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Tense Apple-AT&T iPhone partnership nearly ended multiple times

post #1 of 154
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A new report detailing the relationship between Apple and AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., reveals that Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly considered dropping AT&T numerous times, and considered leaving for Verizon as far back as 2007.

The tense relationship between Apple and AT&T is detailed in this month's issue of Wired magazine. Though the article is not yet available online, it was summarized Monday by Jason D. O'Grady of ZDNet.

The article compares the relationship between AT&T and Apple as a loveless celebrity marriage -- one that went wrong quickly after the honeymoon ended. Apple was unwilling to restrict the Internet capabilities of the iPhone, while AT&T struggled to meet the overwhelming pressure the smartphone placed on its network.

An anonymous source told the magazine that Jobs discussed severing ties with AT&T at least a half-dozen times. At one point in 2007, Apple engineers allegedly visited the headquarters of Qualcomm to consider the prospect of creating a CDMA iPhone for the rival network. EVentually, the company concluded it would have to rebuild the phone from scratch to fit the new chips inside, making the prospect too costly and complicated.

The article also alleges that Qualcomm also began working on a chip that will allow the iPhone to work on both the AT&T and Verizon networks. Recent reports have alleged that Apple will offer a CDMA iPhone for the Verizon network in January 2011.

One of many spats between the companies was said to be regarding tethering: Apple wanted it to be included in the standard data plan charges, while AT&T wanted to charge extra. AT&T eventually won that alleged battle, as it now offers tethering via USB or Bluetooth for an extra $20 per month.

The report also said that AT&T took issue with the fact that the iPhone uses a radio from Infineon, a company that previously had been most widely used in Europe, where cell towers are more common. AT&T allegedly felt that Apple's use of an Infineon chip led to inferior reception. When the wireless carrier asked Apple to resolve the issues "together," it was said that Apple's response was, "No, you resolve them. They're not our problem. They're your problem."

The companies apparently squabbled over small things as well, as the two corporate cultures did not mesh well. At one point, an AT&T representative reportedly told one of Jobs' deputies that the company co-founder should wear a suit to meet with the AT&T Board of Directors. That AT&T employee was allegedly told, "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
post #2 of 154
To me, this confirms the rumors that Apple has had a Verizon compatible phone waiting in the wings for some time now. They couldn't play chicken with AT&T without having that option ready.

edit:
And on second thought, maybe it confirms exactly the opposite. That Apple has put up with AT&T only because they don't have a Verizon solution.

post #3 of 154
"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits." good slogan

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post #4 of 154
Interesting. For those who believe that Apple should merge with this or that company, stories like should give pause. Corporate culture is important and the differences can be difficult to overcome.
Please don't be insane.
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post #5 of 154
All partnerships have issues. Each wants what is best for their customers.....sometimes they are in conflict.

Welcome to Business 101.
post #6 of 154
Man, where the frak is T-Mobile in these discussions, this is complete bullshit
post #7 of 154
For Many... The Sooner The Better!
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #8 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

All partnerships have issues. Each wants what is best for their customers.....sometimes they are in conflict.

Welcome to Business 101.

AT&T wants nothing for their customers. Seems like Apple's the only one on our side.

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post #9 of 154
I believed this article up until the mentioning the "source" could not be identified. Why is it that every story that these technology news mediums and blogs find can't disclose the person who is giving the information? #imjustsaying. I'm still standing were I always stand with these posts: I'll believe it when I see it...
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post #10 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits." good slogan

Love it!
post #11 of 154
I completely agree that "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits." needs to be their new slogan. Seriously.
post #12 of 154
Quote:
"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."

Shoulda been "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits. If you want to deal with us I suggest you turn up in sneakers and old jeans."
post #13 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

To me, this confirms the rumors that Apple has had a Verizon compatible phone waiting in the wings for some time now. They couldn't play chicken with AT&T without having that option ready.

edit:
And on second thought, maybe it confirms exactly the opposite. That Apple has put up with AT&T only because they don't have a Verizon solution.


Nah, I'd say your first assessment was correct. The only reason they didn't jump ship is because AT&T keeps paying them to stay. But, it's beyond the realm of possibility that a CDMA iPhone has been worked on in secret. At the very least, Apple must be assessing the use of LTE chips in the future for a 2012-2013 iPhone. And regardless, Apple has been hiring CDMA engineers since 2008. They must be working on something! 9to5Mac Article
post #14 of 154
Apple really holds the majority of the cards here. Other carriers will likely drop their pants and bend over backwards should Apple shop around for a new carrier.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new report detailing the relationship between Apple and AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., reveals that Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly considered dropping AT&T numerous times, and considered leaving for Verizon as far back as 2007.

