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AT&T activates record 3.2M iPhones, says exclusivity could end

post #1 of 194
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AT&T reported its third-quarter results Thursday, recording 3.2 million iPhone activations and adding 4.3 million postpaid 3G devices, but the company's CEO also admitted that the iPhone won't be exclusive forever.

AT&T reported a 2 million increase in total wireless subscribers, which was the highest third-quarter gain in company history. The nation's second-largest wireless carrier now has 81.6 million subscribers.

Of the 3.2 million iPhone activations, nearly 40 percent were customers who were new to AT&T.

The Dallas, Tex., company reported $0.54 diluted earnings per share, down slightly from the $0.55 recorded in the quarter one year prior. Average monthly revenues per subscriber increased 3.8 percent year-over-year, and represented the seventh consecutive quarter with a year-over-year increase in postpaid ARPU.

While the strength of the iPhone helped AT&T beat profit expectations on Wall Street, the company's CEO admitted Thursday that AT&T will not have exclusive access to Apple's handset forever. According to Macworld, Ralph de la Vega said during a question-and-answer session that he believes his company's portfolio will survive after the iPhone moves to other carriers.

"We have a legacy of having a great portfolio... that will continue after the iPhone is no longer exclusive to us," de la Vega said. "We think we will continue after the iPhone... to drive (results)."

He went on to note that new subscribers from the iPhone amounted to one-third the total from all devices. He noted that the company's continued roll-out of High Speed Packet Access 7.2 technology in a half-dozen cities by year's end will put it in a strong position going forward.

"Even if we lose exclusivity, we will be the only carrier with HSPA 7.2 and (new devices) will work on our network faster," de la Vega said. I feel as strongly as ever (about the capability of devices in our lineup."

In recent months, Apple's one-carrier-per-country arrangements have begun to fade away, with multi-company agreements reached in the U.K.. Earlier this month, two wireless carriers in Canada confirmed they would carry the iPhone as well. And Apple's agreement with China Unicom to sell the iPhone is non-exclusive as the handset maker hopes to strike a second deal with China Mobile.

Numerous reports have suggested that Apple could jump to competitor Verizon in the U.S. when the exclusive agreement with AT&T concludes in 2010. However, Verizon's recently announced partnership with Google Android and Apple spoofing ads of late have cooled that speculation.
post #2 of 194
Oh Yeah ?- and where's my tethering?
post #3 of 194
I wonder if many of the newbees jumped from Verizon like myself? Hence their newly developed Apple/At&T commercials.
post #4 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We have a legacy of having a great portfolio... that will continue after the iPhone is no longer exclusive to us," de la Vega said. "We think we will continue after the iPhone... to drive (results)."

And what exactly did the reporters expect him to say?!?!

Quote:
"HOLY HELL WE'VE GOT AN ENORMOUS SHIT-STORM UP AHEAD AND IT AIN'T GONNA BE PURDY!! (pst.. call my broker as soon as we're done with these fools okay?)"
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post #5 of 194
*deleted *

Please don't thread jack
post #6 of 194
The Palm Pre, so far, isn't looking much like a real threat. The Android platform was supposed to unseat iPhone. Now everyone is saying Droid and Android 2.0 is going to do it, because it has more gizmos.

The people making these predictions don't get it. More gizmos != more productivity.

I'm sure a toaster with an LCD screen progress meter and 30 customization buttons would look like a killer product, but in the end, people just want to make toast. If you want to sell a premium toaster, sell one that makes the best toast for the least hassle.

It seems this message is lost on device manufacturers, who just want to make their checkboxed feature list longer than Apple's.
post #7 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

How are they selling all these iPhones when they don't even have Blu-Ray support?????

Ah... what does Blu-Ray have to do with the iPhone???
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post #8 of 194
Both Verizon and Sprint do not support simultaneous web access and voice calls. If you are doing anything on the network and a phone call comes in, you lose the connections.
post #9 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWatchfulOne View Post

Ah... what does Blu-Ray have to do with the iPhone???

Ahh humor is lost on the internet.
post #10 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

How are they selling all these iPhones when they don't even have Blu-Ray support?????

