not last forever. However, he did not elaborate.

...without iPhone exclusivity, some believe AT&T would suffer due to alleged network superiority from Verizon Wireless.

"As the iPhone exclusivity period rolls off between AT&T Wireless and Apple, a material number of AT&T customers will flock to Verizon’s superior network," the firm stated. "We estimate that nearly a third of AT&T’s post-paid customers are being retained by AT&T primarily because of the iPhone exclusivity."

Technically I'm wondering if it's mostly all about when Verizon rolls out 4G and how extensively - making the CDMA/GSM connection situation moot?

And first?!? (That would be a first)

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #3 of 64
AT&T's attempts to keep Apple as a customer reminds me of a Jigsaw-designed torture device that they need to escape from.
post #4 of 64
While AT&T has many issues, it is very nice to be able to travel and use the GSM networks all over the world seamlessly (if you can afford it )
When I was with Sprint years ago on CDMA, there seemed to be more countries with problems due to lack of CDMA. Verizon, from what I understand would have the same issue = CDMA.
So while AT&T is not very good, there are reasons why it is worth putting up with, at least for some of us...
post #5 of 64
I'm not as well-versed as others are about the nature of Verizon's network, and whether the iPhone would work (and work well) on its network currently. I'd appreciate anyone who could enlighten me on this point.

Also, when is the AT&T contract set to expire? 2010?

Finally, I agree with the premise of this article. I think AT&T service sucks, and it's only the iPhone thats keeping me with them. If the iPhone went to Verizon, I'd jump there instantly.

GTSC
post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

Technically I'm wonder if it's mostly all about when Verizon rolls out 4G and how extensively - making the CDMA/GSM connection situation moot?

And first?? (That would be a first)



And you win the prize!
post #7 of 64
Here's the perfect company: The customer support of T-Mobile, the speed and pricing of Sprint, the coverage of Verizon, and the cool phones & roll over pricing from AT&T (as well as their international coverage.)

Who wants to invest?
post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Here's the perfect company: The customer support of T-Mobile, the speed and pricing of Sprint, the coverage of Verizon, and the cool phones & roll over pricing from AT&T (as well as their international coverage.)

Who wants to invest?

Who would want to invest in such a money losing company?
post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Who would want to invest in such a money losing company?

post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

So while AT&T is not very good, there are reasons why it is worth putting up with, at least for some of us...

Gosh, you mean consumers would benefit if they had a choice instead of having to use one carrier or another? What a concept, that Apple does not determine my choice of phone carrier? The idea of lock-in is very annoying and almost illegal.
post #11 of 64
Can't wait to have a choice. The exclusivity has lasted too long already.
post #12 of 64
I expect to see it on T-Mobile. I think its likely enough, especialy if they get the 3G in England. It only makes sense to me to use as few carriers worldwide, you can get better deals. Or do I not understand the cell market Also, they don't have any huge big-name phones that won't be on AT&T soon enough. Sprint has the Pre, and Verizon will have it soon(not to mention the CDMA/GSM issue). Apple probably wants to avoid the Pre on the same network so close to debut. So that leaves T-Mobile, which is known for good customer support, like Apple. Only makes sense to me, but I may have missed a key point of all this.

This is not to say, however, I want the phone on T-Mobile specifically. I would be happy with anyone, since I have AT&T but cant afford $30 a month data, and competition would drive prices down, which benefits me. Yay!

I like AT&T, and I would refuse to switch to Verizon or Sprint, due to poor international support. T-Mobile is an option though... Sorry, now I'm jsut thinking on a keyboard. I appologize

SG
post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT Walrus View Post

Can't wait to have a choice. The exclusivity has lasted too long already.

Actually you do have a choice and that's to buy the iPhone or not buy it.
post #14 of 64
Water is Wet.
post #15 of 64
Even when Verizon eventually get the iPhone, I'll probably still stick with AT&T because of rollover minutes. I've always been on the lowest plan and I usually only use between 200-300 minutes a month. But every now and then I'll go a couple hundred higher and Verizon charges a fortune for that. Monitoring your minutes is a pain, and even though Verizon allows you to upgrade your plan during a billing cycle but the way the pro-rate you have to do so well before you approach your limit.