The tense relationship between Apple and AT&T is detailed in this month's issue of Wired magazine. Though the article is not yet available online, it was summarized Monday by Jason D. O'Grady of ZDNet.

The article compares the relationship between AT&T and Apple as a loveless celebrity marriage -- one that went wrong quickly after the honeymoon ended. Apple was unwilling to restrict the Internet capabilities of the iPhone, while AT&T struggled to meet the overwhelming pressure the smartphone placed on its network.

An anonymous source told the magazine that Jobs discussed severing ties with AT&T at least a half-dozen times. At one point in 2007, Apple engineers allegedly visited the headquarters of Qualcomm to consider the prospect of creating a CDMA iPhone for the rival network. EVentually, the company concluded it would have to rebuild the phone from scratch to fit the new chips inside, making the prospect too costly and complicated.

The article also alleges that Qualcomm also began working on a chip that will allow the iPhone to work on both the AT&T and Verizon networks. Recent reports have alleged that Apple will offer a CDMA iPhone for the Verizon network in January 2011.

One of many spats between the companies was said to be regarding tethering: Apple wanted it to be included in the standard data plan charges, while AT&T wanted to charge extra. AT&T eventually won that alleged battle, as it now offers tethering via USB or Bluetooth for an extra $20 per month.

The report also said that AT&T took issue with the fact that the iPhone uses a radio from Infineon, a company that previously had been most widely used in Europe, where cell towers are more common. AT&T allegedly felt that Apple's use of an Infineon chip led to inferior reception. When the wireless carrier asked Apple to resolve the issues "together," it was said that Apple's response was, "No, you resolve them. They're not our problem. They're your problem."

The companies apparently squabbled over small things as well, as the two corporate cultures did not mesh well. At one point, an AT&T representative reportedly told one of Jobs' deputies that the company co-founder should wear a suit to meet with the AT&T Board of Directors. That AT&T employee was allegedly told, "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
post #15 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new report detailing the relationship between Apple and AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., reveals that Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly considered dropping AT&T numerous times, and considered leaving for Verizon as far back as 2007. "

Please consider it again.
post #16 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by glui2001 View Post

Apple really holds the majority of the cards here. Other carriers will likely drop their pants and bend over backwards should Apple shop around for a new carrier.

Shouldn't they bend the other way?

(it's about time the cell providers get what's coming to them)
post #17 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."

Apparently they're not the Men In Black.
post #18 of 154
iPhone 4 concerns (incl. ATT) seem to be weighing down Apple's stock yet again.

Just thought that I should note in passing: As of 1.37 PM EDT, July 19, 2010, MSFT's mkt cap exceeded that of AAPL again.
post #19 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."

Suits! Suits! We don't need no stinking suits!


Would have loved to have seen the look on the AT&T minions face.

My apologies to "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" & David Allan Coe/Johnny Paycheck.
post #20 of 154
Because of the $20 tethering rip-off, I opted to keep my grandfathered unlimited plan.

Anyway, there is so much Wi-Fi in the world now, that I just don't have a great need for the luxury of tethering.

Meanwhile, I am 3G streaming music and video night and day. Try to cap my data to 2GB or less, will ya...
post #21 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."

yes, they only wear denim and black turtleneck, and now they don't even own electric shavers. I hope they take showers for boardrooms' sake
post #22 of 154
Only 2 years left for the exclusivity contract to expire. We will see then if these reports are true.
post #23 of 154
Anything we can do to speed up the process?

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post #24 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

At one point, an AT&T representative reportedly told one of Jobs' deputies that the company co-founder should wear a suit to meet with the AT&T Board of Directors. That AT&T employee was allegedly told, "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."

I agree with AT&T on this one. Jobs looks stupid in that same outfit day after day and the other guys just look really uncomfortable dressed like that. It doesn't fit their personalities. Appropriate attire is showing respect for your partners and vendors. Jobs would probably show up to a funeral dressed like that. He doesn't appear to give a rat's ass about anyone but himself. Oh I forgot, he 'loves' his users.

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post #25 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by glui2001 View Post

Apple really holds the majority of the cards here. Other carriers will likely drop their pants and bend over backwards should Apple shop around for a new carrier.

I bet Verizon won't!
post #26 of 154
I don't think any corporate culture would mesh well with Apple, especially these old school telephone companies.

Google would!
post #27 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGod 2.0 View Post

I believed this article up until the mentioning the "source" could not be identified. Why is it that every story that these technology news mediums and blogs find can't disclose the person who is giving the information? #imjustsaying. I'm still standing were I always stand with these posts: I'll believe it when I see it...