What???????? care to rephrase? what do iphones have to do with BD? I there sarcasm in there that I didn't pick up on?
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post #11 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I wonder if many of the newbees jumped from Verizon like myself? Hence their newly developed Apple/At&T commercials.

Not many.

Out of the 2 million new customers, 800K came from wholesale MVNO subscribers (Tracfone). So AT&T gained only 1.2 million retail subscribers.

Verizon is probably going to announce that they gained 1.2-1.3 million retail subscribers in Q3 on Monday (and 95% of them are postpaid). A virtual tie between the two carriers.
post #12 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboNerd View Post

I'm sure a toaster with an LCD screen progress meter and 30 customization buttons would look like a killer product, but in the end, people just want to make toast. If you want to sell a premium toaster, sell one that makes the best toast for the least hassle.

My last two toasters have had LCD screens, an array of buttons, and serious feature lists. I bought the first one. My wife surprised me with the second one. I wish she hadn't. They've both been less useful than one with a simple knob to turn. You, sir, win the "Excellence in Metaphory" award of the day.
post #13 of 194
I want the iPhone very much, but I am stuck in a contract with Verizon thru 3/10. If Verizon does not come through with the iPhone by then, I will be long gone ...
post #14 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

Ahh humor is lost on the internet.

Oh... that was humor??? .
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post #15 of 194
They're going to have HSPDA+ in SIX CITIES by the end of the year? What the heck are they doing?

Bell and Telus rolled out a Canada-wide HSPDA+ network in less than one year. Canada's bigger and much less dense than the US. Seriously, if they can go national, what the heck is AT&T doing that's taking them so long?

I'm starting to understand the frustration you have with these guys.

Maury
post #16 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCO3 View Post

My last two toasters have had LCD screens, an array of buttons, and serious feature lists. I bought the first one. My wife surprised me with the second one. I wish she hadn't. They've both been less useful than one with a simple knob to turn. You, sir, win the "Excellence in Metaphory" award of the day.

Thanks. I think Steve Jobs really stated it well during the 2007 iPhone launch: the killer app of a cell phone is making phone calls.

Know the purpose of your product, and stick within the scope of that purpose.
post #17 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWatchfulOne View Post

Oh... that was humor??? .

Its called sarcasm. You apparently don't understand whom its directed to. But thats ok
post #18 of 194
Since no one really knows the state of negotiations between AT&T and Apple or Verizon and Apple, it's probably safe to assume that both AT&T and Verizon are hedging their bets on life without iPhone exclusivity or no iPhone offering, respectively.

de la Vega might be priming investors for the loss of iPhone exclusivity in 2010, so that when the news actually hits, it won't negatively impact the company's stock pricing as much as if it just came out of the blue that AT&T's exclusivity period with the iPhone was over.

Obviously, Verizon is taking it to AT&T where it really hurts -- network coverage. But Verizon is also hedging by adding Android-powered phones, plus new offerings by Blackberry, as a response to iPhone. Whether that's a weak or strong response is debatable. It should also be pointed out that the "Droid Does" commercial isn't from Verizon, but Motorola, so Verizon's really not doing anything to incur Apple's wrath.

Besides the technical feasibility of an iPhone on the Verizon network, the whole thing comes down to dollars. Is it worth it for AT&T to continue subsidizing each iPhone subscriber plus whatever other financial considerations they're giving Apple? Is it in Apple's financial interest to leave exclusivity with AT&T and build a CDMA capable iPhone to tap into Verizon's audience? Is it worth it for Verizon to give up a lot of control plus pony up a lot of money to Apple to have the iPhone?
post #19 of 194
It blows me away that there are "numerous reports" suggesting iPhone might move to Verizon. It's simply preposterous to think Apple would create an entirely separate piece of hardware to run on Verzion's network, which is fundamentally incompatible hardware as compared to every other carrier that currently carries the iPhone.