But Verizon does have great customer service. I called to inform them I was cancelling. They told me it was unnecessary because the number was already switched. Then the girl calls me back telling me she noticed I'd gone way over my minutes and that it would cost me $200. I'd don't remember what she did, but it was something like shifting the minutes to one final month of service or something like that, so I only paid $50! And I was now a former customer!

So if customer service is a high priority, go Verizon!
post #16 of 64
Is anyone else wondering whether or not Verizon's network could handle the added stress of such a mass exodus?

Seems to me exclusivity itself is the problem here, not the network. If iPhone users could pick a carrier much the same way other mobile phone users can, network congestion might spread around to the point where all carriers can support it without having to disable MMS or tethering on account of network strain. But if everyone rushes over to Verizon, they might find themselves in an equally sticky situation.

The exclusivity was AT&T's way of letting Apple have the activation control it wanted before the iPhone was a smash hit -- shouldn't the other carriers be more willing to work with Apple without such an agreement? Everyone wants a slice of the iPhone pie!
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperMacWriter View Post

I like AT&T, and I would refuse to switch to Verizon or Sprint, due to poor international support.

It would only matter if you can afford the roaming rates.

You are going to be in your home town 50 weeks out of 52 weeks in the whole year. Want to go overseas for a 2 week vacation --- go and borrow a friend's used GSM phone that are lying in their drawer somewhere.
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

It would only matter if you can afford the roaming rates.

You are going to be in your home town 50 weeks out of 52 weeks in the whole year. Want to go overseas for a 2 week vacation --- go and borrow a friend's used GSM phone that are lying in their drawer somewhere.

Or use Skype on your Hotel's wifi connection
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by wealthychef View Post

Gosh, you mean consumers would benefit if they had a choice instead of having to use one carrier or another? What a concept, that Apple does not determine my choice of phone carrier? The idea of lock-in is very annoying and almost illegal.

Isnt almost illegal kinda like a little bit pregnant?
post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

Technically I'm wonder if it's mostly all about when Verizon rolls out 4G and how extensively - making the CDMA/GSM connection situation moot?

And first?? (That would be a first)

OK, I'm not a mobile phone network expert. However, I would think that any mobile phone marketed by VerizonWireless would have to have CDMA capability for quite a while unless they have a plan to make 4G ubiquitous overnight. Even then, they have agreements for different systems to carry their calls in some locations and they would have to have 4G installed at the same time, too. So if your VerizonWireless iPhone doesn't have CDMA, it aint going to work everywhere you expect it to.
post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

While AT&T has many issues, it is very nice to be able to travel and use the GSM networks all over the world seamlessly (if you can afford it )
When I was with Sprint years ago on CDMA, there seemed to be more countries with problems due to lack of CDMA. Verizon, from what I understand would have the same issue = CDMA.
So while AT&T is not very good, there are reasons why it is worth putting up with, at least for some of us...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperMacWriter View Post

I like AT&T, and I would refuse to switch to Verizon or Sprint, due to poor international support. T-Mobile is an option though... Sorry, now I'm jsut thinking on a keyboard. I appologize

SG

Several different phones on Verizon have the following under their network support:

Network Support: Dualband 800/1900 MHz CDMA/EVDO Rev. A networks; QuadBand: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks SingleBand: 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA networks

However even if that weren't enough, you can just buy a really cheap GSM phone for $20 and use it everywhere.

Get one, get two, get whatever you want and make calls all year round.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #22 of 64
Quote: Can't wait to have a choice. The exclusivity has lasted too long already.

Amen! I hope AT&T doesn't get to provide the service on the rumored tablet as well.
post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Actually you do have a choice and that's to buy the iPhone or not buy it.

I want another choice! A better one!
post #24 of 64
Who cares. Verizon SUCKS. Up here in PA Verison gets crap for service when I have full coverage. I already got a iphone and love everything about it. Even AT&T. I hope it never goes to Verizon so all you babys can cry cry cry
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post


So if customer service is a high priority, go Verizon!

I have no idea why people keep saying this: honestly (and I mean that!), my experience with ATT customer service has been quite good. Certainly better than Verizon (which I was happy to give up when the original iPhone came out).
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

..... if your VerizonWireless iPhone doesn't have CDMA, it aint going to work everywhere you expect it to.

