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AT&T to serve up iPhone with pre-paid service?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Apple's much heralded iPhone device may be made available as a prepaid handset, according to data recently culled from wireless carrier AT&T's internal account database.

The BoyGeniusReport, now synonymous with leaking in-house data on AT&T's retail store go-to-market strategy for the Apple handset, submits in its latest blog post a screenshot (also below) of iPhone tracking numbers and product descriptions entered into the carrier's database on April 19th.

Based on the screen capture, the blog site infers that Apple will make the handset available through each of AT&T's primary service methods, including the familiar subscription-only service as well as the Go Phone Pick Your Plan (hybrid) and Pay As You Go (prepaid-only) methods.

While the costs for the individual services are unknown, AT&T hasn't announced any changes to its payment methods for the iPhone versus other devices.

Meanwhile, Electronista raises the possibility that the AT&T data entries for the various iPhone payment methods may have been completed automatically regardless of the carrier's intent to use them for shipping phones.

Thus far, AT&T has committed only the pricing officially announced by Apple at Macworld San Francisco in January, which asserted that iPhone will be available starting from $499 for a 4GB model with a two-year service subscription.

post #2 of 18
Alrighty, then!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 18
Or, the admin folks may be just populating some default setup options with the intent of returning to correct the details later...

- Dave Marsh
iMac Intel 27" 3.4GHz, iPad Air 64GB, iPhone 5 32GB

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- Dave Marsh
iMac Intel 27" 3.4GHz, iPad Air 64GB, iPhone 5 32GB

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post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Marsh View Post

Or, the admin folks may be just populating some default setup options with the intent of returning to correct the details later...

I fear this the truth. I sincerely hope the iPhone is offered with a pay as you go plan however. I'd be all over it like a shot.
post #5 of 18
iphone to be sold with a pay as you go plan? yeah right, see the high price on it its not what sucks, it that even if you are cingular customer you wont be able to get it with out a 2 year extended contract, thats were apple gets its cut, or unless your willing to pay someone $1000+ on ebay to buy theirs so keep dreaming
post #6 of 18
If this really is true and you could get a pay as you go service, then the iPhone would go from a "do I really want to do this?" purchase to a "Heres my $600, what do I sign?" purchase.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kilraq View Post

If this really is true and you could get a pay as you go service, then the iPhone would go from a "do I really want to do this?" purchase to a "Heres my $600, what do I sign?" purchase.

pay as go? the forced data plan will run it down real fast.
post #8 of 18
The 500-600 Smarphones that Cingular already have sell as Pay as you go. I don't see why this will be any different.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

The 500-600 Smarphones that Cingular already have sell as Pay as you go. I don't see why this will be any different.

Its different because its apple. People get Smartphones to be phones first, then add other stuff on. People are talking up the iPhone like its the greatest invention ever, but also seeing it as a tablet/handheld computer first, phone secondary (if not tertiary). You can just see here about people would pick it up in a shot if it were. Why? Because they would then know they wouldn't have to pay any fees, because they probably wouldn't use it as a phone. (Again, keep in mind from all that anyone has seen, it really seems like a really, really, really lame phone).

So, how does this help Cingular/At&T? It doesn't. How does it help apple? It doesn't. Apple already said they're going to treat it as a subscription on their books, which means they're expecting to be raking in money after the inital sale is done. Otherwise, why waste time adding new features for you free-loading non-monthly users?
post #10 of 18
Wouldn't use a phone as a phone? I know some people may want a touchscreen iPod, but I don't think they are willing to shell out 500-600 bucks for 4-8G. If you don't get a plan, and go with the pay as you go service, they all you get is phone support. Data plans are not free. I don't see how adding new features has anything to do with anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

Its different because its apple. People get Smartphones to be phones first, then add other stuff on. People are talking up the iPhone like its the greatest invention ever, but also seeing it as a tablet/handheld computer first, phone secondary (if not tertiary). You can just see here about people would pick it up in a shot if it were. Why? Because they would then know they wouldn't have to pay any fees, because they probably wouldn't use it as a phone. (Again, keep in mind from all that anyone has seen, it really seems like a really, really, really lame phone).

So, how does this help Cingular/At&T? It doesn't. How does it help apple? It doesn't. Apple already said they're going to treat it as a subscription on their books, which means they're expecting to be raking in money after the inital sale is done. Otherwise, why waste time adding new features for you free-loading non-monthly users?

Cingular is banking on people signing up for their data plans.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

Wouldn't use a phone as a phone? I know some people may want a touchscreen iPod, but I don't think they are willing to shell out 500-600 bucks for 4-8G. If you don't get a plan, and go with the pay as you go service, they all you get is phone support. Data plans are not free. I don't see how adding new features has anything to do with anything.

