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No iPhone for business account customers at launch? [more info]

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
When Apple launches iPhone later this month, customers with Cingular/AT&T business accounts may be forced to purchase the device as individuals through the carrier's retail channels, according to reports.

"I just spoke to a Cingular/AT&T business representative from the headquarters of the company (not a kiosk) and was told that iPhones will not be available for purchase by business account customers until further notice," said one AppleInsider reader.

Another, who spoke with his Cingular business account manager, was also told that he would not be able to buy iPhone via Cingular business channels and instead would need to purchase the handset through the carrier's retail channels.

"Furthermore, you can not use a normal business account -- only an account with individual responsibility," that reader said.

Thus far, it appears this stance by Apple and Cingular/ATT has not been put in writing and is instead being passed down verbally to business account managers by their superiors.

It also remains unclear whether the restriction is permanent, or just a temporary measure instated during the initial launch.

At its annual developers conference Monday, Apple announced that iPhone would go on sale at 6:00 p.m. on Friday June 29th. It's not certain whether the 6:00 p.m. time is Pacific time or regional.

Representatives for Apple did respond to multiple inquiries seeking clarification.

Update: Another AppleInsider reader and AT&T business customer was told by a representative of the AT&T Business Division: "AT&T is not selling them to business or to sponsorship accounts under a business; only retail consumers for the first few months. There is no ETA on the sale ban to business."
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post #2 of 41
OK, if this is true, then we have a real case of AT&T screwing the pooch on this one.
This means that the entire business community is being written off. Who in gods name is going to buy an iPhone if they can't convert their business number? The millions of users who are just dying to carry 2 phones?
On the bright side it means I get to wait for the v1.0 silliness to pass while I wait for them to come to their senses.
Amazing.
post #3 of 41
I wonder if one can purchase iPhone as an individual personal customer, then migrate his or her plan to business and get discounts on the plan. Hopefully, this is merely to control limited initial inventory to iPhone's larger intended market (consumers). A number of phones that are available to consumers are "out of stock" for business users, most famous being Nokia N75.
post #4 of 41
Jeez... please don't be true. Was eager to get the phone, but not so eager to give up 14% monthly discount.
post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
Test -- major problems on the forums today. We apologize.

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post #6 of 41
Thought the prices, $499 and $599 were not subsidized, so just buy the phone at the applestore and put your sim card in....that was my plan all along. Although i normally buy my phones thru the business store, here I don't see a reason too...

Tony
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxhawsam View Post

Thought the prices, $499 and $599 were not subsidized, so just buy the phone at the applestore and put your sim card in....that was my plan all along. Although i normally buy my phones thru the business store, here I don't see a reason too...

Tony

That is IF you can even get to the SIM card on the iphone...
post #8 of 41
It sounds like this might tie into the need for an iTunes account, but I could also see a desire to have a better competition package to RIMM before making a push into the enterprise.

For round one, it also seems to make a bit of sense in controlling demand and making it a little harder to purchase. For the determined, it isn't hard to move your account from a CRU to IRU, and still get the discounts. Just ask your company... (I think you do lose the pooled minutes, but in this case it might not be much of a benefit except for the heaviest of users.)
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post

That is IF you can even get to the SIM card on the iphone...

Your thinking the SIM card will be locked into the phone or something? Doubt that, no other GSM phone ATT/Cingular carries is like that....
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Just ask your company...

Ah Grasshopper, you are truly wide-eyed in the ways of the corporate world.

As one blessed/cursed with a company phone (AKA digital ball and chain), I don't have squat to say about the kind of contract I get to participate in. Companies use pooled minutes for the flexibility getting a break for high minutes users.

If AT&T/Apple were to allow me to just swap my SIM, they wouldn't get to bleed me for the 'special' tiered services. That's why they're insisting that corporate users have to sign up personally. They get to bypass corporate bargaining leverage.

It has nothing to do with availability of units.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxhawsam View Post

Your thinking the SIM card will be locked into the phone or something? Doubt that, no other GSM phone ATT/Cingular carries is like that....

If you look closely at the new "angled" view of the iPhone demo videos on apple.com, you'll notice whenever it turns to landscape mode that the sim tray looks like it will be accessible. It looks like there's a little pinhole you'll have to stick a pen into, like the Apple Remote.
post #12 of 41
If this means I 'can't get phone at 50% off' like I can currently get, I might be able to live with it.

If it means I can't get the rates that they offer my company on this phone....

I'll switch to someone else in spite. My contact is up 6/19/07.
post #13 of 41
Power to the People!

