Originally Posted by Mac Voyer
Too many in this thread are living in a utopian fantasy.
Apple is not the exclusive provider of the iPhone.
Ummm yes Apple is, The iPhone is conceived, designed and built by Apple (yea okay the subcontract out the actually construction but you know what I mean). If you mean retail seller of the iPhone then yes you are correct.. Apple has contracts with a number of cell companies to allow them to sell the iPhone for their network.
AT&T is an partner and investor and has a legitimate claim to the iPhone.
A legitimate claim to the iPhone?!?! I don't think so. No more so than my local Stop-n-Shop has a 'legitimate claim' to Paramount Pictures movie writing/directing/editing just because they happen to sell some of their movies near the checkout isles. As far as AT&T being an investor in AAPL.. According to all public filings AT&T does NOT have measurable stake in AAPL (and never has).
Apple is not a network carrier; they are a hardware manufacturer. The Mac is a totally different animal because it requires no network on which to operate. You are free to do with the hardware what you like, no subsidies, no restrictions.
The iPhone would never have come to market without a carrier partner paying a substantial portion of the price of every phone.
Lets not try and pain a picture where Apple somehow invented the entire concept of getting kickbacks for signing up new customers and/or getting existing customers who's contract is near completion to remain with the company. This concept has been around even longer than cell phones... Its called a sales commission and every cell phone manufacturer has been getting them for YEARS before Apple entered the arena.
If AT&T allows a service on one device that it invested in and not another, that is AT&T's choice.
Well this is really the heart of this whole mess....
Should a company that sells a product in this case internet access be allowed to restrict how you use it (not including illegal activities)?
Should the electric company have the power to be able to restrict its users from using electricity to play loud music after 10pm?
Should a water company have the power to restrict its users from freezing the water to make ice?
Should a cable TV company have the ability to block any negative news reports about itself or any other company it happens to own?
In the end... I don't think ANY company should have that kind of power... I buy internet services I expect to be able to use it how I see fit.... Can I be throttled or metered yes.. if it says so in the contract... They can't tell me I must use Internet Explorer as my only web browser and I can't use ANY IM software at all.
AT&T and Apple are walking a very dangerous line right now. With the FCC taking notice they had better shape up or they run the risk of loosing a lot more power than they ever imagined.