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  • Report: Strained Apple-AT&T Partnership is Nothing New



    The new August 2010 issue of Wired magazine has people talking about the publication's article titled "#ATTFAIL Inside the iPhone Network Meltdown." The content provided portrays the long history of AT&T's partnership with Apple as a regularly strained tech-marriage of convenience.

    In the article, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is said to have come close to a breaking point on various occasions - heated moments where a break in the iPhone exclusivity agreement almost took place. According to the report, Jobs considered a switch to Verizon as early as 2007. The relationship, however, was strained in the eyes of both parties as Apple was stubborn about not limiting the Internet capabilities of the iPhone, while AT&T was consistently burdened by the new demands of Apple's smartphone being exclusively available on its already over-burdened network.

    In total, Apple is said to have come close to severing ties with AT&T on at least a half-dozen unique occasions. The report cites one unnamed source who claims that Cupertino once dispatched some of its engineers to Qualcomm's offices with the explicit intention of exploring a CDMA iPhone. Ultimately, however, the company determined that rebuilding the iPhone would be required of that move - a choice that, at the time, would have proven far too expensive and time consuming to pursue. The story is told, however, as a reference point to today's persistent headline of
    Qualcomm reportedly working with Apple on a chip that, eventually, would allow the iPhone to call both AT&T and Verizon home.

    Showing the lighter side of Cupertino's corporate atmosphere, one anecdote recalls an AT&T representative suggesting to one of Steve Jobs' underlings that a suit would be proper attire for a scheduled AT&T board meeting he was to attend. The rep was promptly told: “We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits.”

    The new issue of Wired is now available although the article in question isn't yet viewable on Wired's website.

    ZDnet

    Wired
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Report: Strained Apple-AT&T Partnership is Nothing New started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. sh33436's Avatar
      sh33436 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dsanchez View Post
      There's one thing that really gets me! Pls explain guys, if your service with AT&T is so bad to the point that your phone is not reliable then why even bother with the iPhone?

      Don't get me wrong I love my iPhone but if AT&T was so bad in my area I would just go with another company and get their next best smart phone rather than complain about it

      ...i agree with you, its common since. people think wat their getting is so good tht when they get it and see it has a lot of bad quality they whine and complain. personally i like my iphone i got no problem with AT&T no sneaky add ons to my payment so far. hey if they treat me fairly i got no problems with em. all the people tht complain should just go to a new phone service and buy their top of the line smart phone DUH!!!:P
    1. Riviera's Avatar
      Riviera -
      Quote Originally Posted by dsanchez View Post
      There's one thing that really gets me! Pls explain guys, if your service with AT&T is so bad to the point that your phone is not reliable then why even bother with the iPhone?
      Because some of us have been with AT&T for a while. I, myself, have been using AT&T since 1998 and have the same phone number until now. My first cellphone was Nokia 638.
      Quote Originally Posted by dsanchez View Post
      Don't get me wrong I love my iPhone but if AT&T was so bad in my area I would just go with another company and get their next best smart phone rather than complain about it
      I rarely get a bad reception in my area. Some drop calls, but that's because I drive under a bridge or at the basement parking level or hit a dead spot.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Damn. This is like an article in the people magazine. We all know AT&T is suck. Apple is staying with them for a reason. Verizon is on CDMA. Since the rest of the world is gsm. Do the math. The verizon iPhone is still remains to be seen. Apple have to make a new set of iphone that only work in the us and canada market. I hope the price of iPhone remain reasonable.
    1. macsoldier's Avatar
      macsoldier -
      LOL SUITS, this is just another article blown out of proportion. Alot of money involved even more made, ofcourse theres going to be conflict and if Apple does slide on over to Verizon now the dramas going to get worst due to verizon being so darn stubborn I mean hell have you ever called customer service.
    1. JustinPizzle's Avatar
      JustinPizzle -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      Its ATT's fault... They bit off more than they can chew... Whooo look at us T-mobile, Verizon, Sprint, we got the iphone... But you cant do half the crap with it because we are still working out of our trailer home... We will just chock our iPhone customers charge them more and perhaps in five years we will update our system and stop lying about our coverage area....

      Yes I have ATT. But it seems like as each day goes buy they get ruder and more expensive. Reminds me of the 1st golf war when they were the only kids on the block in Saudi and they were charging and ripping off military members... Hope I am wrong but looks like they will never change their business model...
      Lol.. Golf war.
      Foooorrreeeee!!!!
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      He's got a putter ruuuuuuuun
    1. OleBayCrab's Avatar
      OleBayCrab -
      Suits? They don't even own more than one pair of Jeans?? LOL
    1. nightsoarer's Avatar
      nightsoarer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      I really don't see the issue with exclusivity. It's something that's been around forever and I don't see people up in arms for not being able to get an EVO or Droid X in AT&T.
      ^Yeah that.

