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Apple may be forced into Verizon iPhone within 2 years - report

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
Even as Apple has insisted it's content to give AT&T exclusive access to the iPhone, a closer look at Apple's own devices -- and a likely dead-end in growth through its existing carrier strategy -- shows that Apple may have little choice but to sell its smartphone through Verizon and other carriers by 2011 at the latest.

A research note from Citigroup sent out late on Tuesday stresses that the US cellular market is quickly hitting a wall in terms of growth and that even the iPhone can't save AT&T from the same fate. Although Apple's handsets may have saved AT&T in the last quarter by improving the company's bottom line and preventing dramatically reduced subscriber additions in the midst of an economic collapse; the American wireless industry as a whole is only likely to grow 1 to 3 percent per year from here on out, analysts say. Much of the growth in other carriers in the early part of 2009 was ultimately due to Sprint customers abandoning their carrier rather than true expansion.

As such, Apple under its current tactics is more and more likely to end up selling only to existing AT&T customers and to serve iPhone users replacing their earlier devices, neither of which is likely to grow quickly. Citigroup doesn't see any mobile platform, including Apple's, ever garnering more than a quarter of AT&T's customers and already sees Apple representing as much as 18 percent of the carrier's base by 2010. It may also become increasingly difficult for AT&T to offer more incentives and extend iPhone exclusivity any later than 2011, as the potential for more customers elsewhere may be too strong for Apple to ignore by that year.

The hard ceiling on expansion, in turn, means Apple can't afford to leave money on the table by artificially limiting who can buy an iPhone in the US. Instead of selling to just a fraction of AT&T's 78.2 million customers, Apple is predicted to have access to as many as 150 million customers across Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile if it chooses not to renew its exclusivity contract. Estimates have Apple's likely actual customer base nearly doubling from 17 million to 30 million users. The Cupertino company would have to accept a hit to its jealously-protected high profit margins but could well generate more revenue in addition to expanding its market share.

That may play into Apple's expressed preference for sticking to one device. While Apple's only avenue to expand the iPod's market share was to release lower-cost models, expanding the iPhone's footprint is described as possible if the electronics giant simply agrees to lighten the steep subsidies it wants on each phone in return for the rights to sell iPhones beyond AT&T.

Technical hurdles that would force a second model are also less likely to be a concern. Notably, Qualcomm is known to be making a hybrid CDMA and Long Term Evolution (LTE) chipset for mid-2010 that would let users make calls on Verizon's existing CDMA phone network but have access to its 4G, LTE-based network when it goes live the same year -- and roughly when the current deal is likely to expire. Accordingly, while Apple has publicly decried CDMA as a dead technology, the Qualcomm chip could let Apple take advantage of Verizon's network for at least the next few years -- a gain Citigroup sees as likely worth the extra customers it would bring. Verizon alone could add between 10-20 million new iPhone users within 5 years, but it would also open the door to Sprint and would grant access to those few Chinese and Indian cellular networks that depend on CDMA.

And even if Apple doesn't see a multi-carrier deal as a pure revenue grab, it may see the gesture as a purely reactionary move tailored to stifling obvious competitors in the touchscreen phone arena. Palm and Research in Motion both consciously chose to launch their iPhone rivals on CDMA networks where Apple was unlikely to surface and steal their sales; a CDMA iPhone for Verizon (and possibly Sprint) would, the analysts believe, quickly destroy the competitive shelter provided to these phones through networks the iPhone can't touch.
post #2 of 100
Jailbreakers have won!
post #3 of 100
Interesting logic.
post #4 of 100
I am getting rid of my iphone until i can get someone besides ATT and their absurb 3g rates. Only two more months left on the contract. I would love to see Sprint, Verizon, Alltel etc be able to distribute the iphone. This vendor lock, corporate bargaining shit needs to end.

post #5 of 100
I plan to be first in line the day Verizon offers an iPhone. AT&T sucks in my area.
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post #6 of 100
Huh? The iPhone has been stealing CDMA users for two years now. Sprint is currently losing over a million subscribers per quarter. People with Sprint or Verizon or US Cellular that want an iPhone can just ditch their CDMA service and old phone and still keep the number.

And, unless I missed something, CDMA phones don't have swappable SIM cards. So how the hell is that going to work?

