AT&T pushing to keep iPhone exclusive through 2011



  • Reply 21 of 147
    davidwdavidw Posts: 972member
    Originally Posted by Trapt View Post

    Unbelievable. This is wrong. We need to start a movement online to tell Apple we are not happy and this is not acceptable. We need some fair competition.

    There's no real competition in the carrier market. They all cost about the same for a standard voice/data package (in the US). The real difference is in the coverage. And not one of them can claim great or good coverage over their entire network. All carriers got coverage issue.

    ATT would be smart to pay Apple to extend that exclusive deal for another year. One more year is all ATT would need (they hope) to improve their coverage. This would stop the main reason why any of their iPhone users would switch to another carrier. And maybe grab a some more market shares from the other carriers. Before the iPhone become availble for other carriers.
  • Reply 22 of 147
    And Apple isn't going to use any immature chipsets for power reasons (see Jobs reasoning with the original iPhone not having 3G). I'd put Apple breaking off with their agreement with AT&T at 2011 at the absolute earliest, if not 2012. Of course, as soon as Apple comes out with a LTE-capable iPhone, Verizon kiddos will be using the phone anyway.
  • Reply 23 of 147
    ibillibill Posts: 392member
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

    And Apple isn't going to use any immature chipsets for power reasons (see Jobs reasoning with the original iPhone not having 3G). I'd put Apple breaking off with their agreement with AT&T at 2011 at the absolute earliest, if not 2012. Of course, as soon as Apple comes out with a LTE-capable iPhone, Verizon kiddos will be using the phone anyway.

    Agreed. It will be interesting when that time comes to see if Verizon has turned over a new leaf regarding their obsession with locking out handset features. That of course is the real reason that there is no iPhone on Verizon.
  • Reply 24 of 147
    Even though AT&T is gaining many new subscribers that are paying for their monthly phone plans through the iPhone, it still seems to me that it doesn't quite make up for the amount they lost through subsidizing the iPhone 3G. And let's face it, AT&T's phone service is simply sub-par. I think that consumers will begin to realize that an iPod touch has just as many application options as an iPhone, so they are better off financially if they stick with whatever phone plan they have (many provide customers with phones that come free with the plan) and get an iPod touch instead.
  • Reply 25 of 147
    toestoes Posts: 55member
    ... how about t-mobile? I know it doesn't use the same 3G frequency as AT&T in the US, but having used a Samsung Blackjack on AT&T for the past 2 months now here in Colorado and having used an HTC Pda for 3 years prior on t-mobile service I must say that AT&T's 3g is worthless.

    More "bars in more places"? Pathetic. More like: "too many users, not enough bandwidth."

    My old t-mobile EDGE/GPRS handset synchronized e-mail much more reliably and consistently with better coverage (no additional cost to use it in Europe either, where AT&T charges a ridiculous setup fee and huge additional data cost).

    AT&T is a sad excuse and a bad partner for Apple as far as I am concerned. Still waiting for an unlocked iPhone (w/o do-it-yourself factor).
  • Reply 26 of 147
    I don't see it happening.

    The only reason Apple might extend exclusivity is if that's the only way it can convince companies to subsidize the iphone.

    The problem for AT&T is that Apple has realized (and I am surprised they didn't predict this) that the real money is in establishing a platform. Apple is not really into lock-ins (they have generally been forced by content partners, but most of their computing work, e.g. Webkit, tends to be very open, especially the many standards they create, e.g. Mini DisplayPort). The best way they can protect their competitive edge is by having developers create a bunch of applications for the iphone, which will hopefully restrict consumers (and maybe even business folks) to using only the iphone. Besides, there is just so much money in the App Store, which will get exponentially larger once companies start offering in-app purchases.

    Apple will make a lot more money by establishing the iphone as the default development platform. The best way to do this is to get as wide circulation as possible, which will be hard if 50% of the US does not even have the option to buy your phone.

