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Apple, AT&T originally agreed to iPhone exclusivity until 2012

post #1 of 92
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After poring over court documents from 2008, Engadget has confirmed that Apple and AT&T originally agreed to a five-year exclusive arrangement for the iPhone. Whether that deal is still in place, however, is unknown.

Nilay Patel reported Monday that Apple, in a court filing in October 2008, admitted that AT&T had exclusive distribution rights in the U.S. for the iPhone. Apple specifically admitted to reports from USA Today in 2007, in which the newspaper said that the two companies had agreed to a deal through 2012. The paper also reported in 2007 that Verizon passed on a similar five-year arrangement.

Apple's admission was made as part of its defense in a class-action lawsuit filed in 2007, accusing both the iPhone maker and AT&T of illegally exerting a monopoly over iPhone customers. The suit alleged that iPhone users were forced to stay with AT&T after their two-year contract expired, because neither AT&T nor Apple would unlock their handset for use on another carrier, such as T-Mobile.

While the original agreement meant Apple's iPhone could not jump to a competing carrier until after 2012, Patel noted that "the real question is whether or not the exclusivity deal is still on the books."

"Contracts can be canceled, amended, and breached in many ways, and AT&T's spotty recent service history plus the explosion of the iPhone and the mobile market in general have given Apple any number of reasons to revisit the deal," he wrote. "In addition, the two companies obviously hit the negotiating table again to hammer out the iPad's pricing plans, and there's no way of knowing whether that deal involves the iPhone as well."

The lawsuit against Apple and AT&T remains ongoing, but many of the documents in the case have been sealed from public view since 2009. Patel noted that the plaintiffs argued Apple exerts illegal monopoly power over applications on the iPhone, by requiring company approval of all App Store software, and the court deemed the argument valid to go forward.

Though the five-year deal was originally announced in 2007, in the last year many analysts have suggested that the Apple-AT&T deal actually expires this summer. Whether the contract was amended to shorten the agreement has not been revealed.

Last week, one analyst speculated that Apple and AT&T extended their deal six months, with AT&T retaining exclusive access to the iPhone, and Apple gaining no-contract $30-per-month data plans for its just-released iPad.

Talk of Apple's handset becoming available on other carriers cooled earlier this year, when Apple executives defended AT&T, and the iPad was announced as compatible only with AT&T's 3G network in the U.S.

But in March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is currently working on a CDMA-capable iPhone that could run on the Verizon network. Such a device would not likely arrive this summer, when the next-generation iPhone is expected to go on sale, as the Journal reported that manufacturing of the CDMA model is not expected to begin until September.
post #2 of 92
I cannot imagine Apple offering a special iPhone compatible only with Verizon. When Verizon get onboard with GSM standards i.e. when they support LTE/4G, then they can sell calling/data plans for (unlocked) iPhone. Who would ever buy a locked phone??? Not me.
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post #3 of 92
Why is all this so secret? These kind of things most definitely effect the companies earnings etc. Both of these companies are publicly traded. Shouldn't they be letting their shareholders know details like this?
post #4 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRobin View Post

Why is all this so secret? These kind of things most definitely effect the companies earnings etc. Both of these companies are publicly traded. Shouldn't they be letting their shareholders know details like this?

I would like to know the answer to that question, too!
post #5 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRobin View Post

Why is all this so secret? These kind of things most definitely effect the companies earnings etc. Both of these companies are publicly traded. Shouldn't they be letting their shareholders know details like this?

This is a good observation.

I cannot think of any particularly compelling competitive reasons for such secrecy on this front. If anything, it provides clarity and makes decisions easier for customers.

PS: While I am not their biggest fan -- the site is chock-full of anti-Apple snarks and whiners -- kudos to engadget.com for their detective work!
post #6 of 92
I certainly hope Apple is planning an iPhone for Verizon. Both the iPhone and Android (which is starting to eat Apple's marketshare, in part, due to the AT&T exclusivity) have a form of lock-in to their platform: applications.

Some of us refuse to switch to AT&T just to get an iPhone because we like using cell phones to, gasp, make phone calls!

