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Rumor: Apple could announce end of AT&T iPhone exclusivity Wed.

post #1 of 154
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Citing an anonymous "inside source," HotHardware has reported AT&T could lose their iPhone exclusivity on Wednesday, when Apple is also expected to introduce its long-awaited touchscreen tablet.

The report does not go as far as to claim what other U.S. carriers could offer the iPhone. But a source allegedly told the Web site that AT&T is "tired of taking the heat" for poor reception from iPhone users. In short, the report claims, AT&T officials believe the iPhone is hurting the company's image, and they are no longer interested in having exclusive access to Apple's handset.

"Inside of AT&T, we are hearing that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before," the report said. "On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone--do you?"

HotHardware alleges, without any evidence to support the claim, that the iPhone doesn't handle the switch from 3G to EDGE connections well, and frequently drops calls when 3G access is lost.

The report cites AT&T's multitude of announcements earlier this month as evidence that the nation's second-largest wireless carrier is already looking toward its post-exclusivity. The company announced it will launch its first five Android-based handsets in the first half of 2010, as well as two Palm webOS-based devices, and a new mobile application platform for non-smartphones.

"Now, it seems the puzzle pieces are beginning to slot together," the report said. "It's possible that AT&T recently went searching for deals with other phone makers in order to proactively bolster its smartphone lineup for when this day-of-doom would come.

"AT&T has gained a huge amount of subscribers from being the only operator with the iPhone, and if it loses that advantage, it'll need some other cutting-edge, high-brow phones to keep people's attention."

Most of the focus and hype leading to Apple's event, scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. Pacific time, has focused on the company's long-rumored tablet device. But there have also been scattered reports that Apple could also use the event to introduce the latest update to the iPhone software with iPhone OS 4.0.

If Apple does announce the end of AT&T's iPhone exclusivity this week, the most anticipated partner would be the largest wireless provider in the U.S., Verizon. However, Verizon's network relies on CDMA-based phones, and Apple has not yet made a version of the iPhone compatible with Verizon.

Another option could be the smallest of the "big four" U.S. carriers, T-Mobile. While some have predicted the iPhone could find a home on the network in 2010 due to its GSM-based network being compatible with Apple's handset, there is one technical limitation: the iPhone is not currently capable of connecting to T-MObile's high-speed 3G network.

T-Mobile 3G operates on a unique 1700MHz spectrum. The iPhone is currently compatible with UMTS/HSDPA 3G connections at the frequencies 850MHz, 1900MHz and 2100MHz. It would be necessary, therefore, for Apple to build a new hardware model that supports T-Mobile's 3G frequency.

As for AT&T's reputation, the company of late has strongly defended itself against Verizon in an ongoing advertising campaign featuring actor Luke Wilson. The battle has raged for months, since Verizon began airing commercials that criticize AT&T's network and parody Apple's "There's an app for that" slogan with the tagline "There's a map for that."
post #2 of 154
with all of the rumored announcements, the show on Wednesday is going to last all day. and one more thing and one more thing, and oh yeah, one more thing.
post #3 of 154
Honestly, I don't even know whats possibly going to announced anymore. Too many rumors floating around I want to Wednesday to come already. Accept whatever is announced. Too much hype right now.
post #4 of 154
"HotHardware alleges, without any evidence to support the claim, that the iPhone doesn't handle the switch from 3G to EDGE connections well, and frequently drops calls when 3G access is lost."

No phone can switch a call between 3G and EDGE. If a call starts on 3G, in must end on 3G. Or, alternatively, end when 3G coverage vanishes. AT&T's 3G coverage gaps and insufficient network capacity are to blame.
post #5 of 154
I'm curious. If ATT blames iPhone users for clogging their network, and apple goes to another network, what will happen to all the android, pre and other smart phones going to do to their network. Yeah, users of those phones use their phones less than iphone users but they'll be using data non the less.
post #6 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

.... AT&T is "tired of taking the heat" for poor reception from iPhone users. In short, the report claims, AT&T officials believe the iPhone is hurting the company's image,

That's nobodies fault but theirs. My wife has a Droid Eris on Verizon's network and it absolutely puts ATT to shame in my experience.

