Apple 'trying to fix' problem of iPhone roaming charges, says SVP Eddy Cue

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
Though obstacles with partners remain, Apple has made some progress in addressing the issue of carrier roaming charges for iPhone owners, and continues to work toward a solution that will be beneficial to consumers, senior VP Eddy Cue has revealed.




"It's sad, it's another problem," Cue told British publication the Evening Standard. "We're trying to fix it and we're making a little bit of progress but you've got to convince a lot of people."

Cue didn't elaborate on what Apple might be attempting, but one possibility is that the company is urging carriers to adopt international data roaming at no extra cost. T-Mobile USA has already adopted this policy on its own, but the practice isn't widespread.

The company famously pushed AT&T to allow unlimited U.S. data for early iPhone models. Although there are now many competitors to the iPhone, the device's popularity could still be used to pressure carriers into changing plans.

Another option is that Apple might become an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). In an unusual move however, it quickly denied rumors that it had been in talks or was even considering the prospect.

On the subject of Apple Music -- which only today began charging customers -- Cue said that Apple is "pleased with the number of people who have tried," while simultaneously downplaying interest in subscriber numbers. The last official figures put the service at 11 million, but many of those people could choose to go elsewhere when faced with the prospect of monthly fees.

"Everybody gets fixated on the short term but we're in this for the long haul," Cue commented.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33

    "Roaming"? Now, there's a term I haven't heard since the early-90s when I had to manually enter a roaming code from a printed map each time I moved from one service area to another in order for my phone to still be able to make and receive calls.

  • Reply 2 of 33
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,293member
    Already canceled and went back to Google Play Music which is on $7.99 and does everything I need already. Apple Music is too much of a mess right now. I'm confident that it'll get better but so far it hasn't right now.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post



    Already canceled and went back to Google Play Music which is on $7.99 and does everything I need already. Apple Music is too much of a mess right now. I'm confident that it'll get better but so far it hasn't right now.



    It's not a mess and it doesn't need to get better.

     

    I'm not sure how this service confuses anyone...you search iTunes for something you want, you click one button, and the whole album is added to your library. It's no different than buying music from iTunes has ever been, except now you don't have to pay for it. I long ago stopped buying music at a high rate, but in the short time I've had Apple Music I've added and listened to dozens of albums.

     

    It's not complicated, or broken. Google Play Music on the other hand...well I suppose if you want a 3rd party solution that does the best job of any of them at NOT integrating with the rest of your Apple ecosystem...have at it.

  • Reply 4 of 33
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    Apple needs to jump in with something like Google's Fi project to target the carrier's stingy behaviour....
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    It's not a mess and it doesn't need to get better.

     

    I'm not sure how this service confuses anyone...you search iTunes for something you want, you click one button, and the whole album is added to your library. It's no different than buying music from iTunes has ever been, except now you don't have to pay for it. I long ago stopped buying music at a high rate, but in the short time I've had Apple Music I've added and listened to dozens of albums.

     

    It's not complicated, or broken. Google Play Music on the other hand...well I suppose if you want a 3rd party solution that does the best job of any of them at NOT integrating with the rest of your Apple ecosystem...have at it.


     

    Exactly. I keep seeing people say, 'I tried it once and it's confusing.'

     

    Yep. There is a small learning curve. After a couple of days I figured out although the tabs have different core functions, you can cross-utilize them to have access to several artists or albums at your fingertips at once.

     

    Totally comfortable with it and love the Apple ecosystem integration.

  • Reply 6 of 33
    Eddy needs to lose some weight, that shirt doesn't hide his beer belly well.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,002member

    Apple Music needs a lot of help as an app; but the enforced iCloud Music library/stream everything model if you want to enable Apple Music offline listen is a stupid and stupefying blunder. It should be an option if you want to use it, but there are major financial and availability realities than makes its use throroughtly inappropriate to for a large chunk of users.

     

    So Apple is forcing me to choose between syncing locally and abandoning Apple Music, or suffer through countless connection drops and unavailability of the service, and higher cellular bills, for the privilege of streaming my own music as well as theirs.

     

    They have to fix this ASAP, else we are cancelling the family plan.

  • Reply 8 of 33
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    jetz wrote: »
    Apple needs to jump in with something like Google's Fi project to target the carrier's stingy behaviour....

    No. Apple is resource constrained as it is. The last thing they need to do is become a provider of cell service. Just imagine the customer service and PR nightmare whenever someone had lousy reception or a call dropped. The carriers are basically dumb pipes for Apple at this point anyway.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    jetz wrote: »
    Apple needs to jump in with something like Google's Fi project to target the carrier's stingy behaviour....

    I don't think Google is ever going to move any mountains because they haven't innovated on much of anything since the Google search engine. Everything else has been copycat with a twist. And when they couldn't create a copy that people want, they bought out the competitor (see Google Video -> Youtube)

    And Google Fi is nothing new. It's in a sense a MVNO, which any company can set up. You eliminate roaming by arranging roaming agreements, or being MVNO's with everyone, and then manage the roaming database on the sim card so that it only uses the best available network. If someone really wanted to do it, they could be their own MVNO, but that's way too much of a headache for all but a large business to deal with. But relying on WiFi is perilous and the exact kind of naive thinking that exists in large cities where people don't ever go out to the countryside.