But if Apple continues screwing around, when they finally do arrive on Verizon, they'll discover customers who won't be willing to switch platforms because they will have an investment both in money and familiarity in applications for Android. While I expect it won't be quite as bad as switching from Mac to Windows and visa versa, it's still a reason why customers will be reluctant to switch.

If Apple really does have such a long agreement still in place, then I will probably be one of them.
post #7 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post

I certainly hope Apple is planning an iPhone for Verizon. Both the iPhone and Android (which is starting to eat Apple's marketshare, in part, due to the AT&T exclusivity) have a form of lock-in to their platform: applications.

Some of us refuse to switch to AT&T just to get an iPhone because we like using cell phones to, gasp, make phone calls!

But if Apple continues screwing around, when they finally do arrive on Verizon, they'll discover customers who won't be willing to switch platforms because they will have an investment both in money and familiarity in applications for Android. While I expect it won't be quite as bad as switching from Mac to Windows and visa versa, it's still a reason why customers will be reluctant to switch.

If Apple really does have such a long agreement still in place, then I will probably be one of them.

The only sense in which Apple can be accused of "screwing around" here is by allowing their phones to be locked to a particular carrier, but all phone manufacturers do that. Verizon built a network that is not compatible with standard phones. It is inconceivable that Apple would build a non-standard phone just to accommodate Verizon -- especially with Verizon in the process of building a standards-compliant 4G/LTE network.
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post #8 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

- especially with Verizon in the process of building a standards-compliant 4G/LTE network.

you need some basic technology courses. Even when the Big Red does launch a full 4G network, they will ALWAYS rely on CDMA/3G (1x EV-DO signal), a WORLD-WIDE ACCEPTED STANDARD - albeit in fewer countries than GSM - and a BETTER standard in terms of reception and signal passage through buildings and objects. So please - next time - before you post some ridiculous thing - read up! Don't embarass yourself. EV-DO will be used for voice and data in the future. Right now - they haven't even figured out how to enable LTE-EV-DO or LTE-GSM switching.

Verizon will get LTE this year. And you people on AT&T will have to wait until 2012. And that's a maybe.

HTC INCREDIBLE with GOOGLE the way to go for all the iPhone-aspiring people who want a normal network!
post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I cannot think of any particularly compelling competitive reasons for such secrecy on this front. If anything, it provides clarity and makes decisions easier for customers.

I can think of several compelling competitive reasons for such secrecy. But I can't tell you what they are.

Thompson
post #10 of 92
At east they didn't agree to the AT&T deal "in perpetuity" like they stupidly did with Microsoft all those years ago.
post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After poring over court documents from 2008, Engadget has confirmed that Apple and AT&T originally agreed to a five-year exclusive arrangement for the iPhone. Whether that deal is still in place, however, is unknown.

Nilay Patel reported Monday that Apple, in a court filing in October 2008, admitted that AT&T had exclusive distribution rights in the U.S. for the iPhone. Apple specifically admitted to reports from USA Today in 2007, in which the newspaper said that the two companies had agreed to a deal through 2012. The paper also reported in 2007 that Verizon passed on a similar five-year arrangement.

Apple's admission was made as part of its defense in a class-action lawsuit filed in 2007, accusing both the iPhone maker and AT&T of illegally exerting a monopoly over iPhone customers. The suit alleged that iPhone users were forced to stay with AT&T after their two-year contract expired, because neither AT&T nor Apple would unlock their handset for use on another carrier, such as T-Mobile.

While the original agreement meant Apple's iPhone could not jump to a competing carrier until after 2012, Patel noted that "the real question is whether or not the exclusivity deal is still on the books."

"Contracts can be canceled, amended, and breached in many ways, and AT&T's spotty recent service history plus the explosion of the iPhone and the mobile market in general have given Apple any number of reasons to revisit the deal," he wrote. "In addition, the two companies obviously hit the negotiating table again to hammer out the iPad's pricing plans, and there's no way of knowing whether that deal involves the iPhone as well."

The lawsuit against Apple and AT&T remains ongoing, but many of the documents in the case have been sealed from public view since 2009. Patel noted that the plaintiffs argued Apple exerts illegal monopoly power over applications on the iPhone, by requiring company approval of all App Store software, and the court deemed the argument valid to go forward.

