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Apple granted patent where carriers bid for iPhone service - Page 2

post #41 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

It'd work great for International travel, instead of paying roaming rates you'd pay local rates wherever you go, billed via an iTunes account.

No wonder European carriers are against it, I'd say roaming charges would make a nice little earner for them.


It brings a whole new meaning to MobileMe doesn't it?
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post #42 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Essentially someone at Apple has elephant sized family jewels.



Well that has been the case for some time, you don't get to be (almost) the most valuable company on the planet in a decade by being reticent do you?
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post #43 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Next we'll see this for Android and hear some Droidette claim Google was planning to do this all along.

I have to wonder about the 'patent' here. SJ told us the iPhone and iOS was patented pretty well. If so, something went wrong there it seems to me, else Google are in for a nasty shock one day.
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post #44 of 83
Just bidding on service based on signal strength or reliability of signal would be a step up. Heck, I'd even pay the same price.

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post #45 of 83
Say this takes off. Who controls your phone #? We need to let end users have control of their phone numbers else it will be used as a wedge by carriers against competitive services.
post #46 of 83
All I have to say is "Lets go Apple". If you have to take part ownership of a couple of carriers to do this in the US, lets do it. 46 billion in cash looks good about now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A patent recently granted to Apple could wrest power away from the wireless carriers by creating a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) system that would allow networks to bid against each other over wireless services provided to iPhone users.

In just three and a half years, Apple's iPhone has brought about substantial changes in the mobile phone industry and inspired a multitude of copycat devices. Now, just days before the iPhone goes multi-carrier in the US for the first time, AppleInsider has discovered a patent awarded to Apple that could further shake up the way carriers do business.

The patent, entitled "Dynamic carrier selection," describes a method for providing wireless communication services. According to the invention, a mobile device would store a network address and communicate with network operator servers. After receiving data from available network operators, the device or user would select a carrier. AppleInsider first reported on the patent in April 2008.

"In some situations, bids are received from multiple network operators for rates at which communication services using each network operator can be obtained. Preferences among the network operators are identified using the received bids, and the preferences are used to select the network operator for the mobile device to use in conducting communications," the filing noted.

The invention would allow Apple to run a MVNO system that could collect rate information from participating wireless networks within a region and automatically select or allow users to select the best option.

Traditional MVNOs purchase wireless minutes in bulk from existing carriers and resell them to customers. Apple's system could set off a bidding war between providers, potentially driving prices down.

The patent specifically lists Verizon and Sprint as examples of carriers from which MVNOs purchase minutes.



Using Apple's proposed system, a user could specify carrier preferences for different rates, locations and times that would then be dynamically selected by the iPhone.

An additional step that would likely enrage carriers would be for Apple to handle the accounting for the MVNO service and bill iPhone users through their iTunes account. Much like the controversial in-app subscriptions on the iPad, such a system would leave valuable user information in the hands of Apple, rather than the wireless carriers.

The application was filed in October 2006, nearly a year before the introduction of the iPhone. Former Apple executive Tony Fadell, known as the 'grandfather of the iPod,' is credited with the invention.



The patent serves as additional evidence that Apple has looked into ways to reduce its reliance on carrier relationships and provide iPhone users with more choices for wireless service.

Last October, reports emerged that Apple was working on a upgradeable flash-based SIM that could allow users to change wireless networks without having to obtain a carrier-specific SIM. Within weeks, several European carriers threatened Apple that such a feature would jeopardize their willingness to subsidize future versions of the iPhone.

Initial teardown reports of the Verizon iPhone 4 indicate that the smartphone uses a world mode MDM6600 Qualcomm baseband that could pave the way for a dual CDMA and GSM iPhone in the future.
post #47 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Is there a potential flip side to this? Bidding prices could send them down so significantly that it would reduce to carriers to subsistence levels. This could squeeze network development and eventually reduce the infrastructure to its knees. Without a reliable network, a good part of iphones functionality is lost.

I don't see this working out too well. Sounds great from a consumer perspective but the end game to me appears to be an overall negative.

Interesting perspective. I don't necessarily see a race to the bottom. You could see the carriers breaking up their biz models into quality strata. If you want the quality experience and the bandwidth, you pay for it. I could see this also creating premium or priority bandwidth services where your data takes priority over other network traffic. If you want to make a call that sounds like two mosquitoes talking, there will be a rate for that to.