I think this has more to do with availability than anything else....


Unless Apple wants to sell NO iPhones in the long run....
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post #14 of 41
Re: Sim Tray


From the other thread a few days ago
Quote:
Here they are... the official specs:

Credit where credit is due: http://www.macrumors.com/

We've obtained the official list of specs that Apple lists for the upcoming device.
• System requirements
- Mac or PC
- iTunes 7
- Internet access is required, and a broadband connection is recommended
- Mac: Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
- PC: Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2)
• External Controls
- Volume Up / Down
- Ringer / Silent
- Power / Lock
- Sleep / Wake
- Menu Button
• Dimensions
- 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches / 115 x 61 x 11.6mm
• Weight 4.8 ounces / 125 grams
• Input Method - Multi-touch
• Operating System - OS X
• Screen size - 3.5 inches
• Screen resolution - 320 x 480 at 160 ppi
• Storage - 4GB or 8GB
• GSM - Quad-band (MHz: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)
• Wireless data
- Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + EDGE + Bluetooth 2.0
• Camera - 2.0 megapixels
• Battery
- Lithium
- Up to 5 hours - Talk / Video / Browsing
- Up to 16 hours - Audio playback
(Battery life varies by use)
• Connectors and other input & output
- 30 pin iPod connector
- 3.5mm jack includes audio and mic support
- SIM tray
- Built-in speaker
- Built-in microphone


Dave
post #15 of 41
When is Apple going to announce what the pricing plans are?
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

If you look closely at the new "angled" view of the iPhone demo videos on apple.com, you'll notice whenever it turns to landscape mode that the sim tray looks like it will be accessible. It looks like there's a little pinhole you'll have to stick a pen into, like the Apple Remote.

I don't remember where, but I've seen official Apple photos that point out and label the SIM card slot. So it's definitely accessible.
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Representatives for Apple did respond to multiple inquiries seeking clarification.

Great! If they did respond, what did they say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Update: Another AppleInsider reader and AT&T business customer was told by a representative of the AT&T Business Division: "AT&T is not selling them to business or to sponsorship accounts under a business; only retail consumers for the first few months. There is no ETA on the sale ban to business."

There's no estimated time of arrival on the ban? How about now? It appears the ban has already arrived.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxhawsam View Post

Thought the prices, $499 and $599 were not subsidized, so just buy the phone at the applestore and put your sim card in....that was my plan all along. Although i normally buy my phones thru the business store, here I don't see a reason too...

Um, you can't just buy the phone, you have to pay for the service as well. If you want to buy the phone, pay $50 a month for the service, then still stick your SIM card in there, fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waxhawsam View Post

Your thinking the SIM card will be locked into the phone or something? Doubt that, no other GSM phone ATT/Cingular carries is like that....

This isn't an ATT phone. Its an Apple phone, offered through AT&T. Its all on Apple to add the capabilities, and they'll do it whatever way they want (hell, we're talking about a company that requires you to rip your laptop apart just to swap out the hard drive).

And even if you could swap out the SIM card, there's nothing that says Apple won't have a way to disable the iphone if you're not using the correct type of card (and before you say "Apple wouldn't do that!", please think about what apple let's you do and not do now and in the past).
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxhawsam View Post

Your thinking the SIM card will be locked into the phone or something? Doubt that, no other GSM phone ATT/Cingular carries is like that....

Just a link to show a photo of the iPhone and the SIM tray. Take it for what it's worth

Thanks to iPhoneAlleydotcom - http://www.iphonealley.com/news/ipho...tray-after-all

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post

Power to the People!

I think this has more to do with availability than anything else....


Unless Apple wants to sell NO iPhones in the long run....


Speaking of Power to the People... and I know this is a bit out of the way of the topic being discussed but I'm curious to know if anyone has an idea on the following...

I have read articles and other people's posts regarding iPhone images on Apple's website where the iPhone icons are slightly rearranged.

My question is, and anyone feel free to chime in, will the iPhone have the capability to alter the iPhone's icon hierarchy to suit one's personal needs?

The present state of icons on Apple's iPhone web page is (SMS) Text, Calendar, Photos, Camera, Stocks, Maps, Weather, Clock, Calculator, Notes, Settings.

Could one alter the icons to suit there likes in the order they would prefer and have it say, Calendar, Notes, Calulator, Maps, Stocks... you get the picture.