Though the five-year deal was originally announced in 2007, in the last year many analysts have suggested that the Apple-AT&T deal actually expires this summer. Whether the contract was amended to shorten the agreement has not been revealed.

Last week, one analyst speculated that Apple and AT&T extended their deal six months, with AT&T retaining exclusive access to the iPhone, and Apple gaining no-contract $30-per-month data plans for its just-released iPad.

Talk of Apple's handset becoming available on other carriers cooled earlier this year, when Apple executives defended AT&T, and the iPad was announced as compatible only with AT&T's 3G network in the U.S.

But in March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is currently working on a CDMA-capable iPhone that could run on the Verizon network. Such a device would not likely arrive this summer, when the next-generation iPhone is expected to go on sale, as the Journal reported that manufacturing of the CDMA model is not expected to begin until September.

Did anyone ever think that the reason that the iPad has pretty much the same price as an iPhone ($30 each month for unlimited data) because it is just an iPhone with a larger screen? I mean everyone knows that it is not a computer, so why does everyone think this is such a special deal. I feel the special deal is the no contract part. I dont think that the iPad would ever do well with a $60 per month charge and 2 year contract. Does anyone else see this. Yes the iPad has a larger screen and yes it must use more data compared to the iPhone, yet it cant use that much more not to mention that it is not going to be used as much as the iPhone which is in everyones pockets ready to be taken out. Everyone seems to think that apple and AT&T had this special deal with data but in reality apple probably said to at&t... "Hey we have this cool new device that doesn't use much more data than the iPhone, it wont be used as much, lets do this with the same price as the iPhone because it's not a computer. At&t said Cool, lets do it. But no contract to pull'em in. Deal done. Apple is simple at&t needs apple, end of story... I mean I am sure this talk about this 6 month extension sounds good causing talk and something to write about but really?
post #12 of 92
The iPhone will never be on Verizon anytime soon for many reasons, but one in particular: inability to use voice/data at the same time.

Apple Corporate would explode with irony if the feature they lambasted is suddenly a feature on their own product.
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post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRobin View Post

Why is all this so secret? These kind of things most definitely effect the companies earnings etc. Both of these companies are publicly traded. Shouldn't they be letting their shareholders know details like this?

Agreed. Also, the recipe to the Colonel's chicken definitely impacts KFC's earnings, so it should be public. Oh and the recipe for Propecia please.
post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

The iPhone will never be on Verizon anytime soon for many reasons, but one in particular: inability to use voice/data at the same time.

Apple Corporate would explode with irony if the feature they lambasted is suddenly a feature on their own product.

Just this past weekend I was on a phone call with someone who needed an address, brought up the web browser on the phone and was able to help them out, all without dropping the call, ending the call, or using a separate device.

Palm Pre Plus on Verizon.
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post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

The iPhone will never be on Verizon anytime soon for many reasons, but one in particular: inability to use voice/data at the same time.

I'm sure you meant never on CDMA Verizon, not NEVER on Verizon. I agree though, it'd be like releasing another Edge phone on ATT. Not having data access while on a phone call KILLS me!
post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

Just this past weekend I was on a phone call with someone who needed an address, brought up the web browser on the phone and was able to help them out, all without dropping the call, ending the call, or using a separate device.

Palm Pre Plus on Verizon.

WiFi was on or did Verizon secretly update to EVDO Rev. B?
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post #17 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

WiFi was on or did Verizon secretly update to EVDO Rev. B?

Option 3 - the rumor mill is heating up again as Apple preps to release a new iPhone. Verizon fans and employees everywhere get very loose lips around May and June to keep their friends from jumping ship. I'm amazed how many rumors I hear from my clients who plan to wait for a Verizon iPhone, which according to someone they were talking to (usually a Verizon salesperson) is coming any week now
post #18 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

WiFi was on or did Verizon secretly update to EVDO Rev. B?

Bluetooth tethered to a desktop PC, running off of a network that was shared with a 56k dialup modem to AOL.
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post #19 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRobin View Post

Why is all this so secret? These kind of things most definitely effect the companies earnings etc. Both of these companies are publicly traded. Shouldn't they be letting their shareholders know details like this?

It was a 5 year deal known in 2007 and later the WSJ claimed it was only 3 years.