I think there is no doubt that Apple will migrate to LTE iPhones when the AT&T and Verizon start to build out those networks, but I don't think they have much reason to abandon GSM when that works worldwide right now.

If anything, what Apple needs to do is hold AT&Ts feet to the fire to continue to upgrade the existing GSM network today.

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post #7 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by iHarry View Post

I plan to be first in line the day Verizon offers an iPhone. AT&T sucks in my area.

God I hate AT&T-but I hate Verizon just as much.

I do not hear good things about Sprint, but their everything for $80 a month (I think) is a pretty good deal.

I was with Voicestream then T-Mobile for many years. They have THE BEST customer service by far. If they could build out their 3G and Apple would make a compatible phone, I would be back in a second. LOVED THEM-and they are cheap-much cheaper than AT$T.
post #8 of 100
I'm currently on Verizon (and have been for the past 6 years) and am planning on switching to AT&T this summer for the new iPhone. I would love it if they release the iPhone on Verizon this summer, but I know that's too soon (even if it is possible).

It makes me mad because I want to get an iPhone this summer, but I love Verizon and I don't think I could wait another year or two for a Verizon version.

I guess I'll just be switching to AT&T this summer, but I've heard the service isn't as good as Verizon...
post #9 of 100
<sarcasm> Yeah, AT&T is way out of line on its data rates. Verizon's rates are far more reasonable. <sarcasm>


Quote:
Originally Posted by eodchop View Post

I am getting rid of my iphone until i can get someone besides ATT and their absurb 3g rates. Only two more months left on the contract. I would love to see Sprint, Verizon, Alltel etc be able to distribute the iphone. This vendor lock, corporate bargaining shit needs to end.
post #10 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmafan420 View Post

I do not hear good things about Sprint, but their everything for $80 a month (I think) is a pretty good deal.

The insurmountable problem with Sprint is that their customer service is terrible.

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post #11 of 100
I don't see how having a CDMA/LTE chip available fundamentally makes it more likely for Apple to switch to Verizon. The problem with supporting CDMA or Verizon is having to design a separate phone in addition to the current GSM type for AT&T. A CDMA/LTE chip still doesn't support GSM and would still be a separate device from say a GSM/LTE future iPhone for AT&T and existing partners. Apple can't simply abandon GSM, because the technology is still prevalent and needed for areas that don't support LTE yet.
post #12 of 100
Interesting, but the use of the word "forced" to describe why Apple may change their strategy in the future is somewhat unfortunate. Saying that they may be "forced" to go with more than one carrier is like saying they were "forced" to sell a Windows version of the iPod. The implication is that Apple never adjusts their approach unless they have no choice.
Please don't be insane.
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post #13 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

The insurmountable problem with Sprint is that their customer service is terrible.

Indeed, Sprint's customer service is lacking and inferior to other major cell carriers in the US. However, based on my experience in the NYC tri-state area, Sprint's 3G (EvDO) footprint and service quality is superior to AT&T's 3G service. It's important to note that cell service varies based on geography, topography, population density, etc.
post #14 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Huh? The iPhone has been stealing CDMA users for two years now. Sprint is currently losing over a million subscribers per quarter. People with Sprint or Verizon or US Cellular that want an iPhone can just ditch their CDMA service and old phone and still keep the number.

And, unless I missed something, CDMA phones don't have swappable SIM cards. So how the hell is that going to work?

I think there is no doubt that Apple will migrate to LTE iPhones when the AT&T and Verizon start to build out those networks, but I don't think they have much reason to abandon GSM when that works worldwide right now.

If anything, what Apple needs to do is hold AT&Ts feet to the fire to continue to upgrade the existing GSM network today.

Why on earth would I want to do that? CDMA is a superior technology. GSM vs. CDMA is like VHS vs. BetaMax, or even PC vs. Mac. Popularity (and especially not ubiquity) and superiority seldom go hand-and-hand.
post #15 of 100
The genius is in Apple, not Citi, not Verizon, not RIM, or others. (May be a few in Palm.)

No one thought of Apple could make a new phone succeed before iPhone. The market was already crowded. That's how Verison refused Apple.

And who ever forsee iPhone have such a big impact? Citi group certainly didn't see it.

I'd rather counting on Apple to have another innovative products or ways, rather than Citi group or Verizon that can only look at statistics.