Excellent observation - it would need to have the functionality just like the current seamless switch to 2G from 3G when needed.
post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Who would want to invest in such a money losing company?

Hmm, you're right. I just described something nobody would ever buy didn't I.

Scary.
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Hmm, you're right. I just described something nobody would ever buy didn't I.

Scary.

Oh somebody would buy it, but to be all things to all people, their prices would be too high to get enough customers to make any money. Unfortunately, there's no faking these things - customer service people cost money, infrastructure costs money, cool phones cost money. Those things have to be paid for by somebody. Don't believe anyone promising more services for less money.

For a second there I started talking about health care... whoa...
post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I have no idea why people keep saying this: honestly (and I mean that!), my experience with ATT customer service has been quite good. Certainly better than Verizon (which I was happy to give up when the original iPhone came out).

Frankly, I've not had to deal with AT&T Customer service, so I have no idea what is so bad about them. I love rollover minutes though.
post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Frankly, I've not had to deal with AT&T Customer service, so I have no idea what is so bad about them. I love rollover minutes though.

Yah, rollover minutes are awesome. They do expire but if they do you really should think about downgrading to a lower plan. Thus far, I haven't had to worry about time at all despite not having an unlimited plan.
post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

For a second there I started talking about health care... whoa...

Not to divert this off-topic, but you should know that major parts of the world provide better (yes better... no actually, make that far better) health care than the US, at a fraction of the cost.

http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_ce.../en/index.html


(Oh, I know that some people disagree with these assessments..... if you don't like their methodology, you can look at any indicator of choice here: http://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/2008/en/index.html)
post #32 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

OK, I'm not a mobile phone network expert. However, I would think that any mobile phone marketed by VerizonWireless would have to have CDMA capability for quite a while unless they have a plan to make 4G ubiquitous overnight. Even then, they have agreements for different systems to carry their calls in some locations and they would have to have 4G installed at the same time, too. So if your VerizonWireless iPhone doesn't have CDMA, it aint going to work everywhere you expect it to.

Yeah, that's basically what I (a non-engineer/scientist geek) was thinking.

3G + 4G isn't going to be that ubiquitous for years to come.

So sans an iPhone with a new GSM+CDMA chipset (a Verizon only model likely, but both to be able to work overseas), this Verizon speculation is all just talk out of our hats.

But, given the progress from single transistors to whole computers on a chip since the '60's, how hard could dual cell capability actually be?

Anyone have a learned answer?

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #33 of 64
[QUOTE=stonefree;1453855]Even when Verizon eventually get the iPhone, I'll probably still stick with AT&T because of rollover minutes. I've always been on the lowest plan and I usually only use between 200-300 minutes a month. But every now and then I'll go a couple hundred higher and Verizon charges a fortune for that.

Would you really need rollover if you had a favorite five? Me? I call 3 people consistently, with one person burning 40 minutes a day. A Fav Five plan would do wonders!
post #34 of 64
Around here, Verizon has almost 100% market share.........everyone I know has verizon, so i'd be first in line to get a new iphone if Verizon ever gets it.
He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose....
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He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose....
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post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperMacWriter View Post

I expect to see it on T-Mobile. I think its likely enough, especialy if they get the 3G in England. It only makes sense to me to use as few carriers worldwide, you can get better deals. Or do I not understand the cell market

T-Mobile is the mobile arm of Deutsche Telekom, the successor to the German state-run telephone office. T-mobile has bought up mobile telekom providers in a number of countries. It carries the iPhone exclusively in its home market and also in Austria (and maybe elsewhere in eastern Europe).
T-mobile US might get the iPhone since it has the only other significant GSM/UTMS-based network in the US, albeit on a frequency used in very few other countries. Apple would have to release a new iPhone which supports additional frequencies (which is technically not very difficult), for T-Mobile US to be able to carry it.
T-mobile UK is rumored to get the 8 GB iPhone 3G (not the 3GS), since the contracts for this might run out earlier (possibly in November because the iPhone was introduced in the UK in November).
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalf the Semi-Coherent View Post

I'm not as well-versed as others are about the nature of Verizon's network, and whether the iPhone would work (and work well) on its network currently. I'd appreciate anyone who could enlighten me on this point.