From the start Apple and AT&T signed a 5 year deal.
post #20 of 92
5 yr deal = tactical error by Apple.

I presume they will just give up some $concessions$ and breach the contract. Another two years of AT&T exclusivity will simply ensure the rapid loss of market share for the iPhone.
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post #21 of 92
I find it hard to believe that the deal is iron-clad and that there's two more years left in this Apple-AT&T pact. There must be some escape clauses available for Apple should they decide to end exclusivity. Or at least a lot of us hope.
post #22 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpud View Post

you need some basic technology courses. Even when the Big Red does launch a full 4G network, they will ALWAYS rely on CDMA/3G (1x EV-DO signal), a WORLD-WIDE ACCEPTED STANDARD....

Verizon will get LTE this year. And you people on AT&T will have to wait until 2012.

Your belief that CDMA is a world-wide standard is just as correct as your believe that every GSM user is on AT&T -- especially here in Europe. Only an american could believe that the world ends at the US border.
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post #23 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Agreed. Also, the recipe to the Colonel's chicken definitely impacts KFC's earnings, so it should be public.

Don't forget Coke! Need to have that recipe!! Luv my Coke... cut me and I bleed Coke...

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post #24 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

The iPhone will never be on Verizon anytime soon for many reasons, but one in particular: inability to use voice/data at the same time.

Apple Corporate would explode with irony if the feature they lambasted is suddenly a feature on their own product.

The ability to make calls is probably more important to 99.999% of iPhone buyers.

That's one of those spec list features that is icing on the cake. Being able to place a call in NYC or other places AT&T sucks is several orders of magnitude more important. In other words calling would be priority 1. Having internet while calling would probably be priority 289 to most people. Including me. I'm going to get an iPhone when the 4G comes even if it is AT&T but I'm going to utilize that magic 15-day return window. if service sucks or calls drop, it's going back and I'm going right back to Verizon. Droid for me.
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post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRobin View Post

Why is all this so secret? These kind of things most definitely effect the companies earnings etc. Both of these companies are publicly traded. Shouldn't they be letting their shareholders know details like this?

Are you a shareholder? I am not. So i would not know. May be they let shareholder know but not stakeholders.
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post #26 of 92
Apple is going to have to break this exclusivity in order to stay at the forefront of the smart phone market. They were really starting to reap the rewards even with the AT&T exclusivity when Google showed up. Due to the muti-carrier/multi-supplier of Android based phones, Apple will be caught with their puds in their hands( in my opinion, they already have ).

I am amazed that a company ( Apple ) would actually make such a long term EXCLUSIVE agreement with another company ( ATT ) for so long in a technology like wireless phones. The shelf life of the average phone is only about 6-8 months.

As far as the CDMA issue.....most everyone is not getting it: Qualcomm has millions of these they would love to sale to Apple. Its not that hard to recode for new hardware. This is a moot point.

Next, LTE. Again, people are not getting the point. CDMA will remain the backbone infrastructure for VZW for many years to come.....long after the phone you buy this year or next, finally dies and you are on the 20th iteration of the model. LTE will mainly handle data requirements. Much like EVDO handles the data portion now.

With LTE being released in limited markets at first and not having even 75% saturation for a couple years to come, a CDMA only version would still be an acceptable technology. More than likely, Apple would release the CDMA only model and then the CDMA/LTE the following year knowing the demand would help aid them in obtaining record sales year after year. This is what Apple does well. It gives you a breakthrough device, but, holds back and "crumb feeds" its customers from one year to the next.

Even if the deal is broken between Apple and ATT, Apple needs to really make some serious updates to the iPhone before they release it on another carrier. Most phones now have serious amounts of onboard memory with expansion slots. They also have cameras that are way ahead of the iPhone. While a few people may say these things are not important, they may not be.....to those few people.
post #27 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

Just this past weekend I was on a phone call with someone who needed an address, brought up the web browser on the phone and was able to help them out, all without dropping the call, ending the call, or using a separate device.

Palm Pre Plus on Verizon.

My friend had a similar experience and was able to bring up the web browser on the phone and was able to help them out, all without dropping the call, ending the call, or using a separate device.

iPhone on AT&T

Just because AT&T and iPhone is 'Whoops-a-Daisies' in your area, doesn't mean it's not 'Fine and Dandy' in mine!

