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  • Time for Apple and AT&T to See Other People?

    images via Apple, AT&T


    PC World is out with a great article this weekend that asks a question we've all posed to ourselves and to others: isn't it about time for Apple and AT&T to see other people?

    An "open marriage" is how writer Ian Paul puts it.

    Even though many people are pouring on the hate for AT&T, the still love the iPhone, according to reports. So if the cellular network is the problem, hereís a suggestion for Apple thatís guaranteed to keep at least some U.S. customers happy: Cancel iPhone exclusivity with AT&T.
    As we're seeing over time, iPhone customers are like children who eventually get what they want after whining about it long enough. As once such loudmouth brat, I can attest to the power of this approach. But since we're adults, we shouldn't have to demand anything for a protracted period of time before the service (that we pay good money for) begins to seriously acknowledge such entreaties.

    This summer has been an interesting one for Apple customers. From the apparent evolution of the approval process for new apps that we really want, to the emergence of signs that greater background functionality in on the horizon (thanks to Loopt), more and more folks are starting to anticipate this revolution born of revolt coming to AT&T's relationship with Apple.

    The best possible move for Apple to make with the iPhone today is to seriously address the source of most customer complaints: dropped calls, weak service, and data loading slower than molasses. Cool apps and background functionality aside, we need a phone that works smoothly and consistently.

    With a second -- or even third -- carrier, iPhone customers would be able to choose their own network, and the current load on AT&Tís infrastructure would be reduced. This could improve service for iPhone customers who stick with AT&T, as well as those who migrate to other networks.
    Although Apple and AT&T may not budge overnight on their exclusivity posturing, I think it's a safe bet to speculate that the "open marriage" alluded to is an inevitability not merely a possibility. And the longer they wait to give us what we want, the more frequently Apple's "children" will continue to throw emboldened tantrums.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Time for Apple and AT&T to See Other People? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 131 Comments
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Not you what?
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      have decent customer service
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      You don't have decent customer service?
      Oh.. well at least I know never to call the Stealthbravo customer reps....
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Quote Originally Posted by Limegrntaln View Post
      I think AT&T is great. AT&T facebook was already quoted as saying the unlimited data plan isnt going away. I seriously doubt Verizon will have an unlimited plan seeing is how their new "smartphone" mandatory plans are "$20 a month for 75MB" Which I would burn up in about 3 days.
      The only data plans for smartphones are unlimited and their unlimited data plans have been mandatory for smartphones since last year. Get your facts straight.
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Haha. Like the G1's 1GB cap on the "unlimited data plan"?
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Quote Originally Posted by angiepangie View Post
      You don't have decent customer service?
      Oh.. well at least I know never to call the Stealthbravo customer reps....
      um. right
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Quote Originally Posted by angiepangie View Post
      Haha. Like the G1's 1GB cap on the "unlimited data plan"?
      wat.

      I was talking about Verizon.. they don't have a limited MB plan for any smartphone. Unless you're talking about someone else. All have soft caps
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      The rest of the world uses W-CDMA - just like AT&T, but most of the world uses 2100Mhz so the iPhone already has to support AT&T's non standard 850/1900 frequency. It would be relatively simple to change the aerial to support T-Mobile (USA only) frequency of 1700/2100Mhz - but their 3G network is nowhere near ready for the iPhone.

      Verizon use CDMA-2000 which most of the rest of the world abandoned (if they bothered to try it) years ago. I must admit I do not know a lot about it but I do know the hardware would have to be very different.

      In the rest of the world where people use standards, once a phone is unlocked you just change SIMs and your phone works on a different carrier. It is not like that in the USA.

      Apple would have to make a separate version of the iPhone just for Verizon (who, incidentally, turned the iPhone down when they were offered it in the first place).

      Here in the UK there are rumours that the iPhone might be available on other networks - Apple can do that just by changing the lock. I already use mine on T-Mobile with decent 3G speeds (far better than with O2) but in the USA it is not that simple.

