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Will AT&T Charge Extra For MMS & Tethering?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the is-a-bear-catholic dept.

Handhelds 326

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Bill Snyder questions whether AT&T's jockeying on tethering and MMS may signal coming iPhone pricing surcharges. After all, as Apple's exclusive US partner, Ma Bell should have plenty of insight into upcoming iPhone features and revenue opportunities. Yet AT&T was very conspicuous in its absence from the list of providers who will support tethering and MMS at Tuesday's launch of the new iPhone at WWDC, and by Wednesday, it was backpedaling furiously, saying it will offer both services — later in the year. Certainly, the exclusive arrangement between the companies is proving to be an ugly roadblock to Apple's iPhone vision. But Snyder thinks it may go deeper than that: 'My best guess is that we'll see horrendous pricing surcharges for tethering and MMS, on top of the already expensive data and voice charges iPhone users pay. I don't think AT&T execs wanted to stand up at WWDC and announce that.'"

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By Design - US lags world in wireless features (5, Insightful)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310499)

The iPhone, with itâ(TM)s global reach and marketing may be the first phone that makes it obvious just how far the US is behind other parts of the world in wireless technology. I hope this opens the eyes of many people. Most people have no idea how we compare to the rest of the world, due to the AT&T and Verizon stranglehold. Those two companies buying up all the regional carriers, as well as having incompatible technologies, has lowered functionality and disrupted normal market forces.

Don't ever run linux! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310539)

Linux just isn't ready for the mobile phone yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to send MMS messages or tether their phones to their laptop with, especially not when they already have a phone running Windows Mobile that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Don't ever run linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310613)

You should write a book.

Re:By Design - US lags world in wireless features (5, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310735)

My experience with both, and T-Mobile is that they do not offer reduced rates if you intend to use a phone you acquired from another source. Their rate plans are all designed with the intent that they should subsidize the purchase of a new phone for much less money based on the entering of a long duration contract. In effect, the telecoms are financing your cell phone-except that if you already have one, you dont get a reduced rate.

The entire business model for the mobile telecoms revolves around contract pricing to subsidize reduced price phones, giving them extraordinary power over mobile handset manufacturers. In my mind, this tying arrangement is horrible for consumers because in effect, the handset manufacturers serve the telecoms, not the end users. The telecoms deem which features are allowed on their network and disallow any features that would conflict with their own profitable value-add services(such as uploading ringtones to a phone).

The FTC should have stepped in 10 years ago and realized there is no real competition among handset producers-the telecoms decide who the winners and losers are. If you want REAL competition among handset producers leading to technological advancement, you have to end the tying of phone purchases to cell contracts.

Re:By Design - US lags world in wireless features (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311095)

If you want REAL competition among handset producers leading to technological advancement, you have to end the tying of phone purchases to cell contracts.

True, but even then you won't have REAL competition until you force them to be more open about various things. Like when you advertise "unlimited" data plans, what are the restrictions? Those plans aren't unlimited. Or why do SMS messages cost so much? What is the real status of each network's 3G rollout? Their 4G rollout? What are their real costs/profits?

I get much more upset about our wired data infrastructure, since there's pretty much zero competition in that space, but my objection is pretty much the same: If we're going to allow a private company to build out our national communications infrastructure, then that company should be forced to adhere to a higher standard of fairness and transparency. If there isn't sufficient competition (or even if the barrier to entry is too high) then they should also be heavily regulated.

My Own Personal Experience (4, Informative)

darthservo (942083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311333)

My experience with both, and T-Mobile is that they do not offer reduced rates if you intend to use a phone you acquired from another source. Their rate plans are all designed with the intent that they should subsidize the purchase of a new phone for much less money based on the entering of a long duration contract. In effect, the telecoms are financing your cell phone-except that if you already have one, you dont get a reduced rate.

Really? Here's my recent experience:

I was recently looking to upgrade my phone. My last phone was from ATT with a two year contract, and I wanted something more updated and faster. When I signed the contract, I was able to get unlimited data added for $15/mo. (they no longer offer this plan) So I looked around for a while and debated between the subsidized Nokia E71x, or an unlocked Nokia model. Now the ATT subsidized Nokia was only $99 after rebate, with of course another two year contract. An unlocked Nokia E75 was $399 after $50 rebate.

However, the subsidized E71x required their PDA/Smartphone data package which is $30/mo - that seemed pretty ridiculous because I was currently getting unlimited data at $15/mo. After talking with an ATT rep, I found that if I bought an unlocked phone I could either grandfather in my old plan and leave it be with the data at $15/mo, or I could upgrade my plan to a current package and tack on unlimited data for only $10/mo! The reason is that ATT cannot force an unsubsidized phone to use their "special" data plans tailored for their subsidized models (please - $30/mo just because the phone has a QWERTY?)