I'm also with Verizon that will expire in 2 weeks. I'm researching the available optiions and I can tell you for sure, the current smart phones from Verizon are very boring.
post #16 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

I don't see how having a CDMA/LTE chip available fundamentally makes it more likely for Apple to switch to Verizon. The problem with supporting CDMA or Verizon is having to design a separate phone in addition to the current GSM type for AT&T. A CDMA/LTE chip still doesn't support GSM and would still be a separate device from say a GSM/LTE future iPhone for AT&T and existing partners. Apple can't simply abandon GSM, because the technology is still prevalent and needed for areas that don't support LTE yet.

The cost of developing a CDMA/LTE (or even a CDMA/WiMax, based on an Apple job posting in early 2008) would likely be offset by additional market share and revenue.

Apple may even choose to have a carrier subsidize the R&D of such a device.
post #17 of 100
I read this earlier on another site and here is the giant clue that what they are talking about is total BS:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... the US cellular market is quickly hitting a wall in terms of growth ...

The analysis is true if you imagine that the world consists of only the US market and that there are not other, much larger markets for the iPhone.

So I guess if you live in Texas this is true, but otherwise it's just another case of American analysts stupidly (and in their defence I believe innocently), not realising that there is a world outside of the borders of the USA.

The international market is growing in leaps and bounds and the untapped portion of it exceeds the untapped portion of the US market by many many many times. Apple *may* make a CDMA phone if it ties in with their goal of making the iPhone ubiquitous worldwide, but they certainly don't need to (and probably won't) make a phone just to grab Verizon's customers.
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post #18 of 100
This device is freakin awesome. I think all carriers should have this phone, just like Blackberry. This phone would whip the crap at the BB if it was to go to all carriers.

On another note: I have been with AT&T When it was just beginning service here in Phoenix, AZ. I have been through the good and bad times and I must say my overall satisfaction has been amazing. My coverage is excellent, Great 3G coverage on my partner's iPhone. Now if i didn't get service in places that matter to me then it would be a different story. But honestly I am tired of people that complain about AT&T. No they are not the cheapest but they most certainly are not the most expensive. This phone and a plan on Verizon is going to be expensive. Do you think this exclusive contact is cheap? They along with Apple have made this happen. I still think that all carriers should have this amazing phone. Why do I need a Netbook? I have the iPhone... Why do I need a Bulky Laptop? I have an iPhone....

enuf said,

Mike
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post #19 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWork View Post

Indeed, Sprint's customer service is lacking and inferior to other major cell carriers in the US. However, based on my experience in the NYC tri-state area, Sprint's 3G (EvDO) footprint and service quality is superior to AT&T's 3G service. It's important to note that cell service varies based on geography, topography, population density, etc.

That's a given, but Sprint really *is* better once you get your phone setup. How often do you really call customer service? I've been a Sprint customer for more than a decade. The only time I've dealt with their customer service is when they've called me to offer a new phone, better plan or the occasional thank you and free month of service. Frankly, after my third year with them, they've seemed desperate to keep me happy...even sent me cookies and gift certificates.

Serious question...other than getting your phone activated or getting service turned off, why would you need to call customer service? Lost your phone? Feeling lonely?
post #20 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

The insurmountable problem with Sprint is that their customer service is terrible.

How often do you find yourself calling customer service?

I've been on Sprint with my Treo 650 since 2005 and I've had to call customer service zero (0) times. Yes, ZERO.

Their network is incredibly reliable and I've had absolutely no problems with them.

Everyone seems to complain about how bad Sprint's customer service is, but... Seriously, why are you calling customer service so much?
post #21 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadisonTate View Post

Why on earth would I want to do that? CDMA is a superior technology. GSM vs. CDMA is like VHS vs. BetaMax, or even PC vs. Mac. Popularity (and especially not ubiquity) and superiority seldom go hand-and-hand.

Companies don't care about quality when you can get "decent" things for cheap. Why do you think VHS, GSM, and PCs are more popular?

Money talks dude. That's Business 101.
post #22 of 100
Why would Apple go to the trouble of building a different phone (I'm sure they work hard at maximising power efficiency, so its not a trivial exercise) for a shrinking 10% of the market? They should care because it happens to be 50% of their home market? There are many more customers outside the US than in.