Also, when is the AT&T contract set to expire? 2010?

Finally, I agree with the premise of this article. I think AT&T service sucks, and it's only the iPhone thats keeping me with them. If the iPhone went to Verizon, I'd jump there instantly.

GTSC

I've been on AT&T since Feb and have had exactly one dropped call. I've had an iPhone for 20 days with no dropped calls, and on 3G almost all the time. During that time, I've mostly been in the western suburbs of Boston, or in San Diego.

Some believe that Verizon's network would also falter under the weight of iPhone's data usage. I have no idea whether it will or not, and I haven't invested a penny in AT&T (other than paying the bills), but AT&T is making the argument that because of the stress created by iPhone, AT&T is building up capacity in their cell and backhaul network much faster than Verizon. (iPhone users can't see it right now because the network's still swamped by too many iPhones using lots of data.) When the transition to LTE occurs in 2011, AT&T users will have a smoother user experience because in those areas yet to get LTE, users will have the faster 7.2Mbps (or even 14.4Mbps) HSDPA (while Verizon will experience a larger dropoff from LTE to EVDO), and AT&T's backhaul infrastructure will have previous experience with the stress of huge data usage.

Does this argument hold water? Is there anyone closer to the situation able to chime in?
"you will know the truth, and the truth will
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"you will know the truth, and the truth will
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post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

While AT&T has many issues, it is very nice to be able to travel and use the GSM networks all over the world seamlessly (if you can afford it )
When I was with Sprint years ago on CDMA, there seemed to be more countries with problems due to lack of CDMA. Verizon, from what I understand would have the same issue = CDMA.
So while AT&T is not very good, there are reasons why it is worth putting up with, at least for some of us...

There are a lot of multi-standard radio chips. Also, given the cost of roaming, you may be better off getting a temporary phone in-country. With some users, it's not hard to blow past your 100MB limit for roaming before you pay $5 a MB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wealthychef View Post

Gosh, you mean consumers would benefit if they had a choice instead of having to use one carrier or another? What a concept, that Apple does not determine my choice of phone carrier? The idea of lock-in is very annoying and almost illegal.

I think it would be illegal if you couldn't get other phones instead and you couldn't get other wireless providers. Short of that, it's tough to get sympathy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Actually you do have a choice and that's to buy the iPhone or not buy it.

I think the point is more choices are generally (not always, but usually) better for the consumer than fewer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btitusjr View Post

Who cares. Verizon SUCKS. Up here in PA Verison gets crap for service when I have full coverage. I already got a iphone and love everything about it. Even AT&T. I hope it never goes to Verizon so all you babys can cry cry cry

Every carrier has holes in their coverage, as far as I understand, AT&T isn't available in an entire state.
post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post

When the transition to LTE occurs in 2011, AT&T users will have a smoother user experience because in those areas yet to get LTE, users will have the faster 7.2Mbps (or even 14.4Mbps) HSDPA (while Verizon will experience a larger dropoff from LTE to EVDO), and AT&T's backhaul infrastructure will have previous experience with the stress of huge data usage.

Does this argument hold water? Is there anyone closer to the situation able to chime in?

"Paper spec" speed claims mean nothing.

We already seen Verizon's 3.1 mbps EV-DO rev A network being actually faster in real life than AT&T's 3.6 mbps HSDPA network.

You are also limited by the handset and the carrier's network set-up --- plenty of European carriers have 7.2 mbps HSDPA networks but their iphone speed is slower than AT&T's 3.6 mbps HSDPA network.
post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

While AT&T has many issues, it is very nice to be able to travel and use the GSM networks all over the world seamlessly (if you can afford it )
When I was with Sprint years ago on CDMA, there seemed to be more countries with problems due to lack of CDMA. Verizon, from what I understand would have the same issue = CDMA.
So while AT&T is not very good, there are reasons why it is worth putting up with, at least for some of us...



Some blackberries will work on CDMA and gsm. You have to design the phone with a radio that operates on all frequencies
post #40 of 64
will verizon plz subsidize my $1000 Mac Pro with an exclusive 4G 3 year broadband contract?
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