At my home I have no service with ATT. My wife has good 3g service. If the iPhone comes to Verizon I'll be switching when my contract with ATT expires.
post #7 of 154
It appears AT&T just dropped the unlimited plan price to $69 bucks. The end of exclusivity may be true. You have to agree to another two year contract to get the new rate.

I also saw iLife 09 on sale for around forty dollars at some online sites. Perhaps a new iLife is in the wings.

I think AT&T's hold on the iPhone will end soon. I think enough people want it to happen and Apple is listening.

And if you are listening Mr. Jobs, I am in the market for a new Apple TV. Wednesday would be a good time for a hardware upgrade.
post #8 of 154
End the iPhone exclusivity!

BRING ON THE DATA HOGS!!!!

If I had any graphic artistic capabilities, I'd render the "morphing" of the Apple logo into a Demon Hog!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #9 of 154
Everybody knows that eventualy the iPhone will
go to all the carriers.. Apple needs to make as much money
for their shareholders. Apple knows that as soon as they
go to vzw it's light out for android!! they will probably
sell 35 million iPhones from the get go.
post #10 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Inside of AT&T, we are hearing that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before," the report said. "On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone--do you?"

Actually, yes I do remember AT&T/Cingular being known for sketchy signal quality before Apple announed their partnership. iPhone may have made the problem worse, but the apparent inability to reinvest any portion of the earnings into infrastructure improvements didn't help. I realize that there are regulatory matters, zoning, back haul capacity, tower sharing rights, but does it really take a year to get to the point of making any publicly apparent attempt at doing something about it? We had stories of towers being upgraded but it usually seemed to be a tepid response, I didn't see any improvements.

I don't think the story has any weight to it, but anything is possible. I do know that I won't have much luck with the other major GSM brand, so I'll have to switch hardware if anything can be done about it.
post #11 of 154
It's funny cause i been with both AT&T and Verizon for the last 10 years and i can't remember AT&T being great, Matter fact when the iPhone came out was the only time they started taking their network seriously.
post #12 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Inside of AT&T, we are hearing that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before," the report said. "On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone--do you?"

It's sort of an interesting point It's such a data hog. I can understand how AT&T would view it that way. Doubtless, they were unprepared for the amount of data we iPhone users would actually use.

But the iPhone isn't a data hog. iPhone users are data hogs. And that's not true, either. It's not just us. I think most everyone would be, if given the proper vehicle. It's just that the iPhone is such a wonderful vehicle. It makes it easy for us to do what we want. And thus empowered, what we do is use a lot of data. It makes about as much sense as saying an iPod is a music hog.

But with the iPod, as I put more and more music on the thing, the music industry makes more and more money (though for some reason they don't like acknowledging that). AT&T probably feels like they made a mistake in agreeing to unlimited data for a flat price. But I was around in the stone ages, when your ISP didn't do that. It was a per-usage fee. And even though the costs weren't egregious, it was a helluva damper on how much time I spent online. (Of course, considering how much time I waste online, maybe I need those dampers back )
post #13 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post

"HotHardware alleges, without any evidence to support the claim, that the iPhone doesn't handle the switch from 3G to EDGE connections well, and frequently drops calls when 3G access is lost."

No phone can switch a call between 3G and EDGE. If a call starts on 3G, in must end on 3G. Or, alternatively, end when 3G coverage vanishes. AT&T's 3G coverage gaps and insufficient network capacity are to blame.

