Tense Apple-AT&T iPhone partnership nearly ended multiple times

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new report detailing the relationship between Apple and AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., reveals that Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly considered dropping AT&T numerous times, and considered leaving for Verizon as far back as 2007.



The tense relationship between Apple and AT&T is detailed in this month's issue of Wired magazine. Though the article is not yet available online, it was summarized Monday by Jason D. O'Grady of ZDNet.



The article compares the relationship between AT&T and Apple as a loveless celebrity marriage -- one that went wrong quickly after the honeymoon ended. Apple was unwilling to restrict the Internet capabilities of the iPhone, while AT&T struggled to meet the overwhelming pressure the smartphone placed on its network.



An anonymous source told the magazine that Jobs discussed severing ties with AT&T at least a half-dozen times. At one point in 2007, Apple engineers allegedly visited the headquarters of Qualcomm to consider the prospect of creating a CDMA iPhone for the rival network. EVentually, the company concluded it would have to rebuild the phone from scratch to fit the new chips inside, making the prospect too costly and complicated.



The article also alleges that Qualcomm also began working on a chip that will allow the iPhone to work on both the AT&T and Verizon networks. Recent reports have alleged that Apple will offer a CDMA iPhone for the Verizon network in January 2011.



One of many spats between the companies was said to be regarding tethering: Apple wanted it to be included in the standard data plan charges, while AT&T wanted to charge extra. AT&T eventually won that alleged battle, as it now offers tethering via USB or Bluetooth for an extra $20 per month.



The report also said that AT&T took issue with the fact that the iPhone uses a radio from Infineon, a company that previously had been most widely used in Europe, where cell towers are more common. AT&T allegedly felt that Apple's use of an Infineon chip led to inferior reception. When the wireless carrier asked Apple to resolve the issues "together," it was said that Apple's response was, "No, you resolve them. They're not our problem. They're your problem."



The companies apparently squabbled over small things as well, as the two corporate cultures did not mesh well. At one point, an AT&T representative reportedly told one of Jobs' deputies that the company co-founder should wear a suit to meet with the AT&T Board of Directors. That AT&T employee was allegedly told, "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 153
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    To me, this confirms the rumors that Apple has had a Verizon compatible phone waiting in the wings for some time now. They couldn't play chicken with AT&T without having that option ready.



    edit:

    And on second thought, maybe it confirms exactly the opposite. That Apple has put up with AT&T only because they don't have a Verizon solution.



  • Reply 2 of 153
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits." good slogan
  • Reply 3 of 153
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Interesting. For those who believe that Apple should merge with this or that company, stories like should give pause. Corporate culture is important and the differences can be difficult to overcome.
  • Reply 4 of 153
    All partnerships have issues. Each wants what is best for their customers.....sometimes they are in conflict.



    Welcome to Business 101.
  • Reply 5 of 153
    quashquash Posts: 23member
    Man, where the frak is T-Mobile in these discussions, this is complete bullshit
  • Reply 6 of 153
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    For Many... The Sooner The Better!
  • Reply 7 of 153
    freddychfreddych Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    All partnerships have issues. Each wants what is best for their customers.....sometimes they are in conflict.



    Welcome to Business 101.



    AT&T wants nothing for their customers. Seems like Apple's the only one on our side.
  • Reply 8 of 153
    I believed this article up until the mentioning the "source" could not be identified. Why is it that every story that these technology news mediums and blogs find can't disclose the person who is giving the information? #imjustsaying. I'm still standing were I always stand with these posts: I'll believe it when I see it...
  • Reply 9 of 153
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Povilas View Post


    "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits." good slogan



    Love it!
  • Reply 10 of 153
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    I completely agree that "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits." needs to be their new slogan. Seriously.
  • Reply 11 of 153
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,590member
    Quote:

    "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."



    Shoulda been "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits. If you want to deal with us I suggest you turn up in sneakers and old jeans."
  • Reply 12 of 153
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    To me, this confirms the rumors that Apple has had a Verizon compatible phone waiting in the wings for some time now. They couldn't play chicken with AT&T without having that option ready.



    edit:

    And on second thought, maybe it confirms exactly the opposite. That Apple has put up with AT&T only because they don't have a Verizon solution.