    As far as the CDMA thing goes, I would be REALLY surprised if OS X Mobile isn't modular enough that inserting a CDMA chip wont be all that hard. Think about it. This basically just involves changing a couple of the apps (Phone & Messages). The new market opportunities (Verizon, and China, and more carriers in places like Canada) will be well worth the technical efforts needed to pull this off.

    Finally, while initially the iphone has probably hurt the mac software eco-system, this will not be true in the future, once the "gold-rush" phase of the iphone is over. Mac and iphone development is so similar, that I am sure the folks new to the Mac platform will develop mac apps too.
  • Reply 27 of 147
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post

    The thing that scares me is the idea of data caps or restrictions on what kinds of data can be transferred- like Skype not being allowed to run on 3g. Also- if the next iPhone does video calling- it would really suck if ATT tries to charge those as separate minutes. We need carrier competition.

    Remember that if they go with another big player they have to either change frequencies or change the 3G technology entirely. Now... while the 4G "LTE" was forecast for 2010, it's looking increasingly like that'll take longer anyway, so there's less to 'lose' for Apple by going exclusive for an extra year.

    Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

    The only reason Apple might extend exclusivity is if that's the only way it can convince companies to subsidize the iphone.

    There's actually a lot to gain though. If AT&T wants an extra year exclusive on the 2010 iPhone, Apple may be able to redefine their relationship FOR THIS YEARS iPhone. For example, they might be able to encourage AT&T to allow ANYTHING that can be done on wifi to be doable on 3G. Or cheaper plans? Who knows.

    Personally, I'd like to see AT&T offer a VoIP service on the iPhone so that phone calls can use home wifi OR the cell network with the same number... perhaps only using half your minutes for making a call while on wifi, and not using any of your own minutes when someone is calling you while you're on wifi.

    Lets take pressure off the 3G network and save some money AND save our brains from radiation.
  • Reply 28 of 147
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

    It is not big deal to have phones offered to different carriers supporting different radio technologies and frequency bands.

    Apple really runs a tight phone, so if they had to use different chipsets that could bulk it up slightly perhaps. But yeah, certainly lately Nokia has been offering multiple versions of the same phone with each version supporting different frequencies.

    Does anyone know if the iPhone chipmaker for the WCDMA bits has started offering chips with different frequencies, or better yet with more frequencies? In Australia (and Europe?) we really want to add 900Mhz support.
  • Reply 29 of 147
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    What about apple creating MVNO
  • Reply 30 of 147
    I think Apple needs to get its self setup as a virtual operator and keep their customers away the likes of AT&T, O2, T-Mobile etc. All mobile network providers as bastards, the worst part of the iPhone experience is receiving the bill operator.
  • Reply 31 of 147
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

    What about apple creating MVNO

    Thinking the same!
  • Reply 32 of 147
    gyokurogyokuro Posts: 83member
    Realistically, if there are no major surprises with the new iPhone launch in June, I will be getting a BB. RIM's industrial design is nice and its solid functionality on Verizon's network are important to me as I have no landline. iPhone is sexy, but I need a PHONE I can count on for business and emergencies. Sorry ATT. My Mac is pissing at me now.
  • Reply 33 of 147
    gsteenogsteeno Posts: 52member
    My initial thoughts:

    It appears from the WSJ article that AT&T needs to pony up to keep exclusivity. But for Apple, the cost of adding and manufacturing another phone that uses the 1700 band for t-mobile may not be lucrative at all. And for Verizon, with LTE coming out next year, seems sensible to wait and hit both sets of customers at once.

    ATT has to know this and maybe puts Apple in a tough spot in the short term.

