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Cramer: Cingular to give away 18 months of service with iPhone

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money, and director of "TheStreet.com," says AT&T is planning to steal away Verizon Wireless subscribers by an enticing offer to go along with the iPhone: Free AT&T Wireless subscription for a year and a half with the purchase of Apple's iPhone.

In essence, this would substantially lower the perceived price of the iPhone, providing a great incentive for early adopters.

I'm in!

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post #2 of 70
Thursday's hot iPhone rumor comes compliments of CNBC analyst Jim Cramer, who suggests Cingular/ATT will sidestep subsidization of the Apple handset by giving away lengthy service contracts.

"In its call, the company made it very clear that it's going to use Apple's iPhone to get customers from Verizon Wireless by giving away its service for a year and a half to those customers who buy the phone," Cramer explained in his blog posting at TheStreet.com.

The CNBC "Mad Money" host believes the strategy will help the wireless carrier court a flurry of new subscribers while maintaining requests from Apple not to discount the cost of the $499 and $599 mobile devices.

Take our poll: Would 1.5 years of complimentary cell service increase your likelihood of purchasing an iPhone?
post #3 of 70
I always considered the hidden costs for iPhone could easily kick the price up another 100-200 dollars. If this is true, I may be buying my first cell phone.
post #4 of 70
If this is true, this will absolutely be a major lift for Cingular as people will more readily fork over the hundreds for a phone that may end up saving them more in the long run!!!

The only caveat is this: The iPhone would have to be extremely compelling AND Cingular or ATT (horrible name) would make sure they don't jack up the service fees for iPhone users.

Great marketing strategy though!!!
post #5 of 70
If you consider that $50 * 18 months = $900 . . .

That's literally a steal, and it's the only way I'd consider getting one. Cingular's 2.5G network with bad voice quality isn't worth paying for, but in this case, I wouldn't be paying for it so it's all good.
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post #6 of 70
Substantially lower? At a minimum voice plan of say $40 month for 18 months this would actually mean Cingular would be paying you at least $120 to use the iPhone and their service, and a whopping $220 for the base model.

Could this possibly be true? Does Cingular have some kind of bare bones plan that they might be offering up with substantially lower monthly worth?

Other questions are:

--Does the 18 months count against the two year service plan? That is, is your contract up after the last paid six months?

--If so, will there be anywhere to go with your iPhone at that point, since two years coincides with the term of Apple's exclusive deal with Cingular?

--If the "free" service is just a basic voice plan, how much will (the probably required) data services be?

This looks to be a huge win for Apple, one that abruptly changes the "too expensive for normal folk" narrative, assuming the particulars aren't too horrible. Hope it's for real.
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post #7 of 70
If true, this probably isn't for those people that are already with Cingular. This is clearly a market share grab from the other companies....
post #8 of 70
Except that 18 months of crap is still crap. I wouldn't deal with Cingular even if it were free.
post #9 of 70
I don't expect them to provide the phone service for free, that would be pretty dumb on their part, what is their incentive?

If the data part of the contract is no extra charge above a standard voice plan, then I might consider it.

I just checked their site and they claim to not support my area. Did ATT dump their own wireless network to get Cingular? I thought ATT supported my area.
post #10 of 70
Reposted from the other, soon to be orphaned thread:

Substantially lower? At a minimum voice plan of say $40 month for 18 months this would actually mean Cingular would be paying you at least $120 to use the iPhone and their service, and a whopping $220 for the base model.

Could this possibly be true? Does Cingular have some kind of bare bones plan that they might be offering up with substantially lower monthly worth?

Other questions are:

--Does the 18 months count against the two year service plan? That is, is your contract up after the last paid six months?

--If so, will there be anywhere to go with your iPhone at that point, since two years coincides with the term of Apple's exclusive deal with Cingular?

--If the "free" service is just a basic voice plan, how much will (the probably required) data services be?