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post #28 of 92
Are those dropped calls really so bad? Statistics shows that at&t has 4.5% dropped calls against 2.5% on Verizon. It is 5 out 100 calls dropped on at&t. So worst scenario is 2 calls dropped a day. Is it really that hard to redial? Or all of you are involved in business there every lost minute costs thousands of $ ?

Yes at&t costs more but you get that iPhone for a $100 when it costs unlocked no less than $600 in other countries.

So is it really all that bad. Or you just reluctant to change your carrier?
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post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twiztd View Post

More than likely, Apple would release the CDMA only model and then the CDMA/LTE the following year

If you believe this, you don't know Steve Jobs and you don't understand Apple's corporate culture. It is nearly inconceivable that Apple would sell different iPhones for different networks. Apple will produce one iPhone for the most standard network protocols. If Verizon want to play with Apple, then Verizon need to play by the standards Apple have chosen. Apple will not change for Verizon.
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post #30 of 92
I'm happy enough with AT&T. I do wish it was better sometimes, but it's good enough and reliable enough for my daily needs. Big Red is the only provider I have never tried. Either way, I am sure if this contract is still valid, Apple will most certainly find a way to get out of it.
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twiztd View Post

Apple is going to have to break this exclusivity in order to stay at the forefront of the smart phone market. They were really starting to reap the rewards even with the AT&T exclusivity when Google showed up. Due to the muti-carrier/multi-supplier of Android based phones, Apple will be caught with their puds in their hands( in my opinion, they already have ).

I am amazed that a company ( Apple ) would actually make such a long term EXCLUSIVE agreement with another company ( ATT ) for so long in a technology like wireless phones. The shelf life of the average phone is only about 6-8 months.

As far as the CDMA issue.....most everyone is not getting it: Qualcomm has millions of these they would love to sale to Apple. Its not that hard to recode for new hardware. This is a moot point.

Next, LTE. Again, people are not getting the point. CDMA will remain the backbone infrastructure for VZW for many years to come.....long after the phone you buy this year or next, finally dies and you are on the 20th iteration of the model. LTE will mainly handle data requirements. Much like EVDO handles the data portion now.

With LTE being released in limited markets at first and not having even 75% saturation for a couple years to come, a CDMA only version would still be an acceptable technology. More than likely, Apple would release the CDMA only model and then the CDMA/LTE the following year knowing the demand would help aid them in obtaining record sales year after year. This is what Apple does well. It gives you a breakthrough device, but, holds back and "crumb feeds" its customers from one year to the next.

Even if the deal is broken between Apple and ATT, Apple needs to really make some serious updates to the iPhone before they release it on another carrier. Most phones now have serious amounts of onboard memory with expansion slots. They also have cameras that are way ahead of the iPhone. While a few people may say these things are not important, they may not be.....to those few people.

So closed minded. Market share is not the measure to tell that one phone is at the forefront of smart phone market. As market name tells you it is how smart the phone is the measure to tell.
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post #32 of 92
Why is this news? This had already been talked about back when the iPhone first launched. Leo Laporte was going on about how the iPhone was locked to AT&T until 2012, because the contract was for 5 years.
post #33 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soskok View Post

Are those dropped calls really so bad? Statistics shows that at&t has 4.5% dropped calls against 2.5% on Verizon. It is 5 out 100 calls dropped on at&t. So worst scenario is 2 calls dropped a day


Yeah that's about right. I don't mind it actually. I am not obsessed about 100% reliability like some people. In the end, it's about what serves you best. I always use mark the spot if it fails, which in most cases doesn't. I think I fall into the 7% range of dropped calls, but I don't mind. I just enjoy my phone. I do track data speeds using speedtest. Here's a snippet, unedited except for removal of wireless speeds.




However it is UNACCEPTABLE that certain areas have less than optimal coverage and reliability.
post #34 of 92
<If Verizon want to play with Apple, then Verizon need to play by the standards Apple have chosen. Apple will not change for Verizon.>

and they don't have to!

too many brilliant people telling apple (steve jobs) what to do when he has $40 billion net, in the bank, faster than any other company ever invented.
post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post

The ability to make calls is probably more important to 99.999% of iPhone buyers.