I see this as a rare moment when a disruptive technology (or process) is introduced into a business ecosystem that changes the model. Where a stable subscription service has to evolve into a dynamic market service. There will be players that will adapt, thrive and survive and some that will not. In either case I do not see this effecting the overall expense of owning a iOS device, there will just be a more accurate relationship between the bandwidth you consume and the price you pay for it. And oh yes, a much different approach to how carriers attract you as a consumer.
post #48 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Is there a potential flip side to this? Bidding prices could send them down so significantly that it would reduce to carriers to subsistence levels. This could squeeze network development and eventually reduce the infrastructure to its knees. Without a reliable network, a good part of iphones functionality is lost.

I don't see this working out too well. Sounds great from a consumer perspective but the end game to me appears to be an overall negative.

...there is a corollary to the cable industry in this? Right now, the cell industry, while competitive in public have not been "cut-throat" in trying to undermine each other. The variance in rates is negligible between the major carriers, aside from their momentary specials they throw out to the market. Regional carriers can't compete for coverage so they get relegated to under-pricing for those customers who don't need the national or global coverage. If you look at the current profitability of the carriers, they are not close to hurting from either a revenue or profits standpoint. It would take nearly a decade before they would be reduced to anything approaching "subsistence" levels and long before that they would figure out new technologies to optimize their operating costs, or conversely there could be an entirely disruptive change in technologies that would drive gradual obsolescence of the whole radio carrier framework anyway.
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post #49 of 83
Apple needs to put this thing to use. I would rather buy my phone outright and use whatever carrier has the best service/prices at the time.
post #50 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Essentially someone at Apple has elephant sized family jewels.

..only if you see everything that Apple (or any other corporate entity) does as personally involving ego, and completely set aside the purposeful development of technology as a product to bring to market.

You would have crapped your pants during the Industrial Revolution, where personalities held sway and it was literally all about who had the biggest and who was the most cut-throat. This is mere vapours compared to that time period, and still you react like this is all about male body parts and ego. Bill Gates was a bit of a throw-back to those giants of industry, but the rest of corporate nowadays bears little resemblance to then. Perhaps you take this all a bit too personally?
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post #51 of 83
I don't see how this could be as dynamic as some people have said, with carriers being switched on the fly per phone call or text message...
post #52 of 83
Apple should start a service like Google Voice and route voice calls and data over IP. Then set up partnerships with city governments to provide wifi though out major metropolitan areas. Once that is in place you have a minimal roaming fee that the carriers bill to Apple based on your usage outside of the metro zone, if any.

Apple bills your phone charges through your MobileMe account. Your iPhone is subsidized by Apple and they provide your phone number as well. Eventually you won't even need a number because your calls will just get routed to you much like web traffic uses DNS today.

No need to worry about the details now. It could be a nice end run around the carriers and also a way for Apple services to be sold to government contracts.

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post #53 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

..on if you see everything that Apple (or any other corporate entity) does as personally involving ego, and completely set aside the purposeful development of technology as a product to bring to market.

You would have crapped your pants during the Industrial Revolution, where personalities held sway and it was literally all about who had the biggest and who was the most cut-throat. This is mere vapours compared to that time period, and still you react like this is all about male body parts and ego. Bill Gates was a bit of a throw-back to those giants of industry, but the rest of corporate nowadays bears little resemblance to then. Perhaps you take this all a bit too personally?

Nah, it's just a figure of speech. Apple think they don't need the carriers, so someone is making a big move. Maybe I should have said they have fortitude... courage... audacity maybe?

Whatever. You get my point.
post #54 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

btw, I am originally from Chesterfield

The crooked spire is still standing!

Where in Florida? I am big fan of Anna Maria Island near Bradenton

C.
post #55 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

The crooked spire is still standing!

Where in Florida? I am big fan of Anna Maria Island near Bradenton

C.

