iPhone: AT&T deal under scrutiny by government, Verizon



  • Reply 21 of 124
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    i guess the "exclusivity" contract congress has with us sucks too lets get rid of their 2 year contracts and put them home for being so useless maybe the inspiration for 2 years contracts was modeled on congress. bunch of losers.
  • Reply 22 of 124
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,608member
    Originally Posted by age234 View Post

    If you don't like AT&T, then don't get an iPhone.

    There is a problem with this argument. As much as I am an Apple Fanboy, need a GSM phone for international use, and don't really mind AT&T, when two companies act together to create a lock-in between products it is collusion.

    The bigger questions are:

    -Why is the cancellation fee so high, if there is no subsidy on the phone? Likewise, why is it not pro-rated for the remaining duration of the contract?

    -When my contract is up, or if I pay to cancel it, why can't I use the device I have purchased with another provider? This is the fundamental reason for standards, and why the government should encourage them.

    -If my provider can no longer offer service congruent with the assumptions made on entering the contract, shouldn't I be able to use my phone with a different compatible service? (Say I move abroad, provider goes bankrupt, or a service that could reasonably be expected as an extension of existing services is not provided in a sufficiently cost and performance-competitive fashion-- like tethering for the people who want that.)

    The cell phone industry is really messed up, world-wide. For progress, the government is going to have to step in and limit what they can do to transmitting packets. In this fashion, they do not act as a barrier to the industry with their monopoly/oligopoly status. They are also incentiveized to do a great job with transmitting packets based on market need.

    Apple can do a little bit to shake up the industry, but right now it is in their best interests to collude with them. As a stock holder and iPhone owner, I don't feel too robbed. I might change my mind if innovation doesn't continue.
  • Reply 23 of 124
    tkntkn Posts: 224member
    I don't really want to see government involved in this kind of piddly nonsense of requiring unlockable phones or anything. The real problem is that they failed in the beginning to mandate a standard. We should have just picked either Japan's system or European GSM. None of this split market of technologies. We did it again in 3G spectrum.

    Government should be involved in standard setting. There are advantages to proper standards if they are set reasonably intelligently. Not like HDTVs 50 different broadcast standards, something which is just confusing and fragments the market. But there is absolutely no reason we should not have taken this chance for unification of 3G. Now we just have to patch things up as best as possible.
  • Reply 24 of 124
    I'd like the opportunity to move from carrier to carrier if they suck without having to wait for a lenghty contract, or 175-275 dollar penalty for leaving. You have to try before you buy sometimes, and they are getting a minimum of $175 to let you try the network. That is BS. Sprint/Nextel was good at my house, but I moved, and had no service at my new place. So I had to switch. And it cost me a lot of money to do so. Even if you buy a shit phone for 50 bucks, you're locked in.

    As mobile becomes more prevalent and people drop house phones for cell phones, maybe there should be someone stepping back the companies a bit, and allowing more freedom to move around between carriers. AT&T never gave a damn what phone I had plugged into my wall, and I can't remember Verizon asking me either. Why the hell should they decide what phone I get to use on their wireless network, and why should they be allowed to punish me for leaving if they suck?

    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

    He must be trying to re-live his glory days when he (from his website), "was one of the only members of the Commerce Committee to fight AT&T?s monopoly in the early 80s and is a principal author of the requirement that the Bell Operating companies accept local telephone service in the 90s."

    So instead of one behemoth of a company to bitch about regarding service, we now have multitudes!

    By the way Markey, I didn't see anyone holding a gun to the 700,000 buyers of the iPhone who I am sure the majority of has had some experience with cell phones, wireless providers, and yearly or multi-year contracts.

    So no Mr. Markey, no one is stuck with anything. The consumer had everything in front of them they needed in order to make their decision and they either purchased or walked!

    It is malarkey from Markey why I don't vote democratic!

  • Reply 25 of 124
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    We know why AT&T demanded an exclusive: because they like the lock-in and all the switchers.

    We know why Apple agreed to that demand: because they were asking a LOT of a carrier (from new activation methods to visual voicemail development) and thus the carrier could make demands back. No exclusive, no iPhone. Much like Apple had to put DRM on songs at first. No other way to make the deal happen.

    And we know why AT&T shouldn't be ALLOWED to make such a demand in the first place!
  • Reply 26 of 124
    djmalikdjmalik Posts: 11member
    I don't care I needed a contract. I wanted the iPhone, and I signed the contract. No one made me.

    I don't have a problem at AT&T; my RAZR was with them: good signal, good service, and drop outs only occasionally (like everyone else). And signal depends a lot on where you live.

    And Edge is not painfully slow. My wi-fi is faster, so I don't care.

    The less Congress gets involved, the better.
  • Reply 27 of 124
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    You have to love how a legal threat (though it's really more of posturing) at Apple brings out the AI community's inner Milton Friedman.

    Truth is (and speaking of as an owner of for-the-most-part pretty amazing iPhone) exclusive multi-year-long contracts do suck, and it's amazing that Americans put up with them. Unfortunately, it's the system we've got.

    On the hand, singling the iPhone out for this, or the At&T and Apple deal in particular is just deeply opportunistic. It's obviously a media darling, and everyone knows about it, but it's just a fairly standard example of how the U.S. cell phone business works - very far from either a pioneer or some sign of something new.

    Ironically, the iPhone looks to *change* the current U.S. cell phone model, by shifting more power to cell phone manufacturers over carriers, and possibly diminishing the idea of subsidization... as the appeal of "free", crappy phones may become less attractive.
  • Reply 28 of 124
    rjpottsrjpotts Posts: 9member
    Rep. Ed Markey, Is the one that is raising the issue.