Cingular is banking on people signing up for their data plans.

As a phone, the iPhone so far appears to suck as a phone. More people want it as the ipod and the handheld computer (that's what the talk is about). Especially since its wi-fi capable, they could then forgo paying Cingular anything and just use it like a laptop.

And if Cingular is banking on people signing up for their data plans, their in for a shock. The wi-fi capability (unless it also gets disabled unless you do sign up for the data plan - don't put it past them!) makes it more of a 'nice-to-have' then a 'must have'.

And my comment on adding new features is in regards to what's in apple's benefit to offer new features to the existing iPhone-base. As can be seen with the iPod, the only updates to the software of older ipods is that which gives Apple benefit. There's no benefit to Apple if they added their new searching capabilities to the 4G and 5G ipod owners. So, we don't get them. But, they have no problem updating the software to support audiobooks, or new versions of itunes, or a new version of fairplay, which, in turn, helps make sure people will keep buying stuff from the iTMS.

With the iPhone, if you're not paying Apple a nice monthly fee, then why should apple bother adding new features and services to the iphone 1.0 crowd (many of which are probably going to expect it, the "It's a little thin on the features/abilities side, but it can only get better!" folks)? It offers them no benefit, yet costs them money. So I'd be concerned if you're thinking you can get a 'pay as you go' plan AND are expecting the iphone to improve over time.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

Wouldn't use a phone as a phone? I know some people may want a touchscreen iPod, but I don't think they are willing to shell out 500-600 bucks for 4-8G. If you don't get a plan, and go with the pay as you go service, they all you get is phone support. Data plans are not free. I don't see how adding new features has anything to do with anything.

Cingular is banking on people signing up for their data plans.

Well, with WiFi, one could theorhetically use iPhone wherever there was WiFi access without ever using the Cingular Data plan. But I doubt Cingular will allow you to NOT enable some sort of data plan on this thing.

I've personally seen nothing that convinces me that iPhone will be a crappy phone, as someone earlier suggested. I think the phone features are at least as good if not far better than most smart phones out there.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

As a phone, the iPhone so far appears to suck as a phone. .


Just curious, what do you base this on?
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

As can be seen with the iPod, the only updates to the software of older ipods is that which gives Apple benefit. There's no benefit to Apple if they added their new searching capabilities to the 4G and 5G ipod owners.

Maybe you'll be right but note that the iPod was not sold by Apple using the "subscription" method of recording revenue. Maybe it'll make no difference but maybe it will...
"you will know the truth, and the truth will
set you free."
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"you will know the truth, and the truth will
set you free."
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post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMichael View Post

Just curious, what do you base this on?

Just the apple pages, reviews from those who saw it on stage or actually got to touch it. I don't consider the touch-screen to be a great thing for phone calling (I actually don't dial and look at the same time). Reports are that there is no speed dialing (can this possibly be true?), and, compared to its other features, its just blah. If there was no phone, it would sell better, even at the same price, then with the phone.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post

Maybe you'll be right but note that the iPod was not sold by Apple using the "subscription" method of recording revenue. Maybe it'll make no difference but maybe it will...

Right, but the only reason to do this is if you're planning on making money on the product over a period of time. The AppleTV also was changed to this, because Apple figures it'll pay to offer updates to the hardware/software because it will help foster iTMS sales.

If there's no continued money stream because people don't sign up for a calling plan, where's the incentive to offer updates?

BTW, speaking of this subscription garbage, when Apple updated the iPod to support playing different file formats (for, say, podcasts, or update to fairplay, or whatever they added to the older ipods to allow them to work with the changes to the iTMS), doesn't that change the functionality of the hardware and require them to charge for it? But they never did.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

BTW, speaking of this subscription garbage, when Apple updated the iPod to support playing different file formats (for, say, podcasts, or update to fairplay, or whatever they added to the older ipods to allow them to work with the changes to the iTMS), doesn't that change the functionality of the hardware and require them to charge for it? But they never did.

From everything I've read, this issue seems far more complicated than what we, forum dwellers with no professional experience in accounting, can casually debate. That said, I believe the problem is that SOX isn't entirely clear on what needs to be reported and how, and Apple happened to use a rather cautious interpretation when it came to wireless-n enabling (less so when it came to iPod).

This may well be influenced by the argument one could make that wireless-n isn't an added feature that generates revenue for Apple, while the addition of, say, podcasts, provides a clear incentive for customers to use the iTunes store, which, through sheer exposure, will generate more iTS sales.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevenmrgan View Post

From everything I've read, this issue seems far more complicated than what we, forum dwellers with no professional experience in accounting, can casually debate.

Who says! This is a forum. We casually debate stuff we have no clue on all the time!

And who's casually debating? I'm in a suit and tie!
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