This looks to be a huge win for Apple, one that abruptly changes the "too expensive for normal folk" narrative, assuming the particulars aren't too horrible. Hope it's for real.
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post #11 of 70
Thread Starter 
.....
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post #12 of 70
I'm all for it but I think this may diminish the odds of a second, scaled down and cheaper, iPhone appearing later this year. Good news for me though as they had me after the keynote. Now they just made it cheaper.
post #13 of 70
since this is a rumor, let me add my GUESS:
if this is true, i'm guessing that it's 18 months of free unlimited DATA when you sign up for a VOICE plan.
post #14 of 70
I'm curious to what Verizon's take is on the iPhone in general? I know there will be cool phones down the line, but I want one with Mac OS X on it... and I can't foresee that happening anytime soon with Verizon...

I honestly thing quality-wise Verizon is a better company/service... I'm torn (i want the iphone).
post #15 of 70
First, I do think this is accurate. Cingular will take a loss on the service for 18 months for the sole reason of nailing Verizon. I have Verizon now, and I can tell you that I will absolutely convert to Cingular if this true. My cell bill, with mobile web, comes to $52.00 a month. That's a savings of $900 over two years, all for the privledge of using an amazingly revolutionary phone.

However, there are some disadvantages to the phone that may hold me back or give me pause, at least. One is the lack of bluetooth support. That's kind of a deal killer as my Motorola E815 syncs perfectly with my 2007 Camry's system. It's really an amazing technology that I'm becoming addicted to. I also can sync the same phone with iCal and Address Book over bluetooth. So, I'm losing the Bluetooth feature and gaining full web...sort of. I can already use my E815 as a bluetooth modem, and so whenever I travel.
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post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

since this is a rumor, let me add my GUESS:
if this is true, i'm guessing that it's 18 months of free unlimited DATA when you sign up for a VOICE plan.

I agree. Free voice plan for 18 months seem implausible. Heck, if it's free voice plan, I am willing to sign up with Verizon Wireless now and pay the termination fee for Cingular + iPhone. Unlimited data and/or SMS for 18 months makes more sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

However, there are some disadvantages to the phone that may hold me back or give me pause, at least. One is the lack of bluetooth support.

iPhone has Bluetooth 2.0. Apple has yet to publish the list of profiles, but it does have Blueooth.
post #17 of 70
everyone here who thinks cingular sux is just living in a spotty area. TOO BAD FOR YOU.
i live in central CT and always have perfect reception, plus on ski trips to VT i get perfect reception where Verizon has NONE. it works fine in NYC, boston, coastal Maine, every ski town in CO that i've been to, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. i've had full reception in the middle of nowhere nebraska.
i have NEVER had a problem w/ cingular... just ask people who live near you who have their service - that should tell you all you need to know.
post #18 of 70
I'll believe it when (if) it's announced. I don't see why they wouldn't have announced that at the time it was introduced if it's true. And the first 18 months out of a 24-month contract free? That just makes no sense.
post #19 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

However, there are some disadvantages to the phone that may hold me back or give me pause, at least. One is the lack of bluetooth support. That's kind of a deal killer as my Motorola E815 syncs perfectly with my 2007 Camry's system. It's really an amazing technology that I'm becoming addicted to. I also can sync the same phone with iCal and Address Book over bluetooth. So, I'm losing the Bluetooth feature and gaining full web...sort of. I can already use my E815 as a bluetooth modem, and so whenever I travel.

Please tell me what part of Bluetooth you are losing. Apple's iPhone page says it supports Bluetooth 2.0/EDR. 2.0/EDR is not needed if you just wanted to use a Bluetooth headset.
post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by domerdel View Post

I'm curious to what Verizon's take is on the iPhone in general? I know there will be cool phones down the line, but I want one with Mac OS X on it... and I can't foresee that happening anytime soon with Verizon...

I honestly thing quality-wise Verizon is a better company/service... I'm torn (i want the iphone).

My guess: The Cingular/AT&T deal is exclusive for two years at most and Apple will eventually roll the the iPhone out to the other GSM carriers and bring out a CDMA iPhone for Verizon.

There's just no reason for Apple to have given Cingular/AT&T exclusivity beyond two years and limit availability to the 20 percent (or whatever) of American mobile users that are on Cingular/AT&T.
post #21 of 70
Who said this was based on a 2-year contract? They are undoubtedly going have many different ones.

