Rumor: Apple could announce end of AT&T iPhone exclusivity Wed.

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Citing an anonymous "inside source," HotHardware has reported AT&T could lose their iPhone exclusivity on Wednesday, when Apple is also expected to introduce its long-awaited touchscreen tablet.



The report does not go as far as to claim what other U.S. carriers could offer the iPhone. But a source allegedly told the Web site that AT&T is "tired of taking the heat" for poor reception from iPhone users. In short, the report claims, AT&T officials believe the iPhone is hurting the company's image, and they are no longer interested in having exclusive access to Apple's handset.



"Inside of AT&T, we are hearing that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before," the report said. "On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone--do you?"



HotHardware alleges, without any evidence to support the claim, that the iPhone doesn't handle the switch from 3G to EDGE connections well, and frequently drops calls when 3G access is lost.



The report cites AT&T's multitude of announcements earlier this month as evidence that the nation's second-largest wireless carrier is already looking toward its post-exclusivity. The company announced it will launch its first five Android-based handsets in the first half of 2010, as well as two Palm webOS-based devices, and a new mobile application platform for non-smartphones.



"Now, it seems the puzzle pieces are beginning to slot together," the report said. "It's possible that AT&T recently went searching for deals with other phone makers in order to proactively bolster its smartphone lineup for when this day-of-doom would come.



"AT&T has gained a huge amount of subscribers from being the only operator with the iPhone, and if it loses that advantage, it'll need some other cutting-edge, high-brow phones to keep people's attention."



Most of the focus and hype leading to Apple's event, scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. Pacific time, has focused on the company's long-rumored tablet device. But there have also been scattered reports that Apple could also use the event to introduce the latest update to the iPhone software with iPhone OS 4.0.



If Apple does announce the end of AT&T's iPhone exclusivity this week, the most anticipated partner would be the largest wireless provider in the U.S., Verizon. However, Verizon's network relies on CDMA-based phones, and Apple has not yet made a version of the iPhone compatible with Verizon.



Another option could be the smallest of the "big four" U.S. carriers, T-Mobile. While some have predicted the iPhone could find a home on the network in 2010 due to its GSM-based network being compatible with Apple's handset, there is one technical limitation: the iPhone is not currently capable of connecting to T-MObile's high-speed 3G network.



T-Mobile 3G operates on a unique 1700MHz spectrum. The iPhone is currently compatible with UMTS/HSDPA 3G connections at the frequencies 850MHz, 1900MHz and 2100MHz. It would be necessary, therefore, for Apple to build a new hardware model that supports T-Mobile's 3G frequency.



As for AT&T's reputation, the company of late has strongly defended itself against Verizon in an ongoing advertising campaign featuring actor Luke Wilson. The battle has raged for months, since Verizon began airing commercials that criticize AT&T's network and parody Apple's "There's an app for that" slogan with the tagline "There's a map for that."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 154
    with all of the rumored announcements, the show on Wednesday is going to last all day. and one more thing and one more thing, and oh yeah, one more thing.
  • Reply 2 of 154
    Honestly, I don't even know whats possibly going to announced anymore. Too many rumors floating around I want to Wednesday to come already. Accept whatever is announced. Too much hype right now.
  • Reply 3 of 154
    "HotHardware alleges, without any evidence to support the claim, that the iPhone doesn't handle the switch from 3G to EDGE connections well, and frequently drops calls when 3G access is lost."



    No phone can switch a call between 3G and EDGE. If a call starts on 3G, in must end on 3G. Or, alternatively, end when 3G coverage vanishes. AT&T's 3G coverage gaps and insufficient network capacity are to blame.
  • Reply 4 of 154
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    .... AT&T is "tired of taking the heat" for poor reception from iPhone users. In short, the report claims, AT&T officials believe the iPhone is hurting the company's image,



    That's nobodies fault but theirs. My wife has a Droid Eris on Verizon's network and it absolutely puts ATT to shame in my experience.