      T-Mobile in the USA would be fairly simple - but unlikely as their network couldn't cope. Verizon's network might be able to cope (I don't know) but their weird 'standards' make it highly unlikely.

      At the moment Apple have exclusive agreements in most countries (just about every one they are allowed too). There are rumours of that changing but I'm not sure that they are not just that, rumours and FUD. If it does happen I would imagine it will happen in Europe first and Apple would see what effect it has before investing in new phones for specific carriers.

      Just my 2d's worth.
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      There is zero question in my mind that T-Mobile would have trouble supporting 10 million or more iPhone customers.

      - However I doubt they would sell that many. The T-Mobile G1 is 3G and it's right behind the BB storm in sales. Not including their other 3G devices. So, they would be just fine handling a moderate amount of 3G iPhone's.

      AT&T has been pushing this we're getting on the 850MHZ band tune for a while now.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Isn't T-Mobile's 3G coverage in the USA very 'patchy' to say the least? Or has it improved? A 3G iPhone without 3G coverage is one of the biggest complaints against AT&T - I fear it would be far worse on T.
    1. gQstatus05's Avatar
      gQstatus05 -
      Girrllllllll. .................... enough said...

      The reason the G1 is popular is because it's one of the only semi decent "different" phones they offer. The phone doesn't even have a nice appeal to it in my opinion. T-Mobile doesn't even have a big phone selection. The Storm was popular because it was the first touch screen. I personally know a lot of Storm owners wishing they never got the piece of crap.

      To say a blackberry uses more data than an iPhone is not a good example and is ridiculous. There are millions of blackberry users on AT&T and it never cripped or showed signs of cripping their networks. There are more BB users on AT&T than iPhone users. Blackberries don't use much data unless you had no life and had like 10 email accounts on it plus the BB hosted account and an exchange account for which you still wouldn't use as much data. (I work for AT&T Tech so I know what I'm talking about because I actually see the usage figures) Browsing on an BB web browser isn't as seamless as an iPhone and you rarely go into it unless you had to. It isn't exactly a "let me kill some time" kinda thing. That's why BBs come with brickbreaker and last I checked it doesn't use DATA.

      AT&T is more expensive but for me the service is excellent. I never have to call in to dispute a bill or charge. I pay $153/month for 2 iPhones on my bill. I prefer to pay more than go through the hassle of calling in every month to argue on a bill. I don't get dropped calls and my phone is always working. (I live in NJ in case you're wondering.)

      AT&T support is always friendly when I call. You have to understand that it also depends on the mood you call in with. If you call in demanding the whole world drop to its knees for you then you may get a different response from the rep assisting you.
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      ^Read Girllll's statement again... she's actually saying the opposite of what you think she said.

      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Isn't T-Mobile's 3G coverage in the USA very 'patchy' to say the least? Or has it improved? A 3G iPhone without 3G coverage is one of the biggest complaints against AT&T - I fear it would be far worse on T.
      In some areas T-mobile's 3G is great if not better than AT&T's and some area where it's far from great. But it's catching up to the other carriers. T-mobile is a new company.. I remember when it was just starting out like MetroPCS is now...

      Verizon would be able to handle the iPhone much better than AT&T did without a doubt. They are the biggest and most reliable phone carrier IMO but their prices are outrageous + they're CDMA-2000 like you said...
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Girrllllllll. .................... enough said...

      The reason the G1 is popular is because it's one of the only semi decent "different" phones they offer. The phone doesn't even have a nice appeal to it in my opinion. T-Mobile doesn't even have a big phone selection. The Storm was popular because it was the first touch screen. I personally know a lot of Storm owners wishing they never got the piece of crap.
      You work for AT&T? Enough said..

      What does the G1, your opinion on it and it's popularity have to do with how well it sells or with what I was talking about? I was talking about 3G data usage on the T-Mobile network.