    Nah, I'd say your first assessment was correct. The only reason they didn't jump ship is because AT&T keeps paying them to stay. But, it's beyond the realm of possibility that a CDMA iPhone has been worked on in secret. At the very least, Apple must be assessing the use of LTE chips in the future for a 2012-2013 iPhone. And regardless, Apple has been hiring CDMA engineers since 2008. They must be working on something! 9to5Mac Article
  • Reply 13 of 153
    Apple really holds the majority of the cards here. Other carriers will likely drop their pants and bend over backwards should Apple shop around for a new carrier.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A new report detailing the relationship between Apple and AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., reveals that Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly considered dropping AT&T numerous times, and considered leaving for Verizon as far back as 2007.



    The tense relationship between Apple and AT&T is detailed in this month's issue of Wired magazine. Though the article is not yet available online, it was summarized Monday by Jason D. O'Grady of ZDNet.



    The article compares the relationship between AT&T and Apple as a loveless celebrity marriage -- one that went wrong quickly after the honeymoon ended. Apple was unwilling to restrict the Internet capabilities of the iPhone, while AT&T struggled to meet the overwhelming pressure the smartphone placed on its network.



    An anonymous source told the magazine that Jobs discussed severing ties with AT&T at least a half-dozen times. At one point in 2007, Apple engineers allegedly visited the headquarters of Qualcomm to consider the prospect of creating a CDMA iPhone for the rival network. EVentually, the company concluded it would have to rebuild the phone from scratch to fit the new chips inside, making the prospect too costly and complicated.



    The article also alleges that Qualcomm also began working on a chip that will allow the iPhone to work on both the AT&T and Verizon networks. Recent reports have alleged that Apple will offer a CDMA iPhone for the Verizon network in January 2011.



    One of many spats between the companies was said to be regarding tethering: Apple wanted it to be included in the standard data plan charges, while AT&T wanted to charge extra. AT&T eventually won that alleged battle, as it now offers tethering via USB or Bluetooth for an extra $20 per month.



    The report also said that AT&T took issue with the fact that the iPhone uses a radio from Infineon, a company that previously had been most widely used in Europe, where cell towers are more common. AT&T allegedly felt that Apple's use of an Infineon chip led to inferior reception. When the wireless carrier asked Apple to resolve the issues "together," it was said that Apple's response was, "No, you resolve them. They're not our problem. They're your problem."



    The companies apparently squabbled over small things as well, as the two corporate cultures did not mesh well. At one point, an AT&T representative reportedly told one of Jobs' deputies that the company co-founder should wear a suit to meet with the AT&T Board of Directors. That AT&T employee was allegedly told, "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."



  • Reply 14 of 153
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A new report detailing the relationship between Apple and AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., reveals that Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly considered dropping AT&T numerous times, and considered leaving for Verizon as far back as 2007. "



    Please consider it again.
  • Reply 15 of 153
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by glui2001 View Post


    Apple really holds the majority of the cards here. Other carriers will likely drop their pants and bend over backwards should Apple shop around for a new carrier.



    Shouldn't they bend the other way?



    (it's about time the cell providers get what's coming to them)
  • Reply 16 of 153
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."



    Apparently they're not the Men In Black.
  • Reply 17 of 153
    iPhone 4 concerns (incl. ATT) seem to be weighing down Apple's stock yet again.



    Just thought that I should note in passing: As of 1.37 PM EDT, July 19, 2010, MSFT's mkt cap exceeded that of AAPL again.
  • Reply 18 of 153
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."



    Suits! Suits! We don't need no stinking suits!





    Would have loved to have seen the look on the AT&T minions face.



    My apologies to "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" & David Allan Coe/Johnny Paycheck.
  • Reply 19 of 153
    Because of the $20 tethering rip-off, I opted to keep my grandfathered unlimited plan.



    Anyway, there is so much Wi-Fi in the world now, that I just don't have a great need for the luxury of tethering.



    Meanwhile, I am 3G streaming music and video night and day. Try to cap my data to 2GB or less, will ya...
  • Reply 20 of 153
    sargessarges Posts: 94member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."



    yes, they only wear denim and black turtleneck, and now they don't even own electric shavers. I hope they take showers for boardrooms' sake
Sign In or Register to comment.