When Verizon launches LTE in 2011, along with T-Mobile and AT&T, sure, iPhone will jump to them. But certainly not before then, and it's a mark of incredible ignorance on the part of these analysts to think otherwise.
post #20 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Both Verizon and Sprint do not support simultaneous web access and voice calls. If you are doing anything on the network and a phone call comes in, you lose the connections.

Although it wouldn't be difficult to just use VOIP for all iPhone calls -- seems to me the most logical solution.
post #21 of 194
If AT&T only sold 3.2 million iPhones out of 7.4 million total, this means that International sales are now higher than US sales.

Another first and a sign that going with Verizon would have been a mistake.
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post #22 of 194
Some folks want a certain phone, then choose their service. Others look for the best service, then pick the phone. Pick a city or location in the US at random, and odds are Verizon will have the best service. Yes, maybe AT&T is equal or better than Verizon where you live, but if you travel frequently, odds are Verizon is the way to go. AT&T will improve, but so will Verizon. AT&T should really be looking at buying T-Mobile or some other GSM provider in the US.
post #23 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboNerd View Post

The Palm Pre, so far, isn't looking much like a real threat. The Android platform was supposed to unseat iPhone. Now everyone is saying Droid and Android 2.0 is going to do it, because it has more gizmos.

I'm not so willing to write them off. If anyone can present a serious threat to the iPhone it's going to be Android. The Pre is just not happening, while WinMo and Symbian are clearly too far behind to catch up, and RIM, well as a Canuck I'd love to see better of them, but I just don't see the growth vectors in the consumer market once the iPhone goes multi-carrier.

Google, on the other hand, has a pretty good platform technically, serious development cash, and the desire to get this to work. On the downside, like MS, Google doesn't really need Android. If it fails, they don't care.

The same is not true for Apple, where the iPod was clearly starting to plateau and they needed to have its successor ready. The iPhone had to succeed, and for that reason, as much as any other, it did.

Whatever happens, it looks increasingly like it's iPhone vs. Android. We'll know further after the Christmas season numbers come in.

Maury
post #24 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRRRRRR View Post

AT&T should really be looking at buying T-Mobile or some other GSM provider in the US.

That's not a bad idea. They could sell off some of the redundant bandwidth.

Merging the two networks though? Yikes!

Maury
post #25 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

I'm not so willing to write them off. If anyone can present a serious threat to the iPhone it's going to be Android. The Pre is just not happening, while WinMo and Symbian are clearly too far behind to catch up, and RIM, well as a Canuck I'd love to see better of them, but I just don't see the growth vectors in the consumer market once the iPhone goes multi-carrier.

Google, on the other hand, has a pretty good platform technically, serious development cash, and the desire to get this to work. On the downside, like MS, Google doesn't really need Android. If it fails, they don't care.

The same is not true for Apple, where the iPod was clearly starting to plateau and they needed to have its successor ready. The iPhone had to succeed, and for that reason, as much as any other, it did.

Whatever happens, it looks increasingly like it's iPhone vs. Android. We'll know further after the Christmas season numbers come in.

Maury

There is an issue with Android that is going to sabotage it: Google doesn't control the hardware platform and thus the overall reliability and experience. You can get away with that in the PC world, but cell phones? I think it's a fatal flaw. I'd love to be wrong, but cell phones are among those classes of devices where fault tolerance from users is extremely thin.
post #26 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRRRRRR View Post

Some folks want a certain phone, then choose their service. Others look for the best service, then pick the phone. Pick a city or location in the US at random, and odds are Verizon will have the best service. Yes, maybe AT&T is equal or better than Verizon where you live, but if you travel frequently, odds are Verizon is the way to go. AT&T will improve, but so will Verizon. AT&T should really be looking at buying T-Mobile or some other GSM provider in the US.

Unless you want to travel outside the US....then your Verizon Phone is just a brick.
post #27 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

If AT&T only sold 3.2 million iPhones out of 7.4 million total, this means that International sales are now higher than US sales.

Another first and a sign that going with Verizon would have been a mistake.

Apple increased channel inventory by 500K iphones for the quarter and we don't know how many iphones were stuffed to the Chinese carrier for late October launch.

