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Posts Tagged ‘AT&T’

Is The End Near for Apple’s Exclusive Contract with AT&T?

January 26, 2010 2 comments

The first question during the Q&A of Apple’s Conference Call on Monday went straight to the question of whether or not AT&T would remain an exclusive carrier for service on the iPhone. It’s an important question, since Apple is bound by contract to miss a huge portion of the market, thanks to their firm handshake with AT&T.

Tim Cook, Apple’s COO, had an indirect answer to Munster’s question about staying with a single phone service carrier. When Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray asked Cook to “remind us what the benefits and the virtues of sticking with a single carrier in the US are,” Tim hem-hawed around with his answer. If you read carefully, you’ll see that his answer below was, “There are none.”

First of all, AT&T is a great partner. We have been working with them since well before we announced the first iPhone to get it out. I think it is important to remember that they have more mobile broadband usage than any other carrier in the world. In the vast majority of locations, we think that iPhone customers are having a great experience from the research that we have done.

Let’s rephrase the conversation. Munster asks, “You must have good reasons for only using one carrier for iPhone service. What are some of those reasons?”

“AT&T is neato.” Tim replies.

He might as well have come out and said it directly: AT&T’s days of being the iPhone’s sole provider are coming to an end.

Did anyone else hear the sound of a blackberry being squashed?

iPhone 3G Liftoff!

July 11, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s 7:30 a.m. CDT and I’m in line for the iPhone 3G at my local AT&T store.  I will be posting a first impressions review later today.

The frenzied hype will peak in T-Minus 30 minutes.

iPhone 3G Exchange Support

July 10, 2008 17 comments

I cannot find any definite word on AT&T’s web site on whether or not a person will need the AT&T business data plan ($45) to sync with an Exchange server and Outlook at work

According to CNET, “a business data plan is required when using iPhone to access corporate e-mail, company intranet sites, and/or other business solutions/applications.”  But the link they reference doesn’t mention it as a requirement, though it is implied.

The most confusing part is that original iPhones will get Exchange server support with the 2.0 software update, and AT&T hasn’t said that these original iPhone users will need to change their data plan to use the Exchange feature.

I’m betting that my personal data plan will allow me to access my Exchange Server at work without a problem.  We’ll see about that tomorrow!

Will AT&T Screw Up the iPhone 3G Launch?

July 8, 2008 Leave a comment
iPhone Line
(Photo Credit:FiddybobiddyFiddy/Flickr)

The first iPhone launch was almost too easy.  Create the best handheld combo-technology device ever made and then sell, sell, sell.  Correction:  create lots of hype before launch day, and sell, sell, sell after watching a line form at most stores.

The iPhone 3G launch may not be as easy.  The problem comes down to three words:  “in store activation.” It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to almost an hour to setup an account and activate a phone at an AT&T store and this year no one will own an iPhone 3G without a contract through AT&T.

The math is a little scary.  Let’s say that a store has 40 people in line when the doors open on Friday at 8:00 a.m. and it takes an average of 20 minutes at a time to get someone through the purchasing/activation process.  The AT&T store I was in today had 6 employees working the desks, so with that kind of staffing, they’ll get through that 40-person line in a couple of hours.

However, we haven’t considered the unknown factors, like the network going down under an unusually heavy load.  So the line keeps growing while they get their systems back online.

Compare this to last year, when the buyer walked into the store, grabbed an iPhone and an accessory, and then swiped his credit/debit card.  If they took their time it was a five minute transaction.

Apple and AT&T are hoping at avoid a lot of potential bad press by having a smooth launch day.  However, for those going in early to wait in line, I highly recommend taking along a few extra doses of patience… just in case.

iPhone 3G is Cheaper… if You Qualify

July 6, 2008 Leave a comment

iPhone 3G

AT&T has announced iPhone pricing details and the the good news is that you can buy one without a contract.  The bad news is that if you don’t sign a contract it will cost you $400 more.

On Tuesday of last week, AT&T announced the various voice and data plans available for the iPhone, and gave tips on how to be “iReady” when iPhone 3G goes on sale at AT&T retail stores this coming Friday, July 11.  All AT&T stores are opening early at 8 a.m. to accommodate the demand, but with each iPhone requiring an in-store activation, many are in doubt that they’ll be iReady when the clock strikes eight.

Regardless of that, I’ll be in line on Friday morning (unless the line is insanely long), and here is what AT&T is telling me to expect:

Pricing and Eligibility

iPhone 3G will be available for $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB model. These prices require two-year contracts and are available to you if you fit in one of these three catagories:

  • iPhone customers who purchased before July 11
  • Customers activating a new line with AT&T
  • Current AT&T customers who are eligible, at the time of purchase, for an upgrade discount

If you are an existing AT&T customer, but you are in the middle of a contract, you can purchase the iPhone 3G for $399 for the 8GB model or $499 for the 16GB model (both options require a new two-year service agreement).  AT&T has said that a no-contract-required option will soon be available ($599 for the 8GB or $699 for the 16GB).

Remember that you will have to pay the ridiculous $18 “upgrade fee” if you are a current AT&T customer.

Voice, Data and Text Messaging Plans

iPhone 3G users can choose from four individual AT&T voice/data plans, each one including unlimited data (e-mail and Web browsing).

  • AT&T Nation Unlimited: Includes unlimited Anytime Minutes for $129.99 a month.
  • AT&T Nation 1350: Includes 1350 Anytime Minutes and unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for $109.99 a month.
  • AT&T Nation 900: Includes 900 Anytime Minutes and unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for $89.99 a month.
  • AT&T Nation 450: Includes 450 Anytime Minutes and 5,000 Night & Weekend Minutes for $69.99 a month.

Unlimited text messaging can be added for an additional $20; $15 (1,500 messages), or $5 (200 messages).

When you finally reach the counter on Friday morning, tell AT&T that 98 Pound Geekling sent you.  I promise that you’ll at least be rewarded with a strange look.

The iPhone is Still Launching

March 2, 2008 Leave a comment

Two articles this week reinforced my belief that the iPhone is still in launch mode, and will be for a long time.

The first was by Eric Zeman at Information Week. He was one of the many bloggers who noticed Apple COO Tim Cook’s comments at a Goldman Sachs event for investors. Cook said that Apple is “not married to any business model” when it comes to selling the iPhone. He also admitted that “being exclusive might not be in our best interests.” This clearly indicates that Apple is willing (and ready?) to open the iPhone to other carriers.

The second article is by Carl Howe at Seeking Alpha. He answers four key questions about the iPhone’s continued growth.

  1. Has the iPhone wave peaked?
  2. Are iPhone unlockers hurting Apple?
  3. Does Apple need to cut prices on its iPhone?
  4. Is Apple going to make its iPhone goal of 10 million phones by the end of 2008?

His answers provide a strong case for the idea that the iPhone is primed for continued success over the long haul. Here’s a clip:

Apple changed the mobile phone market worldwide with its first and uncertain effort in a new market. Just as it did with computers, Apple isn’t playing a market share game; it’s building mind share.

Apple has never been about trying to rapidly take over a market. They simply make a great product, market it well, and watch the viral-like effect take place.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the iPhone is upwardly mobile.

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