You can do the math. Needless to say, although I've spent more money upfront on a phone, I can recover the cost before two years. If the phone lasts/stays with me longer than two years, I'll be saving even more from it.

Btw, not only are unlocked phones nicer to have in case of travelling/switching providers, you also aren't stuck with the customized provider firmware that they slap onto the phone. From past experiences I've found that the branded firmware often limits advanced functionality.

Re:By Design - US lags world in wireless features (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310975)

I agree, but even with more cell phone carriers it wasn't any better. Our (U.S.) carriers lock us into their plans and the phones they want to sell and the features they are willing to let us have. Only recently have we been able to even keep our phone numbers when we change carriers. It's an awful tyranny and it does hurt the sales of all smartphones.

I'm only now willing to throw in the towel and buy an iPhone 3Gs. I've resisted until now because I hate AT&T, but this new model is too compelling for me to resist. I know a couple of guys who are lusting after the Pre but they won't buy it because they hate Sprint. To Apple's credit, the broke much of the carrier's ability to dictate what hardware features you can use on your phone, but this MMS and tethering thing show that not enough has been done.

All my iPhone using friends are very happy with their devices, but they'd dump AT&T if they had an alternative. None of them like AT&T at all.

Re:By Design - US lags world in wireless features (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311077)

I'm only now willing to throw in the towel and buy an iPhone 3Gs. I've resisted until now because I hate AT&T, but this new model is too compelling for me to resist. I know a couple of guys who are lusting after the Pre but they won't buy it because they hate Sprint.

I have the Pre and love it.

Sprint isn't the same Sprint of 7 years ago. I just switched from Verizon to Sprint for the Pre, and my coverage is the exact same.

Sprint gives you 30 days to try out a new phone without penalty. I would definitely recommend the Pre if you can get your hands on one.

Also, for what it's worth, the Sprint plans are way cheaper [billshrink.com] than the AT&T plans.

Re:By Design - US lags world in wireless features (0, Troll)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311071)

Isn't this how US works? Two parties for everything. Give more options and Joe's head starts to hurt.

Do people actually think VZW will be any better? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310541)

VZW is notorious for charging for everything .. people put up with it due to verizon has outstanding voice quality and good speed for data. As much as you all want LTE it's at least 2 years away to have adequate coverage so Apple needs to either suck it up and make a short term CDMA based iPhone or wait and make a LTE based with CDMA backband so you have coverage anywhere outside of major metro areas. Not to mention you think carriers are going to roll out faster networks and reduce data prices? Bandwidth and buildout cost money - where does this mindset that this should all be as lost cost as possible? Another thread I read on this (as there are hundreds at this point) is you have a group of people that think and react to this from the point of being a computer user and not a cellphone user. To the pc users this pricing is just not something they feel is fair, while the cellphone crowd has been used to it. I'm in the middle - seeing I don't pay a dime for mobile devices or service being a mobile professional I would never pay upwards to $100 a month. My iPhone is sim free and I only use WiFi. My Bold is on at&t and tethering is $10-12 a month last I checked for a user so they are not about to give services other devices charge for free to iPhone users. Apple should just cut ties with everyone - sell the iPhone for cost and force carriers to offer attractive plans to a growing iPhone user base - I doubt it would work or see the sales volume with $500+ devices but then it's a set price and users are free to change devices everytime Apple trots out a new model yearly.

Re:Do people actually think VZW will be any better (1)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310597)

I don't know that they need to sell it at cost. Do you see Motorola out their hawking their phones at cost? Nope. Apple has the product. I think they need to find a loophole in their contract, and bring the iPhones to all carriers. I know I would snach one up if they were on VZW

Re:Do people actually think VZW will be any better (1)

spleck (312109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310955)

Last I checked, tethering is an extra $30 over your normal plan. If you're getting it for $10-12, then that's some legacy rate and not available for new customers.

Re:Do people actually think VZW will be any better (1)

rpmonkey (840379) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310973)

Where I live, the best coverage is provided by AT&T and VZW. I dropped AT&T after years with them because their customer service is atrocious. They will never get any of my money again if I can help it.

My phone died with 5 months left on my contract. I went to the AT&T store to try to get a new phone. This was during the ATT -> Cingular merger. They couldn't sell me an "AT&T" phone because there were no AT&T plans available, and I couldn't replace the phone on my existing plan. OK, how about a "Cingular" phone then? "We can do that, but you would have to pay the early termination penalty on your AT&T plan." I said piss off and went home to call AT&T customer service directly, and proceeded to get the same story.