I was going to say the same thing. This is one of the reasons why I ran my ATT phones 2G only. Sure, the data would be slow and I would also loose the ability to call and get data at the same time, but my first purpose of my phone is to... I don't know... make phone calls. If I can't reliably do that, then it defeats the purpose. It's one of the reasons why I actually like the way CDMA and EV-DO works. Since EV-DO is data-only (doesn't carry voice like its GSM counterparts), my calls are not reliant upon 3G being available (while Verizon does run an all 3G network, there are still spots that I have hit on occasion that do not have EV-DO capability... mainly in some of the former Alltel areas). This does mean that I cannot have voice and data at the same time on CDMA, but at least I can make a reliable call when I need, or get reliable data when I need (since EV-DO isn't saturated with voice).
post #14 of 154
Things are getting interesting... Apple is likely to pit Verizon against AT&T to get the best deal for itself (and hopefully for its customers) on pricing.
post #15 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Actually, yes I do remember AT&T/Cingular being known for sketchy signal quality before Apple announed their partnership. iPhone may have made the problem worse, but the apparent inability to reinvest any portion of the earnings into infrastructure improvements didn't help. I realize that there are regulatory matters, zoning, backhaul, tower sharing rights, but does it really take a year to get to the point of making any publicly apparent attempt at doing something about it?

ATT IS DOING THEIR BEST AT LAYING WIRE
their problem is that they kept quiet about the data hogs slowing their already poor net works

ATT should have sold less phones
or merged their wired systems with other carriers and shared the load

9
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beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #16 of 154
Quote:
AT&T officials believe the iPhone is hurting the company's image, and they are no longer interested in having exclusive access to Apple's handset.

Ok... Can I get my iPhone officially unlocked now?!
post #17 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

It's sort of an interesting point It's such a data hog. I can understand how AT&T would view it that way. Doubtless, they were unprepared for the amount of data we iPhone users would actually use.

But the iPhone isn't a data hog. iPhone users are data hogs. And that's not true, either. It's not just us. I think most everyone would be, if given the proper vehicle. It's just that the iPhone is such a wonderful vehicle. It makes it easy for us to do what we want. And thus empowered, what we do is use a lot of data. It makes about as much sense as saying an iPod is a music hog.

But with the iPod, as I put more and more music on the thing, the music industry makes more and more money (though for some reason they don't like acknowledging that). AT&T probably feels like they made a mistake in agreeing to unlimited data for a flat price. But I was around in the stone ages, when your ISP didn't do that. It was a per-usage fee. And even though the costs weren't egregious, it was a helluva damper on how much time I spent online. (Of course, considering how much time I waste online, maybe I need those dampers back )

its 10 percent using 70 percent of the system

ergo
data hogs


peace

i hate peyton manning
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post #18 of 154
> Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to
> blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible
> network' before the iPhone--do you?"

Huh? AT&T only covers about 18% of the country with 3G today.

Before the iphone... they covered even *LESS* of the country.

How can "tower coverage" be Apple's fault?

(This is in *ADDITION* to the fact that AT&T can't handle heavy traffic.... they just can't handle *ANY* traffic... in about 82% of the USA. They have *NO* 3G cell towers in countless places.)

http://vzwmap.verizonwireless.com/do...comparison.pdf
post #19 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Ok... Can I get my iPhone officially unlocked now?!

Those have already been for sale... for quite a while now:

http://www.buy.com/prod/apple-iphone...211209903.html
post #20 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post

I'm curious. If ATT blames iPhone users for clogging their network, and apple goes to another network, what will happen to all the android, pre and other smart phones going to do to their network. Yeah, users of those phones use their phones less than iphone users but they'll be using data non the less.

Indeed. These rumors are just ATT trying to cover their butts by putting the blame on Apple when it was ATT that was ill prepared.

As for other carriers. I won't be shocked if Apple just unlocks the phone.
post #21 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

ATT IS DOING THEIR BEST AT LAYING WIRE

Why didn't they start 2 *YEARS* ago... when they saw the iphone selling by the MILLIONS????

Even casual users knew the network needed to be expanded.

AT&T sat and did nothing for far, far too long.
post #22 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

At my home I have no service with ATT. My wife has good 3g service. If the iPhone comes to Verizon I'll be switching when my contract with ATT expires.

Where do you live? The vast majority of the country has *NO* 3G coverage of any kind with AT&T.

None.

http://vzwmap.verizonwireless.com/do...comparison.pdf
post #23 of 154
Let the carriers compete!!