    Apple might be trying to do something from the other end, where it's trying to drag carriers kicking and screaming to cover the same areas equally. Go look at a coverage map of any country out there and take note of "extended range" or "roaming" areas. The US and Canada is rather terrible about it, good thing most "local" plans were phased out, and just about everyone only gets the option of national plans that cover all areas.

    This was only possible because AT&T and Verizon basically bought out all the small carriers, thus nullifying the exorbitant roaming costs.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thrang View Post

     

    Apple Music needs a lot of help as an app; but the enforced iCloud Music library/stream everything model if you want to enable Apple Music offline listen is a stupid and stupefying blunder. It should be an option if you want to use it, but there are major financial and availability realities than makes its use throroughtly inappropriate to for a large chunk of users.


    Can you help me understand what the problem is please? It seems to me that, if I want a song or an album or an entire playlist to be offline on my device, I just click the ellipsis (...) while on WiFi and choose 'Make Available Offline'. While I agree that I have to pre-plan that, is it such a big issue? Or am I missing something fundamental? (Probably!)

  • Reply 11 of 33
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by silversquonk View Post

     

    Can you help me understand what the problem is please? It seems to me that, if I want a song or an album or an entire playlist to be offline on my device, I just click the ellipsis (...) while on WiFi and choose 'Make Available Offline'. While I agree that I have to pre-plan that, is it such a big issue? Or am I missing something fundamental? (Probably!)




    The issue is how to maintain seamless integration and availability of ALL your music...each of us in our family has several GB of ripped music - I have about 40gb - already existing in iTunes. Normally, one sync's iTunes with their iPhone either via a lightning cable or over Wifi. Simple.

     

    Now, with Apple Music, if I select Make Available Offline on my iPhone, I MUST enable iCloud Music Library. You cannot make available offline unless you do this. So once you do this, local music syncing with your computer is no longer available. So, this means you must enable iCloud Music Library on your computer as well, and sync all your "personal" music to iCloud, then stream all your "personal" music back to your iOS device. 

     

    There is an option to merge your existing library with your iCloud library when first enabling this feature, but as you add music to iTunes on your own (ripping CD's), none of these appear on your iPhone - you must stream them. I've tried creating smart playlists for new music on the computer and making that playlist available offline on the device, but it either fails, or does not update when new music is added. and you quickly lose track of whats on your phone and whats not, until you are offline and cant play what you want.

     

    And the cost for a family of four for cellular data is not insignificant.

     

    And even if one wants to stream everything, availability when your driving, on a bus, on a train, in a subway, in a large building, on a plane, out of country, etc. is a real problem.

  • Reply 12 of 33
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    it doesn't need to get better.


     

    Quote of the day.  Apple would be proud.  Congratulations :D

  • Reply 13 of 33

    T-Mobile makes things so much simpler. Coverage is getting better for road trips, but when I'm in a city, it's great. The service is simple. $80 for the first phone, $20 per phone after that, with unlimited LTE. International was $0.10/minute from Egypt last winter, and it worked out of the box about 10 minutes after the plane landed. Data was free (but slow). No SIM swapping or roaming charges.

     

    Project Fi is a great idea, but it's a little too simple still. They need to allow more devices (I was really hoping to see the Moto X make it into the plan). They also need to offer a family plan. If I switch and don't bring others with me, it's going to cost an additional $60/month.

  • Reply 14 of 33



    Many thanks @thrang for the, very clear, explanation. I suppose, as usual, it's just down to your modus operandi. I have ripped all my music from CDs many moons ago and just have various playlists, some of which I download to my phone and some not. I add new music from Apple Music every so often and may or may not download it. Although I have a lot of music I'm not too fussed about it all being available when I'm on the move - obviously this would worry other people more.

     

    Certainly, having a Smart Playlist that you could add new music to and set to download automatically would be good - although I expect many people would start moaning that their mobile device was full.

     

    Not sure what the answer is ...

  • Reply 15 of 33
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thrang View Post

     

     

     

    Now, with Apple Music, if I select Make Available Offline on my iPhone, I MUST enable iCloud Music Library. You cannot make available offline unless you do this. So once you do this, local music syncing with your computer is no longer available. So, this means you must enable iCloud Music Library on your computer as well, and sync all your "personal" music to iCloud, then stream all your "personal" music back to your iOS device. 

     

    There is an option to merge your existing library with your iCloud library when first enabling this feature, but as you add music to iTunes on your own (ripping CD's), none of these appear on your iPhone - you must stream them.


     

    When you turn on the iCloud library and merge your existing with it it still replaces some of your tracks with its own that it thinks are the same but aren't.  I lost access to a bunch of tracks that were replaced by other versions or recordings, often much crappier ones.

     

    I turned off iCloud library.

  • Reply 16 of 33
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,294member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    It's not a mess and it doesn't need to get better.