They don't twist spires like they used to eh? Sarasota . Better switch to personal messages or we'll get our ears thickened
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post #56 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNuts View Post

Just bidding on service based on signal strength or reliability of signal would be a step up. Heck, I'd even pay the same price.

http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...s/1biggrin.gif

That's a fascinating thought ... Option ... Select "Lowest Rate" or "Strongest Signal" for the call.
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post #57 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPedro View Post

That's the point of this patented invention. It's for dynamic carrier switching depending on which carrier provides the cheapest bid.

Sprint & Verizon are used as examples here but one has to wonder if that is because they were 2 that the early iPhones had no chance of running on at the time this was submitted. Doesn't bode well with carriers if you single out 2 of them in active contracts on some diagram. This patent may have been primarily to target world travel, an easy way to roam without costing yourself an arm & a leg. Just a guess.
post #58 of 83
Wasn't this a story from 2006 before the original iPhone even launched? I don't remember if it was driven by a patent filing or an industry rumour, but it was definitely based on the idea of Apple creating an MVNO that would be based on an auction system. I think AI even had a diagram of the proposed bidding system.

Edit: I guess this is really just a story of the patent being awarded and the story from a few years ago was about the submission.

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post #59 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

Say this takes off. Who controls your phone #? We need to let end users have control of their phone numbers else it will be used as a wedge by carriers against competitive services.

I am not certain we even need phone numbers.
Contacting someone via a number seems like a 19th Century solution.

C.
post #60 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

I am not certain we even need phone numbers.
Contacting someone via a number seems like a 19th Century solution.

C.

Now there is an interesting thought, like how someone can facetime my e-mail & it pops up on my Mac.
post #61 of 83
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Originally Posted by PersonalTaste View Post

Google will have all their copies machine ready. 3 2 1....

You'll survive.
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post #62 of 83
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Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

You'll survive.

Was that a joke I missed or just a put down?
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post #63 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by vjo,npd View Post

Apple is just trying to control everything...just like Apple likes to do. Here is the down side as stated in the article "several European carriers threatened Apple that such a feature would jeopardize their willingness to subsidize future versions of the iPhone." You will save a few pennies on your phone bill but get ready to pay $500 - $700 for that new phone.

Way to take things out of context.

Quote:
Here is the down side as stated in the article "several European carriers threatened Apple that such a feature would jeopardize their willingness to subsidize future versions of the iPhone."

The feature you seem to be talking about is something different. Apple wanted to work on an embedded SIM chip, which would do away with the requirement for customers to obtain a carrier-specific SIM. Not wanting to be even more marginalized, European carriers killed the project by threatening to cancel subsidies on the iPhone.

Quote:
Apple is just trying to control everything...just like Apple likes to do.

I've heard this too many times to count. I'm willing to be money that if anyone besides Apple were to do this, that company would be lauded as watching out for customers, protecting them from those "big bad carriers." If Apple does it, however, they're just trying to control everything...but I digress.

Apple is maintaining control of the platform, and not allowing carriers to have any control of the platform. As I see it, that does not hinder carriers in any way. Their job is to provide the functionality of making calls and using the web. Carriers' lack of control does not hinder that at all. Also, it's a tradeoff system. For example, take the AT&T exclusivity deal. AT&T ceded control of the platform to Apple, but in exchange, AT&T did not have to handle any aspects related to handset itself, such as advertising and dealing with technical support/warranties. Apple handled all of those things, and at the same time, AT&T charged the same amount of money for monthly plans that it charged for other devices.
post #64 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

For this to happen, it would require co-operation from the carriers.
And because it could cause a sea change in the way they do business, I don't see them falling over themselves to offer this option.

If Apple creates an MVNO, then the carriers would have less to say about the issue. I had mentioned just the other day that Apple spending some of that cash heap to create an MVNO is a possibility. This looks like it could be a real likelihood. I would not be surprised to see Apple acquire an existing MVNO or two.

The carriers may not need to be that involved. If Apple has an MVNO in place they could probably route calls on the most cost-effective basis based on static information (i.e., using the least-cost option depending on where you are currently located). In time. Apple would need a way to poll this information from the carriers more dynamically.

The downside is that once Apple moves in this direction, carriers will understandably be unlikely to subsidize the iPhone. This might not be so bad in the US which has an abundance of retail outlets carrying the phone (plus possibly adding any acquired MVNO stores). But, it would signal to countless other carriers around the world what Apple's intentions are and cause them to either drop or stop subsidizing the iPhone.