CDMA is dead. Even the phone companies agree.
post #23 of 100
The cell phone market in the U.S. is saturated - fine.

I expect that Apple's growth will come from people who DON'T have a smartphone but want the functionality of an iPhone. Cool apps, some email, surfing etc.

So what percentage of cell phone users don't have smart phones. That should be where Apple's growth comes from in the future.
post #24 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadisonTate View Post

How often do you really call customer service? I've been a Sprint customer for more than a decade. The only time I've dealt with their customer service is when they've called me to offer a new phone, better plan or the occasional thank you and free month of service. Frankly, after my third year with them, they've seemed desperate to keep me happy...even sent me cookies and gift certificates.

Heh, get out of my head!
post #25 of 100
Gotta love these analysts!
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post #26 of 100
Quote:
That's a given, but Sprint really *is* better once you get your phone setup. How often do you really call customer service? I've been a Sprint customer for more than a decade. The only time I've dealt with their customer service is when they've called me to offer a new phone, better plan or the occasional thank you and free month of service. Frankly, after my third year with them, they've seemed desperate to keep me happy...even sent me cookies and gift certificates.

Serious question...other than getting your phone activated or getting service turned off, why would you need to call customer service? Lost your phone? Feeling lonely?

Agreed. I have had an excellent experience dealing with Sprint myself, though not as awesome as what you describe. I only quoted research which indicates Sprint CS is lacking, but that it is also improving. Furthermore, cell service is much more important to my overall experience than how long I am kept on hold during a call. In my experience, Sprint's CS is indistinguishable from AT&T's CS.

Account management over the internet is already possible and alleviates the need for most calls to CS. Heck, even the AT&T iPhone app released this past week has the ability to change plan details.
post #27 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

Why would Apple go to the trouble of building a different phone (I'm sure they work hard at maximising power efficiency, so its not a trivial exercise) for a shrinking 10% of the market? They should care because it happens to be 50% of their home market? There are many more customers outside the US than in.

CDMA is dead. Even the phone companies agree.

It's not a whole different phone. Everything is the same but the radio chipset and the firmware that talks to it.

It probably isn't rocket science to make a CDMA iPhone.
post #28 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

How often do you find yourself calling customer service?

I've been on Sprint with my Treo 650 since 2005 and I've had to call customer service zero (0) times. Yes, ZERO.

Their network is incredibly reliable and I've had absolutely no problems with them.

Everyone seems to complain about how bad Sprint's customer service is, but... Seriously, why are you calling customer service so much?

Wow, feel the Sprint love!!! LOL!

Wait til they fuck up something on your bill or account, you'll find out exactly how often you'll have to call them and how long it'll take them to correct it. Then be sure to check back and tell us why you get to call them so often!

Over two years ago I bought a phone from Sprint. They sent the wrong model, and I shipped it back to them while they sent the right one. Regardless of the fact that they acknowledged receiving the return, it took seventeen months for them to stop billing me the full, unsubsidized price. And, just for fun, they reported the delinquent account to the credit bureaus for seventeen months.

One of the guys who works for me changed over from the retail plan to the corporate discount plan here at work (15% off). Every month he calls them to get it corrected, every month they say they will correct it and issue him a credit for the 15%, and every subsequent month they bill him the full amount! LOL! And we have a corporate account with them, including dedicated account reps!

If Sprint hasn't screwed up your account in some way, consider yourself lucky!

FWIW, the actual cellular service (including what little EV-DO they actually have around here) is pretty good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iWork View Post

Account management over the internet is already possible and alleviates the need for most calls to CS. Heck, even the AT&T iPhone app released this past week has the ability to change plan details.

Account management over the internet works like account management where you call up and "press 1 for English"... You are fine as long as you only need the answers they are programmed to give you. And I doubt the AT&T app will be any better at this than anybody else's, since you can't even sign up for account management with the account management app!

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post #29 of 100
Citibank... Citi... Oh, that so-called bank whose stock is worth pennies. Their forecasting wasn't very good about this. And why do they say the cellular market is tanking? Because people aren't making money? Hey, they have cell phones in India. Maybe the rates should come down. Wireless broadband, working on the bandwidth vacated by the old tv channels, will be coming on soon. Tbe phones get better and better? And what does Citibank have for progress? A new kind of "financial instrument"? Or "creative financing."
post #30 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

It probably isn't rocket science to make a CDMA iPhone.