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post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

My guess: The Cingular/AT&T deal is exclusive for two years at most and Apple will eventually roll the the iPhone out to the other GSM carriers and bring out a CDMA iPhone for Verizon.

There's just no reason for Apple to have given Cingular/AT&T exclusivity beyond two years and limit availability to the 20 percent (or whatever) of American mobile users that are on Cingular/AT&T.

I think my question was more related to what approach did Verizon have (initially) with Apple? Did they try and work out a deal? or was it the other end (Apple) just picking a carrier with the biggest network?

When the RAZR came out, it was less than a year before Verizon adopted it's own version. The different story here is a smart phone with a very specific OS interface. I was hoping to find articles that Verizon made some sort of approach/proposal to try and get the iPhone with their network BEFORE it was decided by Apple and Cingular to keep it exclusive for 2 years. Verizon holds a very strong smart phone market, and it confuses me that it seems, from a consumer standpoint, that Verizon just let this slip under the radar...
post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

My guess: The Cingular/AT&T deal is exclusive for two years at most and Apple will eventually roll the the iPhone out to the other GSM carriers and bring out a CDMA iPhone for Verizon.

There's just no reason for Apple to have given Cingular/AT&T exclusivity beyond two years and limit availability to the 20 percent (or whatever) of American mobile users that are on Cingular/AT&T.

It runs out in 2009 at which point the iPhone will be available through other carriers.

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post #24 of 70
I just don't want to HAVE to have a data plan with the friggin phone. These are incredibly expensive and gay in canada, I just want the plan I have now but my phone to be an iphone, if I want to use wifi I'll use where ever it's free, like my house or school or somewhere else.

If I'm forking over 499-599usd on a phone I should be able to use it with any damn plan I want.
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post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

My guess: The Cingular/AT&T deal is exclusive for two years at most and Apple will eventually roll the the iPhone out to the other GSM carriers and bring out a CDMA iPhone for Verizon.

There's just no reason for Apple to have given Cingular/AT&T exclusivity beyond two years and limit availability to the 20 percent (or whatever) of American mobile users that are on Cingular/AT&T.

What you refer to as CDMA is actually a standard called IS-95, and it no longer exists aside from legacy support. All 3G standards use one form of CDMA or another, so saying "CDMA" basically is equivalent to saying "3G."

It's quite likely that Apple is working on a CDMA2000-based EVDO model, to run on Sprint and possibly Verizon networks, as well as the many other Asian and non-EU European EVDO networks.

It's quite likely that Apple is also working on a WCDMA-based HSDPA model for NTT and EU 3G networks, but EVDO is probably going to come first because it has a greater installed base and because many nations have existing spectrum allocation in the WCDMA range, the USA being one of them.
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post #26 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

It runs out in 2009 at which point the iPhone will be available through other carriers.

Do we know that for sure? I know that Jobs said the phone will be sold for 499/599 with a 2-year contract for the consumer, but I haven't heard official word about how long Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T lasts.
post #27 of 70
Yeah, it sounds like 18 months of free data with paid minutes.
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post #28 of 70
I've said this before, but you have to figure the big deal breaker with Verizon is that are unwilling to relinquish control of content.

They, more than any US carrier, have been completely nuts about making sure you have to use their music, video and image services, as well as their "accessory kits" for various functionality.

CEO Ivan Seidenberg is kind of a dick about this stuff, and there is no way he's going to make nice with Jobs.
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post #29 of 70
THey must plan on crippling the wifi. why would anyone need a data plan when wifi if available damn near eveywhere. Shit, Mcdonalds and Krystals offer wifi. Fugg a data plan.
post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

Except that 18 months of crap is still crap. I wouldn't deal with Cingular even if it were free.


Remember this is Bell South, Cingular and AT & T and new animal, or maybe the return of an old one
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post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

Except that 18 months of crap is still crap. I wouldn't deal with Cingular even if it were free.

1. Yes, except that free crap (service) is better than the crap you have to pay for. If this is true, then I will definitely consider ditching Verizon since my contract with them ends in another year, therefore, I will only have to pay for one plan. This would be genius and would make the choice for those with existing plans a lot easier.