Confidential sources are as old as journalism.
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post #28 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarges View Post

yes, they only wear denim and black turtleneck, and now they don't even own electric shavers. I hope they take showers for boardrooms' sake

They are Apple, they don't own soap! (to scared to drop it)
post #29 of 154
Funny, Jobs use to wear suits all the time in the 80's. Bow tie!
post #30 of 154
I wonder what would happen to this awesome Verizon network if 5,000,000 ATT customers showed up one day wanting to take it to the limit.
post #31 of 154
Apple should start its own telecom company. Can you imagine calling to complain about your wireless service from Apple telecom and actually getting somewhere? Apple sets the gold standard for customer support - something these telecom giants (read A&TT and Verizon) can learn from. I have wasted countless hours getting nowhere with both of these giant slugs.
post #32 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."

They do rent on occasions though:



Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Apple engineers allegedly visited the headquarters of Qualcomm to consider the prospect of creating a CDMA iPhone for the rival network. EVentually, the company concluded it would have to rebuild the phone from scratch to fit the new chips inside, making the prospect too costly and complicated.

That might be resolved with Verizon switching to GSM:

http://www.gsmworld.com/newsroom/pre.../2010/5105.htm

GSM is a far more prevalent network format so it makes more sense for Verizon to go GSM so that the same iPhone can work on both networks.
post #33 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

To me, this confirms the rumors that Apple has had a Verizon compatible phone waiting in the wings for some time now. They couldn't play chicken with AT&T without having that option ready.

edit:
And on second thought, maybe it confirms exactly the opposite. That Apple has put up with AT&T only because they don't have a Verizon solution.


Of course it says the opposite of your initial post. It says that they CAN NOT make a Verizon phone with existing chips unless they redesign the iPHone (bloody well unlikely).

If Infineon comes through with a chip that handles both networks, it would be possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I agree with AT&T on this one. Jobs looks stupid in that same outfit day after day and the other guys just look really uncomfortable dressed like that. It doesn't fit their personalities. Appropriate attire is showing respect for your partners and vendors. Jobs would probably show up to a funeral dressed like that. He doesn't appear to give a rat's ass about anyone but himself. Oh I forgot, he 'loves' his users.

Funny how the people who criticize Apple for 'form over function' jump on Jobs for what he wears.

His function as a CEO has been exceptional. I can't imagine that any shareholders care what he wears - as long as he keeps doing a great job.
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post #34 of 154
You guys in the US really are in a mess with this while AT&T aren't you. Here in the UK the iPhone is on 5 carriers now, with the previous exclusive carrier (O2) having lost their exclusivity some time ago now. I gather many other countries also have a choice of carriers with the iPhone, so what's gone wrong in the US? Why are you stuck with only one choice? Is this an uncommon situation or are most phones locked down like this in the US?
post #35 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveStuff View Post

I wonder what would happen to this awesome Verizon network if 5,000,000 ATT customers showed up one day wanting to take it to the limit.

verizon pre cripples its own networks making sure every one get a tad above shit service
but no one gets dropped calls
to use an iphone on version and stream hulu
get a mifi card or the dongle thing they sell

yet verizon can handle it
verizon can run much of it thru its fios network
fiber
fiber
optic

verizon has really built out nyc

towers and repeaters abound every where except the bayonne nj dead zone
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post #36 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They do rent on occasions though:





That might be resolved with Verizon switching to GSM:

http://www.gsmworld.com/newsroom/pre.../2010/5105.htm

GSM is a far more prevalent network format so it makes more sense for Verizon to go GSM so that the same iPhone can work on both networks.

best post this month

ta da !!!
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post #37 of 154
dunno why
but i feel good after reading this

9
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post #38 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

You guys in the US really are in a mess with this while AT&T aren't you. Here in the UK the iPhone is on 5 carriers now, with the previous exclusive carrier (O2) having lost their exclusivity some time ago now. I gather many other countries also have a choice of carriers with the iPhone, so what's gone wrong in the US? Why are you stuck with only one choice? Is this an uncommon situation or are most phones locked down like this in the US?

It's because they have 2 (?) carriers who use GSM, AT&T and T-Mobile. The others use CDMA. The iPhone works on GSM as that's the technology most carriers in the world use.

There is no CDMA iPhone, so in the US there's only AT&T as T-Mobile uses a different frequency that the iPhone doesn't understand. On a T-Mobile iPhone you only have 2G (in the US at least).

Got to love T-Mobile in the Netherlands, unlimited 3G all the way 8)
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post #39 of 154
Part of the power of the statement "we're Apple. We don't wear suits..." is that any employee could probably make that statement to an AT&T executive and be confident that Steve Jobs himself would back them up. Not enough companies in this country have that sense of identity and courage.
post #40 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

best post this month

ta da !!!

This is not a suit, it's a tuxedo.
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