Of course its not rocket science, its about supply chains and distribution. The iPhone succeeds specifically because there aren't 18 models that all work somewhat differently.

Any iPhone can work anywhere in the world with a properly programmed SIM card.

You'll get the convergence you are looking for anyway in about two years when everyone (but Sprint) rolls out their LTE networks. At that point, everyone including Verizon is starting from scratch. So you get the additional network at a time when everyone has to rebuy their phones. Why mess with that now, when the interim problem is really getting AT&T to update their 3G network to faster data speeds and better coverage areas right now (which is underway today)?

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post #31 of 100
Quote:
The insurmountable problem with Sprint is that their customer service is terrible.

I disagree. I would argue that most of the people who complain about their customer service are always doing stupid crap. Going over their minutes, then complaining about the charges, going over their texting, etc.... I think the bigger issue is Sprint may have crappier customers since they offer phones to people with little or no credit. Also it doesn't help that boost mobile is stealing customers from Sprint.

I have been a Sprint customer for more then 7 years, and I've had to call their customer service only about 12 times in that span. I've only had a few minor billing issues, however I used to call the Nextel Corporate line (note sure if its still around) and they were very helpful.

Honestly, I have great Sprint reception where I'm at and my buddy with AT&T has issues with his reception.

I would be highly interested in a CDMA iPhone.

Quote:
You'll get the convergence you are looking for anyway in about two years when everyone (but Sprint) rolls out their LTE networks.

I've read reports suggesting that Wimax and LTE can potentially run off the same hardware, and I know Sprint was quoted as saying they were always investigating all of the wireless technologies of the future. Then again, who knows what will happen.
post #32 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadisonTate View Post

Why on earth would I want to do that? CDMA is a superior technology.

All things being equal, CDMA may or may not be a superior technology for voice calls but HSDPA is a far superior technology to EV-DO for cellular data.

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post #33 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmafan420 View Post

God I hate AT&T-but I hate Verizon just as much.

I do not hear good things about Sprint, but their everything for $80 a month (I think) is a pretty good deal.

I was with Voicestream then T-Mobile for many years. They have THE BEST customer service by far. If they could build out their 3G and Apple would make a compatible phone, I would be back in a second. LOVED THEM-and they are cheap-much cheaper than AT$T.

I was with Omnipoint>Voicestream>T-Mobile and always had good customer service with them. My problem was that my service kept getting worse and worse over the years at my home and finally, when my last contract was up, I moved to AT&T, partially for service but also for the iPhone 3G and have 4 bars up from 1 to maybe two. T-Mobile is very slow to build out their network and haven't upgraded my service area in 10 years.
post #34 of 100
I'm amazed with some of you. Seriously. First of all, (lets go on this long shot assumption) lets say Apple does decide to go with Verizon Wireless. Why do any of you think that they would then abandon GSM? What kind of logic is that? Second, who cares where this so called study comes from? In the end, it's complete LOGIC that Apple will eventually have to expand to other US carriers. If you HONESTLY believe that this is not necessary and only AT&T is fine, then I seriously would LOVE to smoke what you are smoking. Why? Because at some point, it is literally IMPOSSIBLE for Apple to expand and sell more iPhones. There's an ENORMOUS percentage of Americans that will NEVER leave their wireless networks and yet desire an iPhone. Do you honestly believe that Apple will continue to hold them out? Give me a break.

The only way long term for Apple to double their U.S. sales is to open the device up to other carriers. It is a 100% certainty that this will happen.

The real question is WHEN. Will Apple make a CDMA phone? Maybe not, but it really is not that difficult at all. Will Apple stick with only one model of the iPhone? Highly doubtful. Why? Look at their iPod lines: multiple products for multiple types of consumers. Look at their notebook line; their Mac line. It won't be any different on the iPhone side.

I can somewhat understand (barely) the Apple cult. Heck, some accuse me of being one of them, but AT&T cult? I'm seriously flabbergasted.

w00master
post #35 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by scavanger View Post

I disagree. I would argue that most of the people who complain about their customer service are always doing stupid crap. Going over their minutes, then complaining about the charges, going over their texting, etc.... I think the bigger issue is Sprint may have crappier customers since they offer phones to people with little or no credit. Also it doesn't help that boost mobile is stealing customers from Sprint.

