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Evidence points toward iPhone 3G home activation

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Multiple sources inside Apple Retail have reported evidence pointing toward a contract free, home activation option for future iPhone 3G sales.

Home activation

Update: new information has corrected this report.

When the iPhone 3G debuted, Apple's original and pioneering home activation process, handled by the user themselves using iTunes on their home computer, was put on hold. The primary reason appeared to be the new phone's much lower price, which required tying the new purchase to an in-store contract activation.

However, the in-store contract process not only takes time, but also doesn't work for foreign buyers who want to purchase an iPhone in the US for use overseas. Apple executives have hinted earlier at the possibility for selling the iPhone 3G without a contract in the US; it's already sold unlocked at full price in other countries that demand this option by law.

Supporting this is the fact that Apple Store retail employees have reported a new option appearing on their EasyPay systems when making an iPhone 3G sale: Home. Previously, the only options presented were:

1. Upgrade/Swap existing Phone
2. Â*New to AT&T starting a single line
3. Â*New to AT&T starting a family line
4. Â*Add a line to existing account

The new fifth option for home activation isn't yet working; clicking it will reportedly result in an EasyPay crash.

Product lineup refresh

The introduction of home activation and a new unlocked unit price may come with a product refresh. Last year, Apple dropped the 4GB entry level iPhone model in September and then added a new 16GB model in February 2008.

Retail sources are now reporting inventory shortages of the entry level 8GB iPhone 3G, which might signal its cancelation and even the possible introduction of a 32GB model to match the iPod touch. Readers should also be aware of other possibilities, however, including a shift of resources to serve Best Buy as well as unexpected shifts in demand.
post #2 of 68
I just got my iPhone 3G this week!!! Now, I might just go out and wash the car.
post #3 of 68
Can they cram 32 GB in there? The reason it works for the iPod Touch is because there is more room inside without the phone components.
post #4 of 68
I hear you Petermac! I got mine 10 days ago. I have 20 days left to return it but I'm almost sure there won't be a re-fresh by then. Oh well...\
post #5 of 68
Does this mean the iPhone 3G might start working with T-Mobile?

I'd love to get one but my credit sucks and I'd have to pay $200 to drop sprint. A $500 deposit to ATT and the $200 for the iPhone itself. That's $900. I'd love to get this thing on one of those new T-Mobile no contract plans.
post #6 of 68
Good this is what I've been waiting for 32GB!!!
post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Can they cram 32 GB in there? The reason it works for the iPod Touch is because there is more room inside without the phone components.

The 32GB chip is physically the same size as the 16GB chip.
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Can they cram 32 GB in there? The reason it works for the iPod Touch is because there is more room inside without the phone components.


The Touch is considerably thinner than the iPhone so the rationale of Flash instead of Phone chips just doesn't make sense. The breakdown of the two devices, new and old, reveal that they have two places for Flash chips. This means that the 16GB Touch and iPhone have 2x8GB chips and the 32GB Touch has the more-expensive-per-MB 2x16GB chips. This means Apple can add a 32GB version without changing the case, but I don't think they will.

edit: It looks like the 3G iPhone does have only one Flash chip, unless the 16GB models are sandwiched together. I'll have to check the original iPhone and both Touches to verify those too.
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post #9 of 68
Having missed out on the launch of the 3G for being out of the country at the time, this upgrade is exactly what I've been waiting for. I will swap my 8GB iPhone the day the 32GB ships.
post #10 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplePi View Post

Does this mean the iPhone 3G might start working with T-Mobile?

I'd love to get one but my credit sucks and I'd have to pay $200 to drop sprint. A $500 deposit to ATT and the $200 for the iPhone itself. That's $900. I'd love to get this thing on one of those new T-Mobile no contract plans.