      Quote Originally Posted by love2drive2fast View Post
      It's not like Apple really had a choice but to choose AT&T ... they picked them because it was the best business decision they could make (other then opening up the phone to all carriers). In an exclusive arrangement (though I'm not sure what the benefit is of that ... I'm assuming $ from AT&T), they were truthfully the only carrier that could come close to handling the volume of iPhone customers at the time (and possibly even now) ... and not limit the functionality of the phone.

      I've had AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, and the reality is, that no network is as good as they would have you believe. I've never had T-Mobile, though I have several friends that do, and they like them ... but there service doesn't seem to be any more reliable than mine. I really don't think either Sprint (who I've never had very good luck with ... but maybe that was just my experience), or T-Mobile could handle the extra volume. And for all the clamor over Verizon and their network, I don't see them being any better than AT&T, if they had the extra volume that AT&T does, due to the iPhone.

      The main problem with Verizon, is the CDMA network, and not being able to do voice and data at the same time. To some people this may not seem like a big deal ... but it's something a lot of us take for granted. I know I use this a LOT, for both personal and business ... being able to be on a call, and get a map / directions, check a website for something, or discuss an email I just sent / received, or any number of different things ... this is a pretty big deal to me. Of course I could live without it ... we all could ... and did, until very recently ... but once you have it ... it's hard to go back.

      I'm not a huge Apple fan (the iPhone is the only product I've ever owned from them), nor am I a huge fan of AT&T (or any other service provider) ... but I LOVE the capabilities of my iPhone, and have never had any real problems with AT&T. Considering everything I can do with it, and how much easier it makes my daily life ... to me it would be a bargain at twice the price.

      But can remember the days before PCs, cell phones, and the internet. When a box of 5 1/4 floppy disks cost almost as much as an iPhone does now, and a 10mb (NOT gb) hard drive cost me a whole weeks pay ... lol.

      The bottom line is ... we're all spoiled ... we take a lot for granted ... and mostly don't really appreciate how good we actually have it.

      I'm thankful I'm alive and healthy, that the sun is shining ... and that I have a job to pay for my toys ... and I wish the same for everyone else.

      Best, most intelligent and well-said comment yet. Thanks!
    1. wookiee2cu's Avatar
      wookiee2cu -
      Didn't Apple initially court Verizon for the iPhone. Thought that's how the story went but Verizon had too many demands in order for the deal to happen so Apple flipped them the bird and then courted AT&T and did the deal with them. As far as the exclusivity, don't doubt for a second that Apple wasn't all for it themselves. That's part of their image, exclusive, only the best and so on. Initially they spoke very highly of AT&T when the iPhone launched, the largest and best GSM provider in the states. I think Apple has finally realized that they could make even more money if they built the iphone for Verizon as well and there is probably a little of that "the grass is always greener" going on.

      To the member who talked about Verizon being CDMA, don't know if you've ready or not (I'm guessing not) but Verizon is rolling out 4G this coming January. There was an article on MSN (I think it was MSN) talking about it, they are on track and should have it in 30 major cities by the begining of 2011. I welcome Verizon getting it; hopefully a bunch of people will switch and take some of the load off of AT&T's network. Oh, that's another thing. People talk about how crappy AT&T's network is, look at how many frickin' people are on it! I don't think anyone had any clue as of to how popular the iPhone would become; any carrier's network would suffer trying to keep up with the iPhone. When the article came out about the new data pricing, there were several people talking about how they would consume anywhere from 10-17GB of data per month... that's nuts! Crap like that is what contributes AT&T's network being bogged down. Yes I know you pay for unlimited data so you can do what ever you want but it gets to a point where you are abusing it just because you can.
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Apple approached Verizon first, yes. Verizon said no on two issues: unlimited data plan, visual voicemail. So Apple went with numero dos, AT&T.

      For those wondering, the reason visual voicemail was such an issue back then is because it was completely different from how networks handled voicemails at the time which meant certain changes had to be made to the entire network in order to accommodate this new way of delivering voicemails to (at the time) one device. Verizon didn't want to put up that effort.

      They now offer visual voicemail :P

      For like $3.

      And people still want to see the iPhone on there for some reason.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      Its ATT's fault... They bit off more than they can chew... Whooo look at us T-mobile, Verizon, Sprint, we got the iphone... But you cant do half the crap with it because we are still working out of our trailer home... We will just chock our iPhone customers charge them more and perhaps in five years we will update our system and stop lying about our coverage area....