....Having internet while calling would probably be priority 289 to most people. Including me.

That's what most Verizon users say, and ATT is doing a poor job with its ads of explaining why it's so important. But if you ever had the ability to get data while you were on a phone call, you'd understand very quickly why it's so huge.
post #36 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Your belief that CDMA is a world-wide standard is just as correct as your believe that every GSM user is on AT&T -- especially here in Europe. Only an american could believe that the world ends at the US border.

I'm actually a full-blooded European

CDMA is available in more than the US - looks like you need do some learning before you open your mouth. It happens to be available in 30+ countries.
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacHarborGuy View Post

Why is this news? This had already been talked about back when the iPhone first launched. Leo Laporte was going on about how the iPhone was locked to AT&T until 2012, because the contract was for 5 years.

It's news because wishful fansites have started about 300 false rumors in the past 2 years...

It's no secret AT&T's network is ass, but that doesn't mean they're dumb enough to cancel the contract with Apple. And Apple cancelling the contract would probably cost them big time, so don't get your hopes up until 2012.
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

If you believe this, you don't know Steve Jobs and you don't understand Apple's corporate culture. It is nearly inconceivable that Apple would sell different iPhones for different networks. Apple will produce one iPhone for the most standard network protocols. If Verizon want to play with Apple, then Verizon need to play by the standards Apple have chosen. Apple will not change for Verizon.

They've already done it once (China), so I wouldn't go around saying words like inconceivable. Not that I think it will happen, but that's not the reason why it's not going to happen. There are two reasons - one is the terrible user experience when the user can't get online at the same time as he is on a call, and two is contractual.

Just to illustrate, just 5 minutes ago I got off the phone with my girlfriend. She was waiting for a metro to arrive, but didn't know when it was coming, and couldn't find out because her BB is on VZ. She suggested that I should look it up for her on my iPhone while we talked. I laughed and accused her of iPhone envy, which she agreed to.
post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Your belief that CDMA is a world-wide standard is just as correct as your believe that every GSM user is on AT&T -- especially here in Europe. Only an american could believe that the world ends at the US border.

Whereas I don't like the fact that CDMA and GSM are incompatible,
Whereas this is frustrating since I now have to reactivate my BlackBerry each time I travel back to Europe since my HTC DROID Incredible is CDMA only
Whereas I am in general not a fan of region-branded DVDs, different electrical plugs and voltages,
None of this changes the fact that I, a former AT&T customer, hate the aforementioned company, their crappy implementation of GSM, a European standard and while I do love Apple, I hate what the iPhone has become.

Did you know that if you try and use a calling card to make an international call on AT&T, they charge you as if you never used a calling card but dialed directly from their phone?!?!?!?!?!?

One of the many reasons why I hate AT&T. Verizon rocks for me ... since 2005

PS before you make assumptions about people, look at yourself first. The comment section here could do with fewer of your crappy comments.
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soskok View Post

So closed minded. Market share is not the measure to tell that one phone is at the forefront of smart phone market. As market name tells you it is how smart the phone is the measure to tell.

Actually, market share is THE way to see if you are at the forefront. This means you have a product that everyone is killing themselves to get to ( from the cell phone carriers to the end user ). You can have the greatest product on the planet, if no one is buying it because it is tied to another product that is less than desirable, you can't move it. While I can not argue the sales the iPhone has had, if I were Steve-O, I would still have to see it as a loss knowing that I could have sold more making it a multi-carrier product.

VZW's CEO has said they would like the iPhone....Apple just has to make it. So it is not VZW not wanting to play ball, it is Apple. Why should VZW want to spend hundreds of billions to change to GSM when Apple can change a radio for about $5.00 more per unit?

How many customers haven't left VZW or Sprint because of ATT's network? I bought the 3Gs the day it came out. Didn't port my number as I wanted to try it. The hardware was superb. The network was horrible. Coverage and voice quality were no where near VZW's. After 2 weeks, I was back to my VZW phone. Got the Moto Droid. While it is not as attractive as the iPhone, it is a nice phone that has some/better features than the iPhone. I do prefer the iPhones GUI as it is more attractive.

This is my unbiased view and comparing apples to apples ( pun intended ).
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