iPhone Singapore; Verizon wins 700MHz bid; no unlimited iTunes?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A report claims that Singapore has all but guaranteed its iPhone launch. Also, Verizon has outbid AT&T in obtaining the coveted 700MHz wireless band, Palm is seeing early success for its entry-level Centro smartphone, and one major publication claims to know that unlimited iTunes music deals are unfounded.



SingTel reportedly tapped for iPhone



While negotiations for China may have gone cold, its nearby neighbor Singapore may already have lined up its iPhone launch months in advance, claims Channel NewsAsia.



The southeast Asian publication cites industry contacts who are reportedly aware that the city-state's primary carrier, SingTel, has "more or less sealed the deal" and will offer the phone in September for about $690 in Singapore dollars, or $497 US.



In a departure from its traditional model, however, Apple may allegedly drop its usual demand for a revenue-sharing model in the face of resistance from SingTel. Instead, the iPhone maker may opt for a scheme more familiar to cellphones, where the up-front price of the phone is subsidized by the carrier but the monthly revenues are that carrier's alone.



The belief is partly founded on statements by Apple COO Tim Cook, who said his company wasn't married to the revenue sharing deals struck in Europe and the US.



Neither Apple nor SingTel has commented on the claim.



Verizon takes national prize in 700MHz FCC auction



Verizon on Thursday was found to have scored a coup by winning a nationwide license to use part of the soon-to-be-vacant 700MHz spectrum through a Federal Communications Commission auction.



The win lets Verizon operate any wireless service it wants across the entire US on a slice of frequency that will be dropped by analog broadcast TV in 2009. The space has been sought after by wireless providers for the longer range and better indoors access compared to existing third-generation (3G) cellular access, which often require more towers for the same quality of service.



However, any service run by the American provider will need to obey open access rules for the particular wireless block that allow customers to bring any device and any software on to a future network created for that frequency. The rule was partly the work of Google, which both advocated for unrestricted devices and made a token bid to guarantee that the airwaves would allow use of its mobile software.



The iPhone's current provider, AT&T Mobility, also managed wins of its own but was chiefly limited to regional licenses in a different block without the same rule. In a response to the FCC announcement, AT&T pointed out that its wins would still cover about 95 percent of the US population.



Palm coasts on strong Centro sales, still takes loss



Palm on Thursday offered mixed news with the results for its latest quarter, which ended in February.



The three-month span represented the best ever for the company in terms of sheer unit shipments. According to the firm, over 833,000 phones shipped during the period, a 13 percent jump over the year-ago quarter. Much of that gain was attributed to the Centro, which at $99 is one of the most inexpensive smartphones in the US.



The Centro is now Palm's quickest-selling phone ever and appealed to newcomers to smartphones, said company president Ed Colligan, who noted that 70 percent of all buyers were graduating from more limited phones.



Even so, the smartphone maker swung from a $11.8 million net income in the same period in 2007 to a $31.5 million loss in 2008. The loss was exaggerated primarily by restructuring costs.



Palm last year hired former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein to rekindle its cellphone business, which has been hurt by poor sales of its more upscale Treo devices.



Apple, by contrast, sold 4 million iPhones between its June 2007 launch and January 2008.



Magazine: no talks for unlimited iTunes music



Notions that Apple is discussing unlimited iTunes access plans are "overblown," says an update on the situation by BusinessWeek.



Rebuffing Tuesday's claims by the Financial Times, the weekly magazine refers to well-positioned sources who claim that no talks are underway and that Apple has only "kicked around" the idea, which would have iPhone and iPod buyers optionally pay extra for unfettered downloads from the iTunes Store's music catalog.



Music label sources are also said to reject the claims. Traditionally, Apple has advocated a pay-per-track approach and has criticized subscription models.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    retroneoretroneo Posts: 240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Verizon on Thursday was found to have scored a coup by winning a nationwide license to use part of the soon-to-be-vacant 700MHz spectrum through a Federal Communications Commission auction.



    AT&T pointed out that its wins would still cover about 95 percent of the US population.



    Both Verizon and AT&T are planning to roll out LTE in their 700MHz blocks. LTE is the follow-on from HSPA+, which follows on from HSPA (HSDPA/HSUPA).



    The 10MHz paired spectrum bought by Verizon offers download rates of 172.8 Mbit/s peak with 4 antennas on the device. It also gives peak upload rates of 43.2Mbit/s. AT&T bought 6MHz pairs.



    I imagine they will be running LTE in in some of the other spectrum they own too. They can run LTE in ever increasing frequencies as they migrate devices off their existing networks.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Singapore may already have lined up its iPhone launch months in advance,<snip>

    SingTel, has "more or less sealed the deal" and will offer the phone in September for about $690 in Singapore dollars, or $497 US.



    Why wait 6 months if you've already come to an agreement?

    The only thing I can think of is 3G.



    That wouldn't mean 3G is due in September - rather that Apple is willing to tell Singtel that 3G will be available by September.



    ps. Hope this means Optus (100% owned by Singtel) will get the iPhone in Australia.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    Thanks for filling in some additional detail on the story, AI.



    However, the article downplays the significance of the spectrum at&t was awarded, in my opinion.



    My question now is... is WiMax dead, or does it have a future alongside the 700Mhz spectrum?
  • Reply 4 of 24
    Firstly, Singapore is by no means geographically near China.



    SingTel's pricey data plans would make switching to them as a service provider a costly affair.

    I wonder if Apple will "force" SingTel to provide the iPhone with a metered voice plan but an unlimited data plan that would be reasonably priced - similar to what AT&T in US.