      Yes I have ATT. But it seems like as each day goes buy they get ruder and more expensive. Reminds me of the 1st golf war when they were the only kids on the block in Saudi and they were charging and ripping off military members... Hope I am wrong but looks like they will never change their business model...
      Your arguments are the opposite of the truth. AT&T has broadened their 3G service significantly and their voice/data packages have lowered as well. Apparently you have no idea what type of hurdles one must overcome to expand a network. They can't just wave a wand. How many square miles is the U.S.? It won't happen overnight. I have tried Verizon with their 'superior' 3G. It was dismal. A fast Edge speed at best. I know this is all based on location, but the bottom line is that AT&T are doing very well supporting the iPhone. ANY network would buckle.
    1. hellodrsoul's Avatar
      hellodrsoul -
      Totally agree.in my country,Blackberry is sold by specific carriers.but iPhone is not available officially.we all use unlocked iPhones.monthly data package is 5times cheaper for iPhone than Blackberry,mainly because iPhone is not tied to a specific carrier.
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dbizzy1 View Post
      As if it's gonna be better on Verizon's network. People think it will be until over half of their network gets the iPhone and then, same s**t different toilet. Mark my words on that
      You are right. and ignorant ***** people just want to ***** like they dont have a choice of carrier. Here are some statistice and you haters can google this sh!t if you want.

      AT&T put 18.5 billion dollars in their network in 2009 and the data speeds improved by 80% to average 1.4 mbs

      Verizon put over 20 billion in to their network and their speed dropped 8%.

      AT&T is the fastest and strongest network in the US so it would be far worse on ANY other US carrier.

      AT&T Roars Back in PCWorld?s Second 3G Wireless Performance Test - PCWorld

      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Your arguments are the opposite of the truth. AT&T has broadened their 3G service significantly and their voice/data packages have lowered as well. Apparently you have no idea what type of hurdles one must overcome to expand a network. They can't just wave a wand. How many square miles is the U.S.? It won't happen overnight. I have tried Verizon with their 'superior' 3G. It was dismal. A fast Edge speed at best. I know this is all based on location, but the bottom line is that AT&T are doing very well supporting the iPhone. ANY network would buckle.
      100% Agree. At least there is 1 other person here that gets it.
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Your arguments are the opposite of the truth. AT&T has broadened their 3G service significantly and their voice/data packages have lowered as well. Apparently you have no idea what type of hurdles one must overcome to expand a network. They can't just wave a wand. How many square miles is the U.S.? It won't happen overnight. I have tried Verizon with their 'superior' 3G. It was dismal. A fast Edge speed at best. I know this is all based on location, but the bottom line is that AT&T are doing very well supporting the iPhone. ANY network would buckle.
      Well I can't speak for Verizon but I have used the iPhone overseas on orange and tmobile. Their network seems to offer lower and better service that supports the iPhone. As far as networks you are correct I am no expert. My complaint is for my area and venting with my past experiences with ATT. As I stated in my original post. But I do agree it's all about location but they do exagorate (as I'm sure all do) about their coverage. In addition ATT made it right for me today. They gave me a free microcell and service. Now our ATT service is usable. And for the record my bill from them is the same as it has been for a couple of yrs now. No change of course I need the unlimited plan.
    1. 3gs1289's Avatar
      3gs1289 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shishir G View Post
      More Networks = More iDevices sold = Steve Jobs gets to show his *** to Bill Gates.

      I don't understand why they don't just make it for all networks?
      I have T-Mobile and iPhone 3GS, It's all good, but it'd be helpful if they make it public
      LOL if you think steve jobs will EVER EVER EVER have as much money as bill gates you are one delusional person.

      Quote Originally Posted by Shishir G View Post
      More Networks = More iDevices sold = Steve Jobs gets to show his *** to Bill Gates.

      I don't understand why they don't just make it for all networks?
      I have T-Mobile and iPhone 3GS, It's all good, but it'd be helpful if they make it public
      no it doesn't work like that. It's called making a deal. Im sure apple met with verizon. ATT paid apple to be able to carry their phone. ATT's deal must have been alot better than the next companies therefore they got the phone. It's all about money and money talks

      take NFL Sunday Ticket

      You can say why doesn't NFL just let all cable/sat carriers carry their sunday ticket. More carriers more subscribers. Well it's simple Directv pays the nfl BILLIONS of dollar to have it exclusively on their programming. Therefore if you want sunday tickets, as millions of fans order yearly, you have to go to directv.
    1. thebombzen's Avatar
      thebombzen -
      Quote Originally Posted by eg6motion View Post
      Steve Jobs will never catch up, ever. Apple's Market share is still under 10% for their OS, keep dreaming.
      Actually, apple is worth more than microsoft as a company. PCs do make bill more than macs make steve, but steve has the iphone, putting him WAY over the top.