2. All this bitching about 3G. For those in the US: a. This is not Europe of Japan where the technology is more widely in use. b. Jobs has stated that 3G support will be implemented when it makes more sense.

3. The consensus seems to be that Cingular is crap, but this company will no longer exist in 6 months. What about AT&T's reputation? Cingular is dead.
post #32 of 70
1) I wonder what type of deal would existing customers who's contract is up will get.

2) I would rather use wifi over the 3g features. Those data plans are tricky.

3) I've had Cingular service for almost 2 years, and it's been nothing short of great.

People on these threads like to bitch and moan, no matter what the news is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

1. Yes, except that free crap (service) is better than the crap you have to pay for. If this is true, then I will definitely consider ditching Verizon since my contract with them ends in another year, therefore, I will only have to pay for one plan. This would be genius and would make the choice for those with existing plans a lot easier.

2. All this bitching about 3G. For those in the US: a. This is not Europe of Japan where the technology is more widely in use. b. Jobs has stated that 3G support will be implemented when it makes more sense.

3. The consensus seems to be that Cingular is crap, but this company will no longer exist in 6 months. What about AT&T's reputation? Cingular is dead.
post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

3. The consensus seems to be that Cingular is crap, but this company will no longer exist in 6 months. What about AT&T's reputation? Cingular is dead.

How often does a merger improve the products and services that new company offers over the old ones? Usually, there's a short term dump, followed by a long term dump if the merger doesn't work.
post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In its call, the company made it very clear that it's going to use Apple's iPhone to get customers from Verizon Wireless by giving away its service for a year and a half to those customers who buy the phone

I am currently a Verizon customer, and 18 months of ABSOLUTELY FREE service would persuade me to spend $600 on an iPhone.

I pay about $45 per month now with Verizon, and I spent $50 on the LG phone. That's $860 over an 18 month period with Verizon. Jumping to an iPhone would actually save me over $200. How can you pass that deal up???

Of course, the catch is what the price for service will be after that initial 18 months. If I have to pay $100 per month to get their phone, and web, and text messaging and enhanced voice mail, blah blah blah, then forget it.
post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

How often does a merger improve the products and services that new company offers over the old ones?

IMO, this is the relevant question and answering it involves analysing AT&T's service, not Cingular's. IE, quit bitching about Cingular people! Let the bitching about AT&T begin
post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

1) I wonder what type of deal would existing customers who's contract is up will get.

2) I would rather use wifi over the 3g features. Those data plans are tricky.

3) I've had Cingular service for almost 2 years, and it's been nothing short of great.

People on these threads like to bitch and moan, no matter what the news is.

Yes, what about those of us already using Cingular?
post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by irasiegel View Post

Yes, what about those of us already using Cingular?

It would be silly of them to not give us this deal. I came from AT&T (and my phone is still badged AT&T even with the Cingular SIM inside) and Cingular had no problems giving us another set of phones to stay even through the contract wasn't up.

Phone service has been good. Customer service has been fine...which given Cingular's not so hot reputation was more than was expected. All in all just as satisfied with Cingular as my brother in law is with Verizon.

I also doubt they will mess with WiFi if they are offering free service of some kind...especially for data services. Why would they want folks to tie up their bandwidth if you aren't paying or paying a flat rate for data services?

Vinea
post #38 of 70
I think AT&T's plan here is to get people to buy an iPhone locked to AT&T's network.
Supposedly the iPhone is going to be nearly impossible to unlock.(We'll see)
If you buy an AT&T iPhone what are you going to do after your 2 year contract is up?
Buy a Verizon iPhone or renew your contract with AT&T?

AT&T will give away 18 months of a 24 month contract and then get you back for another 24 months.
post #39 of 70
And what type of upgrade policy will they have. Let's say Apple bumps the storeage up to 18g in a year, and I want the extra storeage.
post #40 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

2. All this bitching about 3G. For those in the US: a. This is not Europe of Japan where the technology is more widely in use. b. Jobs has stated that 3G support will be implemented when it makes more sense.

European 3G is shit. Sprint has arguably the biggest and best 3G network in the world.
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