      To say a blackberry uses more data than an iPhone is not a good example and is ridiculous. There are millions of blackberry users on AT&T and it never cripped or showed signs of cripping their networks. There are more BB users on AT&T than iPhone users. Blackberries don't use much data unless you had no life and had like 10 email accounts on it plus the BB hosted account and an exchange account for which you still wouldn't use as much data. (I work for AT&T Tech so I know what I'm talking about because I actually see the usage figures) Browsing on an BB web browser isn't as seamless as an iPhone and you rarely go into it unless you had to. It isn't exactly a "let me kill some time" kinda thing. That's why BBs come with brickbreaker and last I checked it doesn't use DATA.
      The latest blackberries are way more advanced than the older and extremely popular 8100/8300. App store, Pandora, it all has the capability of using gobs of data like the iPhone. How hard is that to grasp? Pandora doesn't use as much data on the blackberry or something? I'm pretty sure there is another browser available too.
    1. gQstatus05's Avatar
      gQstatus05 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      There is zero question in my mind that T-Mobile would have trouble supporting 10 million or more iPhone customers.

      - However I doubt they would sell that many. The T-Mobile G1 is 3G and it's right behind the BB storm in sales. Not including their other 3G devices. So, they would be just fine handling a moderate amount of 3G iPhone's.

      AT&T has been pushing this we're getting on the 850MHZ band tune for a while now.
      I know what she typed. Can you tell me how many 3G phones T-Mobile sells as opposed to AT&T. When you have the answer then ask yourself if T-Mobile can really handle 10 million 3G iPhone that constantly use data; more data than a BLACKBERRY.
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      How does a blackberry use less data than the iPhone?
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Quote Originally Posted by gQstatus05 View Post
      I know what she typed. Can you tell me how many 3G phone T-Mobile sells as opposed to AT&T. When you have the answer then ask yourself if T-Mobile can really handel 10 million 3G iPhone that constantly use data; more data than a BLACKBERRY.
      I said they are likely to have problems handling a huge amount of iPhones on the T-Mobile 3G network because it's still developing. Read it again..

      I also said I doubt that many people would come over to T-Mobile - Considering that if it was available for T-Mobile that it would be on Sprint and Verizon too.
    1. gQstatus05's Avatar
      gQstatus05 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      You work for AT&T? Enough said..

      What does the G1, your opinion on it and it's popularity have to do with how well it sells or with what I was talking about? I was talking about 3G data usage on the T-Mobile network.



      The latest blackberries are way more advanced than the older and extremely popular 8100/8300. App store, Pandora, it all has the capability of using gobs of data like the iPhone. How hard is that to grasp? Pandora doesn't use as much data on the blackberry or something? I'm pretty sure there is another browser available too.
      You're an idiot if you think they newer blackberries are more advanced. You're basing this on the Blackberry App World app!? For your information as long as the 8110, 8300, 8310, etc have OS 4.5 you can get Blackberry App World. All blackberries are the same except for the look and style. A BB is always going to be a BB. Same interface same OS problems.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      Considering that if it was available for T-Mobile that it would be on Sprint and Verizon too.
      Why? As I've explained, it would be relatively simple fpor Apple to change the antennae so it would work on T in the USA but would need a major redesign to get it on Verizon.
    1. gQstatus05's Avatar
      gQstatus05 -
      I need you to check this out and then edit and delete the related posts you made earlier.

      I remember you saying that T-Mobile can handle 10 million 3G iPhones on their network. Here is a network coverage map and you can see the 3G coverage in the USA. Not only will they not support it but they'd be overrun with customers calling in about why 3G isn't working/isn't available.

      This link brings you to T-Mobile official site. Make sure you click on the Data Coverage Tab.
      http://alturl.com/c6fr
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      No one has ever stated T could handle 10 Million customers. Giiirrrlll said they would not get 10 Million customers and could handle the ones they did get.

      You 'remember' someone saying they could? Where's the post?