This whole thing where if you want the iPhone in the U.S you have to put up with just one carrier is wrong.

Phones are phones. As long as it works on a carriers network and meets the requirements of the carrier, it should be allowed to work.

It's in Apple's best interest to sell as many units as possible, to as many carriers as possible that is worth doing.

It's in the consumers interest to let the carriers compete on being carriers, not on what phones they have.

With competition we get lower prices and better quality, not this $100 a month rip-off we are experiencing now.
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post #24 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by TammyT View Post

Those have already been for sale... for quite a while now:

http://www.buy.com/prod/apple-iphone...211209903.html

Why should I pay $900 when I already have one, especially an 8GB 3G not 3GS? You can get them for much less on ebay.

I want AT&T to unlock my iPhone when I fulfill my contract.
post #25 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Let the carriers compete!!

With competition we get lower prices and better quality, not this $100 a month rip-off we are experiencing now.

Exactly! I think that this is the reason why Verizon and, now, AT&T have dropped their prices. Since the phone choices will be even, they now have to get back to what is in the best interest of consumers (i.e. compete in prices to win people over).
post #26 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Ok... Can I get my iPhone officially unlocked now?!

likely not. even if Apple and ATT are splitting it is possible that Wednesday will be the announcement of a future date. And it is possible that the laws are such that you'd have to buy a new handset to get an unlocked model, or fully compete/buy out a contract to have an existing one unlocked
post #27 of 154
Even though I still predict that iPhone will never be on Verizon's network I can say that if current iPhone can't do T-mobile it is a bit more likely for Apple to just screw GSM all together and go with sprint and metro PCS, while begging Verizon to take them.

T-Mo and US Cellular would be good too, since you would be able to use the iPhone on the L.
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post #28 of 154
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
post #29 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

likely not. even if Apple and ATT are splitting it is possible that Wednesday will be the announcement of a future date. And it is possible that the laws are such that you'd have to buy a new handset to get an unlocked model, or fully compete/buy out a contract to have an existing one unlocked

It's not any law that I've heard of. I don't know if it changed, but AT&T did have an unlock policy to unlock on request for customers in good standing for 18 months, but iPhone was an exception to that policy.
post #30 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

likely not. even if Apple and ATT are splitting it is possible that Wednesday will be the announcement of a future date. And it is possible that the laws are such that you'd have to buy a new handset to get an unlocked model, or fully compete/buy out a contract to have an existing one unlocked

AT&T will never ever unlock your iPhone even after you complete your contract. Even if you pay the no contract price your iPhone will still be locked to AT&T network. It took a class action lawsuit to get Verizon and Sprint to unlock all their handset upon contract expiration if the customer ask to. The same lawsuit is now going against AT&T and T-Mobile.
post #31 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

... If the iPhone comes to Verizon I'll be switching when my contract with ATT expires.

Me too. And countless others. Hey backtomac, 4000 posts !!
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post #32 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Even though I still predict that iPhone will never be on Verizon's network I can say that if current iPhone can't do T-mobile it is a bit more likely for Apple to just screw GSM all together and go with sprint and metro PCS, while begging Verizon to take them.

T-Mo and US Cellular would be good too, since you would be able to use the iPhone on the L.

The iPhone would never go to US Cellular or any regional carrier such as Metro or Cricket. I can say that for certainty because that would not be in Apple's best interest since those carriers are not national carriers and are not available everywhere. That would be a complete step backwards.

Now, as for Sprint, if Apple goes with Sprint, then they might as well go with Verizon as both of them operate on the same network and network infrastructure (a good portion of Sprint's network is actually operated by Verizon). I predict that either A, AT&T will stick with GSM and add T-mobile. Or, B, they would create CDMA and, ultimately, LTE versions that are compatible with Verizon, which is the logical choice.
post #33 of 154
AT&T + iPhone = Caught in a "bad romance".
post #34 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by TammyT View Post

Where do you live? The vast majority of the country has *NO* 3G coverage of any kind with AT&T.