    Here is is phone number 202-225-2836 and a link to a email form that you can use to contact him.

    I think if you have an issue with this BS you should either call his office and complain or send him an email. Maybe they will get the message. Then again maybe not.
  • Reply 29 of 124
    aisiaisi Posts: 134member
    Originally Posted by age234 View Post

    If you don't like AT&T, then don't get an iPhone.

    Some people will do exactly this, they won't get an iPhone because of the multi-year exclusive partnership with AT&T (poor AT&T coverage in their area, high cancellation fee, etc.) This might hamper sales, I'd like to see Apple sell even more iPhones via other carriers.

    AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights on the iPhone for five years, WTF?

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider - May 22, 2007

    Being the exclusive U.S. provider for Apple's iPhone means that wireless carrier AT&T won't have to worry about a competing version of the device for rival cellular networks for at least half a decade.

  • Reply 30 of 124
    Nobody but the carriers and maybe Apple like the exclusivity deals, however this practice has been going on for many many years.

    Most carriers have some exclusitivy or another for a particular model or another. I do not get it ..... why is it ok for all other phones but not for the iPhone?

    Maybe the iPhone hit a nerve with politicians that do not want to switch carriers, LOL.

    Fair is fair, if they are going after the iPhone then zero exclusivity for every single phone and carrierr, fair is fair.
  • Reply 31 of 124
    ajhillajhill Posts: 81member
    Gee, the last time I checked companies were free to associate with whomever they wished. Enter into contracts with whomever they wished without interference from the Government. This isn't Russia? Is this Russia? It's all part of the word free as in Freedom. I as a consumer am free to choose to enter into an agreement with Apple and ATT. That was my choice.

    By the way, love the iPhone, baby!!!
  • Reply 32 of 124
    dotcomctodotcomcto Posts: 130member
    Are we seriously at the point where Congress has nothing better to do than worry about baseball, the Sirius/XM merger and the iPhone? Really? Is that what's important to our Congress now? Last I checked, we have a war running in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our healthcare could use some fixing, too! How about fixing that first and worrying about all the other nonsense later?!?! I guess it's a lot easier for them to just complain about the issues instead of working to fix them.


  • Reply 33 of 124
    Originally Posted by SurfRat View Post

    This is just ridiculous. It's plain and simple: Exclusivity agreements like this are what drive genuine competition.

    That is a load of BS. What it drives is customer lock-ins, that is it's very purpose, and it is anticompetitive. What drives competition is a level playing field. To be fair it is the fault of the consumer who has (collectively) bent over and taken it from the cell phone companies.
  • Reply 34 of 124
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Verizon now has my cell phone, land lines, internet, and television. I am looking forward to banking at Verizon Bank, shopping at Verizon market and sending my kids to Verizon school.
  • Reply 35 of 124
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,826member
    It's simple...

    Apple Solution = apple-chosen device + apple-chosen service

    Other 'solution' = user-chosen device + user-chosen service

    The success of the former directly undermines democratic process (by implying public choice isn't the best solution) so of course the politicians are rallying against it. The runaway success of iPod + iTunes must be such an embarrassment to them (it certainly doesn't sit well with their transatlantic counterparts).

    As for Verizon - why would they even be on hand to drip poison into the committe's ear if the following were true...

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    AT&T's primary challenger in the wireless industry, Verizon, indirectly used the iPhone as proof that exclusive models were no guarantee of success. A high-profile launch aside, the long-term future of the iPhone was still in doubt and Verizon felt no qualms about turning down the iPhone deal because it wasn't the "right opportunity" at the time, said the carrier's legal counsel Steve Zipperstein.

    "Despite the hype about the iPhone in the media over the last couple of weeks, the product has only been available for the last 10 days," he said. "The jury is still out and we will have to see how the market reacts."

    ...is there anything about the last 10 days which implies iPhone will be a failure? Not only are the jury out but so are the stores!

    Both parties of course have an identical hidden agenda. One placates consumers by patronising them with superficial choice (and the belief they are able to make the right one) while in reality exerting control through the underlying infrastructure to it's own end. The other is Verizon.

    I hope the iPhone is a howling success.

  • Reply 36 of 124
    cmoneycmoney Posts: 21member
    Apart from the iPhone, AT&T is actually one of the best carriers as far as contracts go. AFAIK, you can walk into an AT&T store and pay full price for a phone and not have to get a contract. Verizon requires at least a one year contract no matter how much you pay for the device.

    Also if you pay full price for an AT&T phone, you can fax the receipt to AT&T customer service and they'll give you the unlock code no questions asked. Not only that, if you do get a contract, they'll still give the unlock code after a few months if you ask them for it.

    The whole unsubsidized iPhone with contract is kinda screwy but it doesn't affect upgrade eligibility so the subsidy is still there, it just can't be applied to the iPhone. You can get any other phone for free (or discounted) and sell it.
  • Reply 37 of 124
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

    It is malarkey from Markey why I don't vote democratic!

    Or is it because you're too f_____ stupid to know the difference between "democratic" and "democrat"?

  • Reply 38 of 124
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

    It is malarkey from Markey why I don't vote democratic!

    Sure, because under the Republicans, things have gone so well. o_0

    The Bush administration has been a reg'lar beacon of competency and reason, as the President's 29 percent approval ratings point out.

  • Reply 39 of 124
    Originally Posted by rjpotts View Post

    Microsoft should sell Linux.

    Microsoft does sell Linux, btw.
  • Reply 40 of 124
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,826member
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

    Why is the cancellation fee so high, if there is no subsidy on the phone? Likewise, why is it not pro-rated for the remaining duration of the contract?

    To create a win/win scenario; Apple wins, the Carrier wins. Did I miss anybody out?

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