I vowed never to go back to Cingular, but then they got the iPhone so I thought I'd give it the 30-day trail. It was great so I kept it. I'm now on the iPhone 3G and believe that my issues with carriers is that I only called them when I was already frustrated, usually with the crappy phone I had. Occasionally I'd have a bill related issue, but not often.

Quote:
I would be highly interested in a CDMA iPhone.

Many people would but I don't think it's likely. If Apple is still tying the device to specific carriers through the world despite having gotten their new product off the ground and most countries being all GSM-based, then thinking that they'd make a CDMA-based version for the US while screwing AT&T is not likely. They need the carriers they team with so they can control their product and its environment.

Quote:
I've read reports suggesting that Wimax and LTE can potentially run off the same hardware, and I know Sprint was quoted as saying they were always investigating all of the wireless technologies of the future. Then again, who knows what will happen.

They can make HW that has both, they do it with CDMA/GSM/CDMA2000/WCDMA chips but they are larger and more costly. But it's pretty pointless for most people's needs as WiMAX is far from an established standard. It had it's chance to reign supreme and failed. The best we'll probably find are PC cards with LTE and WiMAX included, but I am sure they will be pricey.
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post #36 of 100
Wow, feel the Sprint love!!! LOL!

Wait til they fuck up something on your bill or account, you'll find out exactly how often you'll have to call them and how long it'll take them to correct it. Then be sure to check back and tell us why you get to call them so often!

Over two years ago I bought a phone from Sprint. They sent the wrong model, and I shipped it back to them while they sent the right one. Regardless of the fact that they acknowledged receiving the return, it took seventeen months for them to stop billing me the full, unsubsidized price. And, just for fun, they reported the delinquent account to the credit bureaus for seventeen months.

One of the guys who works for me changed over from the retail plan to the corporate discount plan here at work (15% off). Every month he calls them to get it corrected, every month they say they will correct it and issue him a credit for the 15%, and every subsequent month they bill him the full amount! LOL! And we have a corporate account with them, including dedicated account reps!

If Sprint hasn't screwed up your account in some way, consider yourself lucky!

FWIW, the actual cellular service (including what little EV-DO they actually have around here) is pretty good.


I'm sure there are people with their horror stories from AT&T, Alltel, US Cellular, T-Mobile, and Verizon among others...

but who could forget "Verizon Math" see link below... it's over 27 minutes, but it's priceless!


http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/2007...-customer.html

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post #37 of 100
So, Apple gets little growth in the USA.
What about Europe? A larger market than the USA.
What about China and India?

Sometimes these analysts are just retarded.
post #38 of 100
Gawd I hate blog speculation about a product founded not in technical wish lists, but some perceived too good to be ignored hyperbole.
post #39 of 100
Quote:

OMG! I've never heard that before. How absolutely nerve racking for that guy. It's like a conversation with Teckstud.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #40 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by iHarry View Post

I plan to be first in line the day Verizon offers an iPhone. AT&T sucks in my area.

It's not your area; AT&T coverage is horrible all over. If you look at their coverage maps, it shows they are pretty good. Too bad the maps are horribly inaccurate (that being a kindness... if I were feeling ruder, I would say that they are outright lies).

I live in a major US city and travel quite a bit. Here and everywhere else I go, my coverage is awful.

Then there are the times when my iPhone shows a full five bars, but calls to me go straight to voicemail... as if the signal is there but the tower forgot that my phone was talking to it. Same for "instant" messages, which sometimes take hours to arrive, despite my phone thinking it has coverage.

As far as I can tell, AT&T knows their coverage is horrible, so their solution to the problem is to advertise how wonderful their coverage is. I guess that's cheaper than building towers.

When I see other people using their bloop-bloop phones, I shiver at the thought of going back to that last-century paradigm of mobile telephony. But I keep wondering if the iPhone is really worth having to put up with the horrible AT&T coverage. After all, a phone which can't make/receive calls isn't so useful. I may be better off with a cheapo phone from another carrier and an iPod Touch. But then I love the mobile internet on my iPhone. I just wish Apple would ditch AT&T ASAP.
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