Will be interesting to see if anything comes of this.
post #65 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbcbubba View Post

I think that under this model the subsidization (is that even a word!?) would come from Apple instead of the wireless provider(s). Or perhaps this would end subsidies all together and we'd end up with $300-$400 iPhones and lower monthly bills. I'd be okay with this path as long as the savings were realized in the first 6-12 months.

The carriers who don't have a knee-jerk reaction would still see the benefits of subsidizing the iPhone. That two-year contract the customer signs more than pays the cost of the phone and the carrier makes a tidy profit.
post #66 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I have to wonder about the 'patent' here. SJ told us the iPhone and iOS was patented pretty well. If so, something went wrong there it seems to me, else Google are in for a nasty shock one day.

Don't forget that Apple has gone after a couple of Android carriers: HTC and Motorola (in a defensive maneuver).
post #67 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

Say this takes off. Who controls your phone #? We need to let end users have control of their phone numbers else it will be used as a wedge by carriers against competitive services.

In order for this to work, Apple most likely needs to become an MVNO - they will control your number.
post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

Say this takes off. Who controls your phone #? We need to let end users have control of their phone numbers else it will be used as a wedge by carriers against competitive services.

You want my best guess ? Apple will (or anyone apple might license the patent to might provide the same service).

If this actually happens, it would commoditize the tower operators / license holders. Not a bad idea in my book.

Just to clear the air a little bit, some of what this portends is already happening.

Take AT&T (please !) ... I don't know how AT&T Wireless operates internally (financially speaking), but I'd bet that there are two operating segments. One operated the towers/licenses and one operates retail/consumer/biz accounts. The former is the one that wholesales minutes to all GSM retailers (MVNO, AT&T wireless retail, etc). The latter handles customer billing, dispenses handsets, and customer service. Guess which one would effectively get neutered by this kind of paradigm.
post #69 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Next we'll see this for Android and hear some Droidette claim Google was planning to do this all along.


You mean like the way iPhone users originally dismissed copy/paste and multitasking on the iPhone?
post #70 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by c-ray View Post

You want my best guess ? Apple will (or anyone apple might license the patent to might provide the same service).

If this actually happens, it would commoditize the tower operators / license holders. Not a bad idea in my book.

No, if this happens it will drive up the retail price of the iPhone AND drive up the cost of airtime and data.

How many cell providers worldwide provide short term, low volume, ala carte services for LESS than long term bundled services? None. If you sign up for more minutes or more data, the cost per minute and cost per mb goes down. If you sign up for 2 years instead of month to month, the price goes down. If Apple gets their way and we buy by the minute without even a monthly contract you think it is going to be CHEAPER? Ha ha ha ha!!!!!!! I have a bridge to sell anyone who believes that!!!!!!!

And that is before we pay through the iTunes store. If there is a 30% Apple Tax to buy your minutes through Apple, you can be sure Apple owners will be charged 30% more by the carriers than people who get their airtime directly from the carrier.

There is no way this will increase competition, especially in the US. If I go to AT&T and Verizon now looking for a new iPhone on 2 year contract, whoever wins my business will get about $100 a month for 24 months, or $2400 in revenue, plus a big edge in getting me to resign for the next two years, plus the extra pull for my friends and familly from having me on their network. Under the Apple model, if I am asking them to bid on a 5 minute call to my cousin Fred at 3:00 PM, the winner will get something like $0.50 one time. There is a MUCH MUCH bigger incentive to compete now than there will be uner the Apple system.
post #71 of 83
This will never happen because it would require the networks cooperation. Whos to say that apple knows better than you, what the cheapest rate is? This wouldn't take into consideration all the permutations with phone plans that take place. These companies could bid one price to apple and then advertise, hey if you get the plan from us it'll be cheaper. Telcos depend on steady cash flow like any other business and would never willingly go to a on demand bid model, it would completely remove any leverage they have with pricing plans.
post #72 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcashwell View Post

Except that loans *END*. Why is it that after my cell contract is done my bill (which should be just for service at that point) does not go down?