It does NOT cost a lot of money to make a CDMA iphone. The chipset manufacturers will provide Apple with all the necessary drivers. That's how the whole world works.
post #28 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Unless you want to travel outside the US....then your Verizon Phone is just a brick.

Nobody prevents you from buying a Verizon blackberry --- which are true world phones with both CDMA and GSM chipsets.
post #29 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Nobody prevents you from buying a Verizon blackberry --- which are true world phones with both CDMA and GSM chipsets.

Actually yes, there is something that would prevent me from buying a Verizon *ANYTHING*. Crippled firmware.

Most if not all Verizon phones are crippled so that to do anything with them you have to go through Verizon's servers at nickel and dime fees. Take photos on your phone? Sorry, can't get them off your phone unless you e-mail them to yourself at x cents a pop.

No, as long as Verizon insists on crippling their devices relative to their competitors, I will never be a customer of theirs, even if they had the best coverage on the planet.
post #30 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Nobody prevents you from buying a Verizon blackberry --- which are true world phones with both CDMA and GSM chipsets.

http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...ies/1devil.gif


Why can't we just do like RIM and have the iPhone open to all carriers? Exclusivity causes work-arounds. Besides, t-mobile, for example, is how the iPhone works in Europe. There is no reason why anyone can't have an iPhone, regardless of their carrier. (Unless they're on Medicare).


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These animations are completely stupid!http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...lies/irked.gif
post #31 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

Actually yes, there is something that would prevent me from buying a Verizon *ANYTHING*. Crippled firmware.

Most if not all Verizon phones are crippled so that to do anything with them you have to go through Verizon's servers at nickel and dime fees. Take photos on your phone? Sorry, can't get them off your phone unless you e-mail them to yourself at x cents a pop.

No, as long as Verizon insists on crippling their devices relative to their competitors, I will never be a customer of theirs, even if they had the best coverage on the planet.

Verizon doesn't cripple their smartphones.

And in many objective areas, Apple cripples the iphone a lot more than Verizon. You can get Google Voice on Verizon blackberries, you can't with the iphone.
post #32 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCO3 View Post

My last two toasters have had LCD screens, an array of buttons, and serious feature lists. I bought the first one. My wife surprised me with the second one. I wish she hadn't. They've both been less useful than one with a simple knob to turn. You, sir, win the "Excellence in Metaphory" award of the day.

As I (not so gracefully) age... I too find the simple pleasers in life are far too elusive.... I haven't had a UNIFORM golden brown not-too-crunchy not-too-mushy slice of toast since 1979.
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post #33 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I wonder if many of the newbees jumped from Verizon like myself? Hence their newly developed Apple/At&T commercials.

Probably far less than those (like me) who have recently 'jumped' from AT&T to Verizon.

I certainly had my issues with my iPhone, but it was really AT&T's abysmal reception/service (in my area) that proved to be the final straw.

I still have one iPhone 3GS account active, but I don't even bother using my iPhone now that I've experienced what reliable (crystal clear) phone service really is with Verizon/HTC Imagio.
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post #34 of 194
Any chance that Verizon had to land the iPhone next year when AT&T's exclusivity runs out evaporated the moment they launched their current anti-iPhone smear campaign. It's pretty clear that Steve holds grudges, and though Apple trashes Microsoft in essentially all their ads they have nonetheless proven quite sensitive to criticism.

At this point I think it's fair to say Verizon will be the last provider to get the iPhone in the US, partly for technology reasons (why make a CDMA iPhone) and partly due to the fact that Steve now hates their guts.
post #35 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

Actually yes, there is something that would prevent me from buying a Verizon *ANYTHING*. Crippled firmware.

Most if not all Verizon phones are crippled so that to do anything with them you have to go through Verizon's servers at nickel and dime fees. Take photos on your phone? Sorry, can't get them off your phone unless you e-mail them to yourself at x cents a pop.

No, as long as Verizon insists on crippling their devices relative to their competitors, I will never be a customer of theirs, even if they had the best coverage on the planet.