Don't ever count on the iPhone's 3G working on T-Mobile USA. They use a completely different UMTS frequency band than AT&T, T-Mobile Germany, and the rest of the civilized world. I would expect Apple to support a CDMA version before the support T-Mobile USA, and that would be at least 22 months from now at the very least.
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post #11 of 68
Would nanos use the same flash chips as the iPhone? Could dropping the 8 iPhone help with a shortage of parts for the 8 nano?
post #12 of 68
wont happen till after xmas (just like last year)

what advantage s their in upping your costs when it will sell as well as a gift option this xmas?

next Jan or Feb when sales NEED a boost, intro the higher capacity and give sales a needed boost, plus the extra cost of the chips to Apple will not be as costly as sales will not be as high, meanwhile with those traditionally lower sales the chip price falls, so by the time sales start to ramp up again in the late spring early summer the cost of the higher capacity chips to Apple will have fallen.
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post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Can they cram 32 GB in there? The reason it works for the iPod Touch is because there is more room inside without the phone components.

The iPod touch is significantly slimmer than the iPhone because of the lack of RF components.
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Retail sources are now reporting inventory shortages of the entry level 8GB iPhone 3G, which might signal its cancellation and even the possible introduction of a 32GB model to match the iPod touch.

This is what I've been waiting for. My parents and siblings went for 16GB iPhone 3Gs and have been holding them over my pathetic little RAZR and asking why I don't get one...

I want a 32GB one. Something to hold over them for almost two years! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha he he he he he he he he he har har har har har har har ha ha ha ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha he he he he he he he...
post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Would nanos use the same flash chips as the iPhone? Could dropping the 8 iPhone help with a shortage of parts for the 8 nano?

There's no shortage of parts for the 8GB nano that I've heard of. It's the 16GB model that's in trouble. The intention supposedly was originally to have 4GB and 8GB models, that was upped at the last second to 8GB and 16GB models. So there are plenty of 8GB models, but not the 16GB.
post #16 of 68
Apple, get this right:

iPhone linked to contract, NO purchase!

That easy!
post #17 of 68
It will retail for >$299 (w/contract).
post #18 of 68
Shortage of 8 GB iphone --- could be explained by the iphone power adaptor recalls.

Even if there is a fifth option of a contract free, home activated iphone --- it can still be simlocked.
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Don't ever count on the iPhone's 3G working on T-Mobile USA. They use a completely different UMTS frequency band than AT&T, T-Mobile Germany, and the rest of the civilized world. I would expect Apple to support a CDMA version before the support T-Mobile USA, and that would be at least 22 months from now at the very least.

iPhones work fine with T-Mobile in Seattle. I work with someone who has a jail-broke 1st generation model. With a family plan, he has cellular plus data for about $50/month and iPhone applications download without a hitch. He loves it. The only hassle is that firmware upgrades mean running the jail-break software again.

A friend who works for T-Mobile (headquartered just east of Seattle in Bellevue) says that a number of their engineers carry and use them to test features that'll be available when AT&T's contract runs out. So I'd suspect that you'll be able to get a supported T-Mobile version as soon as that gosh-awful AT&T contract runs out.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

iPhones work fine with T-Mobile in Seattle. I work with someone who has a jail-broke 1st generation model. With a family plan, he has cellular plus data for about $50/month and iPhone applications download without a hitch. He loves it. The only hassle is that firmware upgrades mean running the jail-break software again.

A friend who works for T-Mobile (headquartered just east of Seattle in Bellevue) says that a number of their engineers carry and use them to test features that'll be available when AT&T's contract runs out. So I'd suspect that you'll be able to get a supported T-Mobile version as soon as that gosh-awful AT&T contract runs out.

That is EDGE, not 3G, hence my comment regarding 3G (UMTS).
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post #21 of 68
love to grab the unlocked iphone 32 GB
post #22 of 68
I'd buy one in a heartbeat if I can get one with contract.

I've had it with contracts for service providers, and I will never sign another one. I'm already contract free for cable, landline, and internet. Once my current cell plan is up, I'm done there too.
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

I'd buy one in a heartbeat if I can get one with contract.

I've had it with contracts for service providers, and I will never sign another one. I'm already contract free for cable, landline, and internet. Once my current cell plan is up, I'm done there too.

If you are in the US a contract free iPhone is currently a waste of money since you can't use it on any other network.
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post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If you are in the US a contract free iPhone is currently a waste of money since you can't use it on any other network.