     

    I'm not sure how this service confuses anyone...you search iTunes for something you want, you click one button, and the whole album is added to your library. It's no different than buying music from iTunes has ever been, except now you don't have to pay for it. I long ago stopped buying music at a high rate, but in the short time I've had Apple Music I've added and listened to dozens of albums.

     

    It's not complicated, or broken. Google Play Music on the other hand...well I suppose if you want a 3rd party solution that does the best job of any of them at NOT integrating with the rest of your Apple ecosystem...have at it.


    Apple music is a mess when it comes to iCloud Music Library. First time I turned on iCloud Music Library, my iTunes library was destroyed. I lost a ton of music, had hundreds of songs replaced with DRM protected songs, playlists were destroyed, etc. I believe the DRM issue has been fixed, but none of the other issues have been. I decided to give it another try before my trial expired. This time I turned on iCloud Music library on my MacBook, which doesn't have my main iTunes library. Same thing happened again as before. I lost music and I ended up with dozens of new playlists with all the same tracks. Before I turned on iCloud Music, I only had 4 playlists on my MacBook. Now, I have over 30. Half of the playlists Apple created are called the same thing with the same music. Apple should let you download music for offline listening without having to turn on iCloud Music library. I would have renewed, but until the iCloud Music Library issues are fixed, no thank you. 

  • Reply 17 of 33
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 746member
    boltsfan17 wrote: »
    Apple music is a mess when it comes to iCloud Music Library. First time I turned on iCloud Music Library, my iTunes library was destroyed. I lost a ton of music, had hundreds of songs replaced with DRM protected songs, playlists were destroyed, etc. I believe the DRM issue has been fixed, but none of the other issues have been. I decided to give it another try before my trial expired. This time I turned on iCloud Music library on my MacBook, which doesn't have my main iTunes library. Same thing happened again as before. I lost music and I ended up with dozens of new playlists with all the same tracks. Before I turned on iCloud Music, I only had 4 playlists on my MacBook. Now, I have over 30. Half of the playlists Apple created are called the same thing with the same music. Apple should let you download music for offline listening without having to turn on iCloud Music library. I would have renewed, but until the iCloud Music Library issues are fixed, no thank you. 
    Good to know. I quit Spotify after they told their users if we didn't like their new privacy policy we should stop using their service. I was going to try the Apple trial but rhapsody had a 3 months for $1 that I thought I'd try till iOS 9 was released and any bugs resolved. Sounds like Apple still has some work to do. Rhapsody's UI is not as good as Spotify but has much the same music and pricing without having my contacts and movements tracked.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,002member

    Many thanks <a data-huddler-embed="href" href="/u/33954/thrang" style="display:inline-block;">@thrang</a>
    for the, very clear, explanation. I suppose, as usual, it's just down to your modus operandi. I have ripped all my music from CDs many moons ago and just have various playlists, some of which I download to my phone and some not. I add new music from Apple Music every so often and may or may not download it. Although I have a lot of music I'm not too fussed about it all being available when I'm on the move - obviously this would worry other people more.

    Certainly, having a Smart Playlist that you could add new music to and set to download automatically would be good - although I expect many people would start moaning that their mobile device was full.

    Not sure what the answer is ...

    I think the answer is Apple needs to give options to users, and not dissuade use of Apple Music because of this enforced approach.

    For those that are not impacted by availability and cost related issues re:cellular data, by all means use it.

    At the least they need to provide:

    - an option to allow offline listening of Apple Music on your IOS devices with local iTunes sync

    That alone would help quite a bit

    - an option to auto download Apple Music selections, just like the slider in Settings to auto download purchases
    - an option to auto remove Apple Music based on certain criteria...(not listened to in more than x months, or simply after x months)
    - a playlist that shows what has been removed, where you can re-download or permanently forget

    Those provide a reasonable, controllable compromise between local availability and local storage issues

    And...

    - improved search and sort options
    - simplified Music interface. There are so many elilipses, arrows, hearts in so many places, it's a mess. How about lightly coloring the line items of titles not on your device, or using a slightly different typeface, rather then the tiny faint icon? Perhaps simplify the bottom menu with three options "My Music - Apple Music - Radio", with the search icon on the right. Allow disabling of the radio button for those that don't use it.reduce th header graphic and give room for larger playbar area with proper buttons and scrubber
  • Reply 19 of 33
    arlorarlor Posts: 532member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DarenDino View Post



    Eddy needs to lose some weight, that shirt doesn't hide his beer belly well.

     

    The expression he's caught with is more of a problem than the weight. This is the kind of picture you use to embarrass somebody, like the pictures of Trump's hair floating away that newspapers use when they're running a negative story about him. 

  • Reply 20 of 33
    Its all about the Apple Sim ...
    "It's sad, it's another problem," Cue told British publication the Evening Standard. "We're trying to fix it and we're making a little bit of progress but you've got to convince a lot of people."
    What Cue talk about is the Apple Sim and Apples effort to get providers to support that ... Apple Sim is now available outside the US and UK markets and Apple SIM has fresh support from GigSky worldwide for relative low cost ...
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