    It seems more likely that M1 (another Singapore telco) stands a better chance, seeing that it offers very affordable 3G data plans at almost 1/2 the cost of the competition.



    I guess we'll have to wait to find out.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theserge79 View Post


    Firstly, Singapore is by no means geographically near China.



    SingTel's pricey data plans would make switching to them as a service provider a costly affair.

    I wonder if Apple will "force" SingTel to provide the iPhone with a metered voice plan but an unlimited data plan that would be reasonably priced - similar to what AT&T in US.



    I certainly don't want Telstra getting it here. The incumbent usually has too much market power and its phone & data deals are never as good. Hope SingTel provides a decent deal.



    That said - Optus is #2 in Australia and has quite reasonable deals, so it would be good for us. Far better than Telstra getting it.



    ps. Singapore is geographically near China if you're thinking from the US or Europe.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post


    Why wait 6 months if you've already come to an agreement?

    The only thing I can think of is 3G.



    That wouldn't mean 3G is due in September - rather that Apple is willing to tell Singtel that 3G will be available by September.



    Based on the release date of iPhone 2.0 in June I don't think we'll see a 3G model until Aug-Sept.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Damn. I hate Verizon almost as much as I hate AT&T. All those billions of dollars and Google wasn't even seriously bidding. So much for "do no harm." Now that Verizon had to pony up more bucks to win, I bet they'll be charging lots more for access, even if we're all allowed to use whatever device we want.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    retroneoretroneo Posts: 240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    My question now is... is WiMax dead, or does it have a future alongside the 700Mhz spectrum?



    Some people are predicting the demise of WiMax. While it seemed exciting in 2003, other technologies have evolved to take its place in its absence.



    It seems unlikely that it would be profitable to build a WiMax network in a country with several HSPA carriers. HSPA has a strong upgrade path ahead and LTE after that which offers far higher data rates, ultra low latency and very flexible spectrum allocations.



    WiMax doesn't have the coverage characteristics of HSPA/LTE meaning networks require high cell density and are expensive to roll out.



    Sprint has been planning on rolling out a WiMax network in the USA but one of their partners pulled out and they are under pressure from shareholders to drop the project. However, as of last month, "no final decision has been reached on WiMax"
  • Reply 9 of 24
    retroneoretroneo Posts: 240member
    I would imagine that a future MacBook Pro would have HSPA. Apple could negotiate commissions from their existing iPhone partner networks worldwide.



    HSPA is in all countries that Apple operates in - WiMax is not.



    Hopefully they don't network lock it like the iPhone!!
  • Reply 10 of 24
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Based on the release date of iPhone 2.0 in June I don't think we'll see a 3G model until Aug-Sept.



    Is there a reason you think Apple won't release iPhone OS 2.0 (for current iPhones & iPod Touch) at the same time as a 3G iPhone (with iPhone OS 2.0 too)?



    Serious question.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by retroneo View Post


    I would imagine that a future MacBook Pro would have HSPA.



    That. Would. Be. Sweet.



    I can't wait.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    catman4d2catman4d2 Posts: 174member
    as an Artist I/We do not get paid for subscriptions! "Or Streams" their really isn't a way to do that... so thank God apple is not going to try this Approach, music is already in a bad state as it is.



    the 99 cent model to me is fair for myself and fair for me as a regular music consumer as well.



    my 0.2 cents
  • Reply 14 of 24
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post


    Is there a reason you think Apple won't release iPhone OS 2.0 (for current iPhones & iPod Touch) at the same time as a 3G iPhone (with iPhone OS 2.0 too)?



    Serious question.



    Just a theory, but I think they will want 3G and 2.0 to shine independently. The announcement of v2.0 (specifically Exchange support) has stimulated new interest and helped sales. Announcing 3G before the 2,0 release will hurt sales, but less so if a 2.0 is released first as I feel most people care about the usability than they do the tech specs. In other words, v2.0 will help shore up sales while a 3G version is finished up, approved by the FCC and released. (Wow! That is a weak argument for my hunch)
  • Reply 15 of 24
    This makes me think about 4g on verizon when AT&T will be stuck at 3G...... Does this mean that apple might move to Verizon at all?
  • Reply 16 of 24
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by just_a_guy View Post


    This makes me think about 4g on verizon when AT&T will be stuck at 3G...... Does this mean that apple might move to Verizon at all?



    ATT has 700 mhz spectrum as well.



    They'll have a 4g network, don't worry.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    Trouble is their 3G network isn't even fully rolled out yet.



    Sebastian



    Yes you are right.



    It makes me wonder how all these telcos are going to transition form 3g to 4g. The costs to roll out these 3g networks has got to be high and how do they (Verizon, ATT) recoup those costs if they turn around and roll out a 4g network 2-3 years later?



    Makes me think that 4g will be a few years away, as in 5-7.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    Well, I'm happy for Palm that they are selling a bunch of Centros (although it sounds like they still lost a bunch of money). I bought a Centro, because it was cheap and I was already with Sprint, AND two weeks later I sent it back. It might be Palm's fastest selling phone, but it also might be Palm's fastest returned phone...
  • Reply 20 of 24
    Not directly related to the story, but here's an interesting iPhone vignette from Paris (where I happen to be visiting): I was at an Orange store this afternoon, and in the 45 mins that I was waiting around to get a new SIM card for my wife's cell phone (yeah, everything takes long in France), I saw two iPhones being sold!



    Considering it was a small store, and considering that I saw no other phone being sold, I thought it was impressive.......
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