    At my home I have no service with ATT. My wife has good 3g service. If the iPhone comes to Verizon I'll be switching when my contract with ATT expires.
  • Reply 5 of 154
    It appears AT&T just dropped the unlimited plan price to $69 bucks. The end of exclusivity may be true. You have to agree to another two year contract to get the new rate.



    I also saw iLife 09 on sale for around forty dollars at some online sites. Perhaps a new iLife is in the wings.



    I think AT&T's hold on the iPhone will end soon. I think enough people want it to happen and Apple is listening.



    And if you are listening Mr. Jobs, I am in the market for a new Apple TV. Wednesday would be a good time for a hardware upgrade.
  • Reply 6 of 154
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    End the iPhone exclusivity!



    BRING ON THE DATA HOGS!!!!



    If I had any graphic artistic capabilities, I'd render the "morphing" of the Apple logo into a Demon Hog!
  • Reply 7 of 154
    Everybody knows that eventualy the iPhone will

    go to all the carriers.. Apple needs to make as much money

    for their shareholders. Apple knows that as soon as they

    go to vzw it's light out for android!! they will probably

    sell 35 million iPhones from the get go.
  • Reply 8 of 154
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Inside of AT&T, we are hearing that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before," the report said. "On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone--do you?"



    Actually, yes I do remember AT&T/Cingular being known for sketchy signal quality before Apple announed their partnership. iPhone may have made the problem worse, but the apparent inability to reinvest any portion of the earnings into infrastructure improvements didn't help. I realize that there are regulatory matters, zoning, back haul capacity, tower sharing rights, but does it really take a year to get to the point of making any publicly apparent attempt at doing something about it? We had stories of towers being upgraded but it usually seemed to be a tepid response, I didn't see any improvements.



    I don't think the story has any weight to it, but anything is possible. I do know that I won't have much luck with the other major GSM brand, so I'll have to switch hardware if anything can be done about it.
  • Reply 9 of 154
    It's funny cause i been with both AT&T and Verizon for the last 10 years and i can't remember AT&T being great, Matter fact when the iPhone came out was the only time they started taking their network seriously.
  • Reply 10 of 154
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Inside of AT&T, we are hearing that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before," the report said. "On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone--do you?"



    It's sort of an interesting point ?It's such a data hog.? I can understand how AT&T would view it that way. Doubtless, they were unprepared for the amount of data we iPhone users would actually use.



    But the iPhone isn't a data hog. iPhone users are data hogs. And that's not true, either. It's not just us. I think most everyone would be, if given the proper vehicle. It's just that the iPhone is such a wonderful vehicle. It makes it easy for us to do what we want. And thus empowered, what we do is use a lot of data. It makes about as much sense as saying an iPod is a music hog.



    But with the iPod, as I put more and more music on the thing, the music industry makes more and more money (though for some reason they don't like acknowledging that). AT&T probably feels like they made a mistake in agreeing to unlimited data for a flat price. But I was around in the stone ages, when your ISP didn't do that. It was a per-usage fee. And even though the costs weren't egregious, it was a helluva damper on how much time I spent online. (Of course, considering how much time I waste online, maybe I need those dampers back )
  • Reply 11 of 154
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post


    "HotHardware alleges, without any evidence to support the claim, that the iPhone doesn't handle the switch from 3G to EDGE connections well, and frequently drops calls when 3G access is lost."



    No phone can switch a call between 3G and EDGE. If a call starts on 3G, in must end on 3G. Or, alternatively, end when 3G coverage vanishes. AT&T's 3G coverage gaps and insufficient network capacity are to blame.