That is not true. i have a Verizon BlackBerry Tour 9630 and I can send emails w/pics without being charged. it is if you send any MMS messages you will be charged for, but that is standard for ALL US carriers.
post #36 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Verizon doesn't cripple their smartphones.

Yea but lets not paint Verizon to be this hip technology savvy corporation with its arms stretched open welcoming all the new and exciting cellular phone technologies and only asking 'hey bring more if you got it we can't get enough of this great stuff'.

Remind me again HOW many years did it take until Verizon FINALLY (perhaps somewhat begrudgingly) offered its peasants I mean subscribers a phone with BlueTooth functionality? Was it after the turn of the Millennium? I somehow think it was but I'm willing to concede if it was in the 90s it doesn't matter all that much since even when they were forced kicking AND screaming to the BT party weren't they SUED by their peasants sorry I did it again, subscribers for tearing down nearly ALL of the bluetooth functionality?

I'm not confused right? It was in fact Verizon pulling these lame stunts..

Isn't it TRUE that Verizon only started wearing this 'WE LOVE ALL PHONE TECHNOLOGIES' halloween mask AFTER the iPhone was rolled out and they started to feel the pains of not making the deal with Apple in the first place?
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post #37 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboNerd View Post

The Palm Pre, so far, isn't looking much like a real threat. The Android platform was supposed to unseat iPhone. Now everyone is saying Droid and Android 2.0 is going to do it, because it has more gizmos.

The people making these predictions don't get it. More gizmos != more productivity.

I'm sure a toaster with an LCD screen progress meter and 30 customization buttons would look like a killer product, but in the end, people just want to make toast. If you want to sell a premium toaster, sell one that makes the best toast for the least hassle.

It seems this message is lost on device manufacturers, who just want to make their checkboxed feature list longer than Apple's.

Actually, many of us simply want a full-featured smartphone and dependable phone service on a reliable network.

No dropped calls, no static, no missing handset features that other manufacturers have had for years, and no lack of insurance options for our expensive handsets et al.

For me, I've found that with Verizon's network/HTC Imagio combination, as it provides everything I desire in advanced smartphone support e.g. choice of internet browsers (Opera, Skyfire w/ FLASH support), complete MS Word/Excel/Outlook integration, user changeable battery, advanced media player features w/incredible codec support (Kinoma Play), LIVE Playback (V Cast TV) No Tyrannical Ecosytem... just drag n' drop = done!, and a very reasonable insurance fee in case the worst does happen.

In my experience, the iPhone is a fairly solid 'media hub' with lots of Apps (can't forget those Apps ), but it seriously disappoints at its core task... that of being a reliable phone.
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post #38 of 194
Quote:
AT&T activates record 3.2M iPhones, says exclusivity could end


The sooner the better.

Although Verison doesn't seem to want the iPhone with their attack ads coming out.

That leaves..nobody really. Not any other carrier that has a fighting chance in hell competing with AT&T


So we are screwed. So no cheaper iPhone for the masses.


It's a VOIP iPod Touch then.
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post #39 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I wonder if many of the newbees jumped from Verizon like myself? Hence their newly developed Apple/At&T commercials.

We'll know Monday when Verizon reports; I expect to see their churn go up a bit more (possibly equaling AT&T's) and their new subscribers to be less than AT&T's 2m. During this past year, their churn has already been around 30% higher than it was in 2Q07 (pre-iPhone).

My theory right now is that Verizon is now taking the AT&T/iPhone threat more seriously than ever, as the 3GS (and $99 3G) has increased defections. The passive 2-for-1 BB worked for awhile but grew stale (no more takers). And the Storm and Storm 2 was and are useless in the battle. So Verizon is going even more strongly on the offensive.
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post #40 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Apple increased channel inventory by 500K iphones for the quarter and we don't know how many iphones were stuffed to the Chinese carrier for late October launch.

Like the way you use the word "stuffed" as you continue to show up here to poo-poo iPhone and AT&T. Cook clearly stated that channel inventory was much lower than Apple wanted so there was no stuffing going on to supply over 80 countries with 3G and 64 countries with 3GS, many of which are still undersupplied.
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