-Mike

...umm, because you don't ask to change to a lower plan that may suit your needs better, once you are out of contract and your plan is rolling month to month.
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post #73 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by vjo,npd View Post

Apple is just trying to control everything...just like Apple likes to do. Here is the down side as stated in the article "several European carriers threatened Apple that such a feature would jeopardize their willingness to subsidize future versions of the iPhone." You will save a few pennies on your phone bill but get ready to pay $500 - $700 for that new phone.

Well this is a no-brainer and you can't criticize Apple or any company on this topic.

Of course if you are getting the lowest price on calls no carrier will subsidize your phone and no company will give you a free phone. You can't have both low cost per call and a subsidized phone.

In this model you would have to pay full cost for the phone to get the lower call rates. Over the life of the phone this method would save consumers money. All companies exist to make money, to think you should be able get both low call rates and a subsidized phone you would have to be a moron.

This whole idea goes along the lines of the old saying: You can pay me now or you can pay me later. Rest assured nothing in this world is free and you will pay or you will go without. The only choice you will ever have is deciding which method of payment works best for you.

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post #74 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

Say this takes off. Who controls your phone #? We need to let end users have control of their phone numbers else it will be used as a wedge by carriers against competitive services.

The consumer already controls their phone number. Once you have a phone number you can get it ported to whatever phone you own. It is the law, it may cost you a nominal fee to get the number transferred / ported over but you can keep the same phone number.

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post #75 of 83
maybe, maybe
post #76 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post

No, if this happens it will drive up the retail price of the iPhone AND drive up the cost of airtime and data.

How many cell providers worldwide provide short term, low volume, ala carte services for LESS than long term bundled services? None. If you sign up for more minutes or more data, the cost per minute and cost per mb goes down. If you sign up for 2 years instead of month to month, the price goes down. If Apple gets their way and we buy by the minute without even a monthly contract you think it is going to be CHEAPER? Ha ha ha ha!!!!!!! I have a bridge to sell anyone who believes that!!!!!!!

You are kind of missing the whole issue of Apple becoming an MVNO (like Virgin, Boost, Tracfone). These companies buy huge blocks of minutes from the Verizon and Sprint at a discount and then resell them at a profit but below the telcos prices. Apple could do the same even offering to subsidize the iPhone for a two-year contract. Apple could easily enter this field by buying up a few MVNOs.

What would be new is the concept of least-cost routing. But even that is old news as that was a standard offering for companies that specialized in the business long-distance market before nationwide long-distance was available. Apple could take advantage of this by offering a fixed dollar value (rather than minutes) for your subscription and then always route through the lowest-cost alternative. Any usage above the allotted dollar plan would likely see additional minutes at substantially lower prices billed to your iTunes account.

I don't think this will necessarily be about ala carte services. I think Apple will be an MVNO that offers least-cost routing.
post #77 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksmith22 View Post

This will never happen because it would require the networks cooperation. Whos to say that apple knows better than you, what the cheapest rate is? This wouldn't take into consideration all the permutations with phone plans that take place. These companies could bid one price to apple and then advertise, hey if you get the plan from us it'll be cheaper. Telcos depend on steady cash flow like any other business and would never willingly go to a on demand bid model, it would completely remove any leverage they have with pricing plans.

Apple would have the advantage of knowing the lowest cost among local carriers. For instance, if you are on Verizon and happen to be in some city on business, there is no way for you to access a lower-cost option than Verizon. Apple's MVNO could provide this option.
post #78 of 83
If only it ever gets implemented...
post #79 of 83
and I patented the idea that harems would spontaneously fom whenever i say the word "tweezers"

i would love to see the carriers put in this position but it might as well be the "Wishful Thinking" or the "If Wishes Were Carriers" patent
post #80 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

The consumer already controls their phone number. Once you have a phone number you can get it ported to whatever phone you own. It is the law, it may cost you a nominal fee to get the number transferred / ported over but you can keep the same phone number.

In theory. But anyone who'se tried to port their number more than once knows lots of shenanigans happen and I bet quite a few people are hesitant to switch carriers because of the hassle/fear of losing the number. I've even had to fight to keep my number within different plans from the same carrier. Yes, I got it ported but I had to huff and puff at the CS guy before he relented. I really don't understand why any carrier has a right to my number or why I have to request for them to port. My number should be mine. Perhaps a one time fee and that's it.
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