Would be especially useful is third party apps are developed and you have a screen full of app icons. Also, if you have more app icons then screen real estate, then I am assuming one can, with a finger of course, scroll up and down on the iPhone's "Home Page"?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #21 of 41
I don't have pooled minutes, but must purchase the phone through my company's web portal on Cingular. If iPhone is not there, then I guess no iPhone for me. Sorry Cingular, I guess I'm staying with Verizon!
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Speaking of Power to the People... and I know this is a bit out of the way of the topic being discussed but I'm curious to know if anyone has an idea on the following...

I have read articles and other people's posts regarding iPhone images on Apple's website where the iPhone icons are slightly rearranged.

My question is, and anyone feel free to chime in, will the iPhone have the capability to alter the iPhone's icon hierarchy to suit one's personal needs?
,...

Would be especially useful is third party apps are developed and you have a screen full of app icons. Also, if you have more app icons then screen real estate, then I am assuming one can, with a finger of course, scroll up and down on the iPhone's "Home Page"?

To answer your first question, I'd have to say no. Or, as Ted Stevens, Senator from the cold state of Alaska would say, "NO!". (He's probably already pissed that all these people with an iphone are going to be dragging these long tubes behind them to communicate over the internet remotely. Its a tripping hazard, I say!).

They're probably rearranged because Apple keeps moving them around looking for the best fit. Come on, this is Apple, they don't want to give people options. Its the cause of bloatware and apple wants to keep it simple and easy for their users (well, this is the argument I hear defending Safari against the 'it doesn't have enough options' complaints).

As to its usefullness, that would be useful if, say, you could add more apps. But since you can't, its not much of an issue.
post #23 of 41
Aaargh! I double-click to double-post! I'm such a...oh, what's the name for someone who just can't win? Man, I should know the word, and it seems like its on the tip of my tounge, but its just not coming to me!
post #24 of 41
Now we start to see why Verizon hasn't been freaking out . Not only is their installed business base , which I believe is the largest, probably not going anywhere, at least immediately. But while Apple/ATT are concentrating on the consumer market, Verizon is going to aggressively lock up the business market for a one or two years . How many businesses are going to say " hey, lets spend at least twice as much per year" . With a Mac Apple always gave identifiable advantages for its premium prices. It's higher cost wasn't that great and clearly paid dividends in its benefits. I don't think the iphone is quite ready . . . Oh wait a minute ! Apple has said all along that it's for the Consumer market . . . never mind !
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxhawsam View Post

Thought the prices, $499 and $599 were not subsidized, so just buy the phone at the applestore and put your sim card in....that was my plan all along. Although i normally buy my phones thru the business store, here I don't see a reason too...

Tony

From my understanding, Apple and at&t are not even going to let you *touch* an iPhone box before you sign up (in blood) for a *two-year* contract for service on their "iPhone plan" (which I'm sure will end up being a voice/data combo with the voicemail thingy that is more expensive than at&t's current offerings).

Apple is not only selling you the iPhone at full price, but then will supposedly get a cut of all the at&t contracts...not to mention iTunes proceeds. Now you see why Stevie is so excited???
post #26 of 41
Per my post above, this is why you won't be getting an iPhone through a business account or any "discount" anytime soon (and they will still sell every iPhone they produce!)
post #27 of 41
Maybe they want to finish up their Exchange support before releasing for their business customers.
post #28 of 41
What specifically constitutes a "business acount"? Does it have to be in the name of the business?

I have a personal account that I receive a discount on because I am a Nationwide employee. Nationwide doesn't own the account or get my rollover minutes. Does this still constitute a business acount? Who would I ask regarding how my account is classified?
post #29 of 41
I knew all this talk about the iPhone and AT&Ts rate plan sounded familiar and it's been bugging the hell out of me for months now. Finally realized that all the threads I've read here and other places sound the same - it's like a bunch of pre-pubescents talking about what sex is like(and none have any first hand experience yet..), yet everyone is sure they're right..

@Louzer - do you really believe that you'll HAVE to pay AT&T anything if you decide to go with another provider(and can figure a way to do it), or just drop phone/data service and use it as an iPod? that's crazy talk man...

Z
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post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zac4mac View Post

I knew all this talk about the iPhone and AT&Ts rate plan sounded familiar and it's been bugging the hell out of me for months now. Finally realized that all the threads I've read here and other places sound the same - it's like a bunch of pre-pubescents talking about what sex is like(and none have any first hand experience yet..), yet everyone is sure they're right..

ooookaaayy....
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbauer View Post

When is Apple going to announce what the pricing plans are?

I'm guessing 5:59 PM on June 29th.