    I was going to say the same thing. This is one of the reasons why I ran my ATT phones 2G only. Sure, the data would be slow and I would also loose the ability to call and get data at the same time, but my first purpose of my phone is to... I don't know... make phone calls. If I can't reliably do that, then it defeats the purpose. It's one of the reasons why I actually like the way CDMA and EV-DO works. Since EV-DO is data-only (doesn't carry voice like its GSM counterparts), my calls are not reliant upon 3G being available (while Verizon does run an all 3G network, there are still spots that I have hit on occasion that do not have EV-DO capability... mainly in some of the former Alltel areas). This does mean that I cannot have voice and data at the same time on CDMA, but at least I can make a reliable call when I need, or get reliable data when I need (since EV-DO isn't saturated with voice).
  • Reply 12 of 154
    adamwadamw Posts: 114guest
    Things are getting interesting... Apple is likely to pit Verizon against AT&T to get the best deal for itself (and hopefully for its customers) on pricing.
  • Reply 13 of 154
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Actually, yes I do remember AT&T/Cingular being known for sketchy signal quality before Apple announed their partnership. iPhone may have made the problem worse, but the apparent inability to reinvest any portion of the earnings into infrastructure improvements didn't help. I realize that there are regulatory matters, zoning, backhaul, tower sharing rights, but does it really take a year to get to the point of making any publicly apparent attempt at doing something about it?



    ATT IS DOING THEIR BEST AT LAYING WIRE

    their problem is that they kept quiet about the data hogs slowing their already poor net works



    ATT should have sold less phones

    or merged their wired systems with other carriers and shared the load



    9
  • Reply 14 of 154
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:

    AT&T officials believe the iPhone is hurting the company's image, and they are no longer interested in having exclusive access to Apple's handset.



    Ok... Can I get my iPhone officially unlocked now?!
  • Reply 15 of 154
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post


    It's sort of an interesting point ?It's such a data hog.? I can understand how AT&T would view it that way. Doubtless, they were unprepared for the amount of data we iPhone users would actually use.



    But the iPhone isn't a data hog. iPhone users are data hogs. And that's not true, either. It's not just us. I think most everyone would be, if given the proper vehicle. It's just that the iPhone is such a wonderful vehicle. It makes it easy for us to do what we want. And thus empowered, what we do is use a lot of data. It makes about as much sense as saying an iPod is a music hog.



    But with the iPod, as I put more and more music on the thing, the music industry makes more and more money (though for some reason they don't like acknowledging that). AT&T probably feels like they made a mistake in agreeing to unlimited data for a flat price. But I was around in the stone ages, when your ISP didn't do that. It was a per-usage fee. And even though the costs weren't egregious, it was a helluva damper on how much time I spent online. (Of course, considering how much time I waste online, maybe I need those dampers back )



    its 10 percent using 70 percent of the system



    ergo

    data hogs





    peace



    i hate peyton manning
  • Reply 16 of 154
    > Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to

    > blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible

    > network' before the iPhone--do you?"



    Huh? AT&T only covers about 18% of the country with 3G today.



    Before the iphone... they covered even *LESS* of the country.



    How can "tower coverage" be Apple's fault?



    (This is in *ADDITION* to the fact that AT&T can't handle heavy traffic.... they just can't handle *ANY* traffic... in about 82% of the USA. They have *NO* 3G cell towers in countless places.)



    http://vzwmap.verizonwireless.com/do...comparison.pdf
  • Reply 17 of 154
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Ok... Can I get my iPhone officially unlocked now?!



    Those have already been for sale... for quite a while now:



    http://www.buy.com/prod/apple-iphone...211209903.html
  • Reply 18 of 154
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post


    I'm curious. If ATT blames iPhone users for clogging their network, and apple goes to another network, what will happen to all the android, pre and other smart phones going to do to their network. Yeah, users of those phones use their phones less than iphone users but they'll be using data non the less.



    Indeed. These rumors are just ATT trying to cover their butts by putting the blame on Apple when it was ATT that was ill prepared.



    As for other carriers. I won't be shocked if Apple just unlocks the phone.
  • Reply 19 of 154
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    ATT IS DOING THEIR BEST AT LAYING WIRE



    Why didn't they start 2 *YEARS* ago... when they saw the iphone selling by the MILLIONS????



    Even casual users knew the network needed to be expanded.



    AT&T sat and did nothing for far, far too long.
  • Reply 20 of 154
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