    Of course, Apple could have co-developed these non-ATT phones already and all that needs to take place is to flip a switch, in which case, Apple is more in the driver seat.
  • Reply 34 of 147
    As a long time Verizon Wireless user up until February when I got my iPhone (on a whim, mostly), I have to say the AT&T service where I live (upstate NY) is actually not bad. It's on par, if not slightly better, than Verizon Wireless's service. The caveat for offering the iPhone on other networks, with Verizon Wireless at least, are the strings that come attached, most notably all of Verizon Wireless's less-than-desireable services like Vcast, etc. Plus, the hideous Verizon Wireless logo being stamped on front. Apple will certainly not agree to such conditions. For the meanwhile, I am quite content with AT&T (thought I'd never say that). If Apple does offer one for Verizon Wireless, I may consider switching back in a year and half (which might be the time frame Apple would branch out the iPhone anyway, given 4G networks scheduled to come online in 2010-11).

    edit: Might I add, though, that exclusivity is a good thing. Its a 1-2 punch, as a product like the iPhone fosters competition and innovation not only between smartphone makers, but also between carriers. The iPhone has forced RIM, Palm, etc as well as Verizon Wireless to better their offerings instead of offering the status quo/same old same old. So, while exclusivity means a lock in, it ultimately benefits we, the consumers.
  • Reply 35 of 147
    elliots11elliots11 Posts: 270member
    1. It can't be that hard for Apple to put the hardware in and write the drivers for the iPhone to work on CDMA for Verizon or whatever other network they choose to support. Maybe within the same device as exist GSM chips.

    2. Waiting until 4G on these other carriers is going to put iPhone at a disadvantage because it'll only be using the least mature network, which won't have as good coverage as the legacy networks, which Verizon in particular has used to establish the reputation that it has the best coverage. This may lead to iPhone getting the reputation of a great mediaplayer/intertnet device/ etc., but is no good for phone calls, which would be accurate, right when actual competition begins to appear.

    3. If they have to make another model, it doesn't matter, because they're about have multiple models anyway according to the rumors. What's one more? They'll sell millions more phones.

    It's also on carriers like Verizon, who are known to be restrictive, to not screw it up. AT&T's had it's exclusivity, it's time for the other carriers to get it.
  • Reply 36 of 147
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,282member
    Originally Posted by Trapt View Post


    The AT&T network around here completely sucks. Even the demo iPhones (As well as my own) always say "No Service" at Wal-mart. It is laughable. Apple needs to think about what would benefit the customer who buys their products.

    Where is here?
  • Reply 37 of 147
    Is this the forum where we get to bitch about AT&T's crappy service? If so, sign me up.

    I contact AT&T because I can not get reception in my house which is in the heart of Charlotte, NC. Their response to me was to advise me that trees--especially those with leaves--can impair the signal.

    REALLY? Should I just wait until winter? In the meanwhile I will just continue to pay ridiculous rates for my land line since your network is worthless. Sigh. that does feel better.
  • Reply 38 of 147
    aiolosaiolos Posts: 228member
    Man, as soon as there's an LTE iPhone that works with Verizon, I'm dumping the iPod Touch and the LG I got to make room for the 1 electronic device that I now have to carry. I can't wait to consolidize from 2 devices to 1.
  • Reply 39 of 147
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

    The non-stockholder part of me hopes that Apple doesn't make a CDMA phone for China Unicom. When they do these forums will be filled with all sorts of new posters whining "why isn't Apple releasing it here".

    They shouldn't make a device for just one provider. I would really like to see a CDMA device. GSM is really throwing me off. A GSM phone will induce noise into my land line telephone, sound system, clock radio, headphones and hearing aids. It even induces noise into disconnected headphones. I get that GSM is the worldwide standard, but damn, it's irritating. I never had those issues with CDMA using the same towers.
  • Reply 40 of 147
    breezebreeze Posts: 96member
    No matter what happens, both Apple and ATT have said they will start offering unlocked (unsubsidized) phones soon (if not already).

    So whether ATT and Apple "extend" their exclusivity, or not, whoever buys an unlocked phone will be able to pick their carrier of choice...

    Most likely ATT is seeking some kind of deal that gives them exclusivity on subsidy rights possibly even on another (?) Apple wireless product...
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