Unless you are one of the MANY tourist venturing into an Apple Store. I have foreseen to spend (in both senses) half a day in their SF flagship store when going over for xmas. Cheap $ => cheap gear. Lets hope they bring out new laptops by then too....
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by freelander51 View Post

Unless you are one of the MANY tourist venturing into an Apple Store. I have foreseen to spend (in both senses) half a day in their SF flagship store when going over for xmas. Cheap $ => cheap gear. Lets hope they bring out new laptops by then too....

By 'in the US' I did mean reside. Tourists are certainly 'in the US' and could benefit from the dollar's current position. And by 'dollar' I do mean the US dollar. And by 'position' I do mean...
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post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplePi View Post

Does this mean the iPhone 3G might start working with T-Mobile?

I'd love to get one but my credit sucks and I'd have to pay $200 to drop sprint. A $500 deposit to ATT and the $200 for the iPhone itself. That's $900. I'd love to get this thing on one of those new T-Mobile no contract plans.


You sure can in 2G. With better battery life to boot. Waiting for this myself. Better option for those of us with lots of wifi hotspot options.
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

It will retail for >$299 (w/contract).

Yeah, based on Australian 'outright' prices, US$599 is the probable BEST price for 16GB, though it could easily be $100 more. I'm certain it won't be more than US$699.

(Australian iPhone outright on Optus was A$849 from introduction including the 10% GST, which AT THE TIME translated to US$720 - we always pay at least a small premium so I would have guessed the iPhone 3G outright in the US would be US$699. This also corresponds with early rumours that on contract Apple would charge $199/$299, but for less contract-worthy people it would be $399/$499, and no contract $599/$699. But it may be $100 cheaper since Apple has now ramped production, and the Aussie dollar has dropped since release - the A$849 now translates to US$650 - also Apple may allow itself to take a margin hit).
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

iPhones work fine with T-Mobile in Seattle. I work with someone who has a jail-broke 1st generation model. With a family plan, he has cellular plus data for about $50/month and iPhone applications download without a hitch. He loves it. The only hassle is that firmware upgrades mean running the jail-break software again.

A friend who works for T-Mobile (headquartered just east of Seattle in Bellevue) says that a number of their engineers carry and use them to test features that'll be available when AT&T's contract runs out. So I'd suspect that you'll be able to get a supported T-Mobile version as soon as that gosh-awful AT&T contract runs out.

I heard the same from TMobile employees myself!!
post #29 of 68
The 3G iPhone is all cool but there's a huge market for an iPod Touch Phone that would be an exact clone of the iPhone but with just the WiFi. I'm waiting for this product to come from Apple with their own home grown VOIP service.

If they partnered with VOIP carriers like Vonage and Comcast that would be all the better.

Apple iPod Touch Phone. Make it happen.
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Don't ever count on the iPhone's 3G working on T-Mobile USA. They use a completely different UMTS frequency band

T-Mobile USA used 1900Mhz UMTS in several markets (which the iPhone 3G does support), and they bought 1700Mhz frequency in 2006 (which the iPhone doesn't support) to use for their faster 3.5G rollout, this is what they're currently advertising. (In the slower EDGE mode the iPhone supports T-Mobile frequencies and the frequencies of their roaming partners so that's fine.)

So the real question is whether T-mobile is investing in both 1900 and 1700 Mhz frequencies for 3.5G (in which case you'd be fine) or is just focusing on 1700Mhz. They may even be decommissioning the 1900Mhz technology, anyone know?
post #31 of 68
Whatt?? i Just canceled tmobile and switched to ATT for a 16GB 3G 2 days ago!!! ..
post #32 of 68
I'm holding out for the 32GB iPhone. Owning the 16GB would involve too much data swapping - it would just fit my music library without any room for those sweet ABC video podcasts I plan to watch on the bus to work.
post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

T-Mobile USA used 1900Mhz UMTS in several markets (which the iPhone 3G does support), and they bought 1700Mhz frequency in 2006 (which the iPhone doesn't support) to use for their faster 3.5G rollout, this is what they're currently advertising. (In the slower EDGE mode the iPhone supports T-Mobile frequencies and the frequencies of their roaming partners so that's fine.)