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zac4mac View Post

I
@Louzer - do you really believe that you'll HAVE to pay AT&T anything if you decide to go with another provider(and can figure a way to do it), or just drop phone/data service and use it as an iPod? that's crazy talk man...

Z

Yes, you would, as you would after you sign up with any provider for a 2 year plan. And I never think so highly of apple that I wouldn't think there's something in this thing that makes sure you're on an AT&T network before they allow it to work.
post #33 of 41
It's not a business phone. The iPhone only supports push e-mail through Yahoo. The literature says it supports Exchange via IMAP (and POP3), but I presume this is through "pull" not "push"; there's no mention of Exchange Direct Push (Push IMAP). Maybe it will work, but it's unclear at this point.

There's also no IM. We happen to be a Blackberry shop, and Blackberry IM works from unit-to-unit directly and/or through the corporate IM. This unit-to-unit IM is critical when my team and I need to coordinate a support effort. People can argue that SMS is the functional equivalent, but I would disagree. For one thing, SMS goes through spam filtering (at least it does with Verizon). I know this because we use SMS for our system alerts - and we use custom software on the Blackberry to raise the alerts (e.g., like a pager). We've seen that certain SMS messages don't always make it to their destination (especially alerts with all capital letters and/or exclamation points). Verizon has said that they do this to block SMS spam.

In addition, for the time being, the development platform is web-based with no SDK. So, until there's a proper set of development tools, there's no ability to have tools such as SSH. There's probably no software that would allow us to create custom alerts based on SMS messages either (see prior paragraph).

Lastly, the cost is quite high for a business. The Blackberrys we buy are somewhere around $100/unit. Given the iPhone feature set and limitation, I'm not sure I could make a business argument to buy iPhones for a business community. The iPhone is a beautiful consumer device. I want one for myself, but don't want to carry 2 devices.

In any case, given the target market, why would people expect to get this through their business account any time soon?

Just my 2 cents.

--DotComCTO
post #34 of 41
Steve stated in the keynote that the iPhone does support "push" IMAP in general. The reason Yahoo was mentioned is because of the deal with Yahoo to give iPhone customers free push IMAP where it would usually cost extra to get the extended account with push IMAP features.
post #35 of 41
Great.

We have a very small business, 4 phones sharing minutes.
Two razrs, one blackberry pearl (mine), and one blackjack.

Does all this mean that I cannot walk in on the 29-30th and personally pay full price for an iPhone and get it turned onto our account. It is not like I am wanting four at a time or even asking for a discount.

If NO then that would REALLY suck, otherwise happy Cingular customer for several years.
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Best,
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post #36 of 41
Well...I just got four iPhones with my wife at the Apple Store Bethesda Row. Great experience, lots of fun in line, however, when I tried to set up the first iPhone via iTunes...no go!

Ok. It turns out my wireless business account is not suited for iPhone! Solution: according to AT&T gal, switch business account to personal account -- doable -- wait one hour, and then try to activate the iPhone. This is a pain, but I want to use my iPhone!

Well...40 minutes later on hold with AT&T Business Services...still waiting to switch.

Will update.

Eric
post #37 of 41
Well,

Two hours on hold -- with two phone in use! AT&T says call back tomorrow morning to Transfer Services between 9AM-6PM (PST).

Lots of consumers calling in to complain.

Alas, I will have to wait another day to use my iPhone.

Eric
post #38 of 41
I tried to switch my business phone over using iTunes, and it didn't work. I heard from someone else that the following will:

Enter Phone number and blling zip. Enter last 4 digits of business account ID instead of Social.

I didn't get to try it as I was too anxious and immediately had my company release my line. Got quick help from AT&T and activated my personal iPhone within 30 minutes - a breeze.
post #39 of 41
Well...a full 24 hours + 4 hours more since purchasing the iPhone and iTunes still won't let me activate. Despite lengthy calls with Apple and AT&T.

Love the purchase experience. Love the look of the iPhone. Hate the activation (oops...no activation).
post #40 of 41
Ive had a terrible experience getting my iPhone activated (coming from a Corporate account). In one hand AT&T states that iPhones can be added to corporate account as an approved device, in the other hand you cant do it when you try.

My full iPhone history (3 days of useless paperweight pain) at http://blog.arabx.com.au/?cat=49

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricInBethesda View Post

Well...a full 24 hours + 4 hours more since purchasing the iPhone and iTunes still won't let me activate. Despite lengthy calls with Apple and AT&T.

Love the purchase experience. Love the look of the iPhone. Hate the activation (oops...no activation).
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