None.

http://vzwmap.verizonwireless.com/do...comparison.pdf

I live in rural Kentucky. But you miss the point. My wife has 3g service at my house with Verizon and I don't even have edge service. The only way I can make calls with my iphone at home is via skype on my wireless internet network.
post #35 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone--do you

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Actually, yes I do

Agreed. ATT/Cingular has always sucked. I paid the contract cancellation fee to get out of my contract, and that was over a year before the iPhone was unveiled. Poor coverage, dropped calls, delayed voice mail delivery, lost text messages, and lies by customer service agents added up to me throwing away $35/month on what was little more than a paper weight of a phone that seldom provided reliable service.

Many years of customer surveys by Consumer Reports will back that up. ATT has always been at the bottom of the ratings. Apparently this analyst, like so many others, didn't do any actual research of the facts before releasing the findings.
post #36 of 154
I say Apple should release an iPhone like the BlackBerry 8830 World Phone with a CDMA and GSM chip in it. Let people choose.

I know a lot of people are saying that the phone wont go Verizon until 4G but why not go now? Verizon's 4G network isn't up yet and there isn't anything for certain that it will be up on Apple's schedule. Instead of risking it, release something on Verizon now and expand customer base to Verizon's network. Apple will get all the customers they have missed out on (like me who want an iPhone but refuse to go back to ATT) and Verizon will get back people who moved to get the iPhone but would prefer their coverage.

I also think it is funny how many people think that because of a couple commercials Apple wont go to Verizon. I think Apple has enough common sense to know that they are just commercials and just business, dealing with what is there now.* Also, I think the "There is a Map for that" commercials will go great with "There is an App for that." Just think...

The Apple iPhone on the Verizon Network. There is an App for that...and now a Map for that too. (I am not a copywriter so it will probably be catchier than that but you get the idea.)

Also, if ATT is really being this bitchy to Apple, I can't wait to see Apple go "OK, screw you!" add Verizon support and ATT gets to watch their numbers go down.

*Apple may even have been aware of these commercials and told Verizon to go ahead and run them to try and keep the upcoming Verizon iPhone a secret. Would you really put it past them? Apple has constantly gone out of their way to keep things like this a secret.
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post #37 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post

No phone can switch a call between 3G and EDGE. If a call starts on 3G, in must end on 3G. Or, alternatively, end when 3G coverage vanishes. AT&T's 3G coverage gaps and insufficient network capacity are to blame.

I believe you have that incorrect. I recall that a 3GSM connection can complete an inter-technology handoffs to GSM. If its a GSM call then it has no ability to handoff to 3GSM, thus requiring disco/reconnect to get on 3GSM. I dont think GSM has the dual-mode inherent to make the it possible, but 3GSM does. At least, that is how I remember it.
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post #38 of 154
So if my iPhone were unlocked it wouldn't work on any other 3G network in the United States? So when I'm done with it I'll probably end up keeping it as a wifi device? I guess I could sell it to someone who has good AT&T service. But it won't be worth anything...

Maybe I'd keep it for vacations in Europe.
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post #39 of 154
Sorry, but I've seen no cogent argument/evidence that the iPhone will be available anywhere in the U.S. but from AT&T in 2010. Hollow arguments are seemingly being created merely to support a rumor.

The "new creation" might well be available from other carriers though. If the device is priced high enough, broader availability will be necessary to increase demand.
post #40 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I believe you have that incorrect. I recall that a 3GSM connection can complete an inter-technology handoffs to GSM. If its a GSM call then it has no ability to handoff to 3GSM, thus requiring disco/reconnect to get on 3GSM. I dont think GSM has the dual-mode inherent to make the it possible, but 3GSM does. At least, that is how I remember it.

This is a correct statement. The problem, however, is that AT&T doesn't do this. Calls that start on the UMTS/HSDPA network, which are packet switched, do not transverse to the Edge network, which is circuit switched, no matter what handset you use. The 3GSM standard does not allow for you to go backward (form Edge to UMTS/HSDPA)... at least not that I have seen.
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