So the real question is whether T-mobile is investing in both 1900 and 1700 Mhz frequencies for 3.5G (in which case you'd be fine) or is just focusing on 1700Mhz. They may even be decommissioning the 1900Mhz technology, anyone know?

I am under the impression that T-Mobile USA is required to use only use the 120 Channel IV blocks that they won for their UMTS.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

I'm holding out for the 32GB iPhone. Owning the 16GB would involve too much data swapping - it would just fit my music library without any room for those sweet ABC video podcasts I plan to watch on the bus to work.

I find it funny how cellphones were lucky to come with 128MB flash before the iPhone, and now 16GB isn't enough. When the 32GB arrives I'm sure we'll be reading posts that 64GB is the minimum capacity. I guess never being satisfied is part of the human condition.
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post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinDrift View Post

The 32GB chip is physically the same size as the 16GB chip.

Amazing!

That implies that if you cut a 32 GB chip in half you'd have a 16 GB chip which is no smaller than the 32 GB original. It also implies that if a 32 is no bigger than a 16, then surely a 64 is no bigger than a 32. Of course none of that is true.

You can certainly make a 32 gb chip the same size as a 16 gb, but that requires you to use higher density (and thus more expensive per GB) flash.
post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Amazing!

That implies that if you cut a 32 GB chip in half you'd have a 16 GB chip which is no smaller than the 32 GB original. It also implies that if a 32 is no bigger than a 16, then surely a 64 is no bigger than a 32. Of course none of that is true.

You can certainly make a 32 gb chip the same size as a 16 gb, but that requires you to use higher density (and thus more expensive per GB) flash.

What part of having a denser chip makes it not true that they can be the same physical size? And what of his comment referred to the obvious price increase of denser chips?
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post #36 of 68
I think Apple will drop the 8GB iPhone when sales fall to the point where it makes sense to do so. That might be very soon. I think Apple will release the 32GB iPhone in early 2009.
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post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

wont happen till after xmas (just like last year)

what advantage s their in upping your costs when it will sell as well as a gift option this xmas?

next Jan or Feb when sales NEED a boost, intro the higher capacity and give sales a needed boost, plus the extra cost of the chips to Apple will not be as costly as sales will not be as high, meanwhile with those traditionally lower sales the chip price falls, so by the time sales start to ramp up again in the late spring early summer the cost of the higher capacity chips to Apple will have fallen.

Christmas sales of the iPhone will be hindered by not having a phone you can buy in the store and give to someone as a gift. Gifting one for my wife required me to be primary on the contract, and for her to lose phone service on her old phone for several hours. You can't do that buying gifts weeks in advance, and the gift card alternative is lame (and will lead to supply problems after Christmas.

At the same time, I would imagine a $6-700 price point would pose a significant hurdle if you paid the same price for service as on-contract.
post #38 of 68
It should be noted that before the 3G iPhone came out AT&T did list the retail prices of the iPhone 3G as $599 for 8GB and $699 for 16GB. I believe it was also stated that after the rush dies down that being able to buy the device in full without a contract would be allowed, so none of this is surprising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Christmas sales of the iPhone will be hindered by not having a phone you can buy in the store and give to someone as a gift. Gifting one for my wife required me to be primary on the contract, and for her to lose phone service on her old phone for several hours. You can't do that buying gifts weeks in advance, and the gift card alternative is lame (and will lead to supply problems after Christmas.

At the same time, I would imagine a $6-700 price point would pose a significant hurdle if you paid the same price for service as on-contract.

How about special giftcards for 8GB and 16GB iPhones that have a picture of the iPhone on them, and possibly the capacity pre-listed. But that is quite an expensive gift, especially when you consider that it doesn't include the contract obligations.
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post #39 of 68
I would LOVE to see a CDMA iPhone. Someone said in 22 months? Whats that based on? Got any facts to back that up?
post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Can they cram 32 GB in there? The reason it works for the iPod Touch is because there is more room inside without the phone components.

Simple solution....a solution Jobs just cannot comprehend...add about 5mm to the thickness and then you have room for more memory and a battery that can cover the entire back of the device. That could double or triple the battery life.

Of course what do I know.
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