I don't understand why companies feel the need to shoot themselves in the foot like this. I was more than willing to pay for a new phone and sign a new contract, but because they were pricks, I switched companies and will never deal with them again. Oh well, just traded one greedy corporation for another, but at least the new one hasn't tried to screw me over... yet

LTE G4, will intresting (2, Interesting)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311241)

Verizon Wireless is going to start rolling out LTE tomorrow for testing( or at least so I've heard). ATT and Verizon both have rights to the spectrum that broadcast tv is leaving tonight, and VZW wants to get moving on it asap. They should have LTE G4 by earlier next year. ATT probably a little afterwards. Intrestingly enouhg, Apple's contract ends next year. You think they will have a LTE G4 phone ready for both ATT and VZW?

Favorite Quote (4, Insightful)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310575)

"Just as the old AT&T stifled landline innovation in the 20th century, the new AT&T is stifling wireless innovation in the 21st."

Disagree (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310785)

"Just as the old AT&T stifled landline innovation in the 20th century, the new AT&T is stifling wireless innovation in the 21st."

My Palm Pre [palm.com] and I haven't noticed AT&T stifling much of anything... ;) What's an iPhone, again?

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311125)

Is Palm still around. Thought they folded long ago.

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311271)

Palm? Spit on it and rub your cock. Sounds silly, but it feels good!

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311347)

"What's an iPhone, again?"

It's what your Palm ripped its design from. And it looks just like another Windows only inter connectivity phone.

Re:Favorite Quote (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310813)

Oh? How exactly is this? Can no other wireless carriers compete on the same turf? Oh! They can now!

AT&T had a stranglehold on landlines at the time, and that's how they managed to hold back 'innovation'. They do not have the market on wireless phones cornered, nor are they close.

If you don't like them, don't sign up for their service!

Re:Favorite Quote (4, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310883)

A small point, but the company that sells you cellular service under the name "AT&T Mobility" is actually a company that was known up until two years ago as "Cingular Wireless," which is basically the old SBC. I had actual AT&T wireless from the real AT&T in the 90s and here in LA, on CDMA, it was great and the customer service was perfectly fine. It all went downhill when SBC/Cingular bought them.

Not just AT&T, folks (4, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310903)

I'm a Verizon customer. They have HORRID billing practices (throw in lots of ambiguous "fees" and then wait for you to call and bitch about this $20 and that $16 charge before removing them) and downright deceptive marketing.

I have a WinMo smartphone (The HTC Mogul, and it's a pretty cool phone, feels to be about Win'95 as far as its O/S) and (of course) need a data plan. Vzw has two dataplans, the $30 "consumer" plan, and the $45 "corporate" plan. I asked what the difference is, since they both have unlimited data usage, since I didn't want to pay $15/mo more for a feature that I didn't need.

I was explained that the corporate account is designed for people who access company email and intranet applications, while the cheaper plan is for home users. I asked if they actually block connections with the $30 plan, and was assured that they did not. I went with the cheaper plan, and have had no trouble at all connecting to my corporate mail server.

In other words, Verizon wireless charges a $15/mo 'stupid tax' for anybody who wants to use a smart phone for business since their consumer plan offers the same actual functionality. I wonder just how many people are paying this $180/year 'stupid tax'?

Re:Not just AT&T, folks (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310989)

I just switched from Verizon to Sprint, and frankly, I can't see why anyone still uses Verizon. Sprint is so much cheaper, but you can roam on Verizon's towers.

Talk about a no-brainer. My coverage is the exact same as when I was with Verizon.

Re:Favorite Quote (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311237)

I am honestly not sure how ATT stifled innovation in land lines. For most of the history, they did a good job innovating. The technological advances needed to get a phone into every home is not trivial. They did a good job with basic communication, and business communication.

What is true is that ATT was very expensive. What is true is that ATT had little motivation to add features beyond basic communications. What is true is that ATT had no motivation in innovate the handset. What is true that if ATT was not broken up 25 years ago, there would have been no BBS and no internet because the average user would not be able to put a cheap modem on the phone line. If the ATT monopoly had be allowed to stand, ATT would likely have continued it's policy of relatively expensive and limited phone service, would have wanted to rent us modems for $20 a month, and charged an extra $15 for thier use, in addition to existed added line charges.

But this does not mean that ATT stifled innovation. When ATT was broken up, the phone system was already very mature, and all that happened after that was some incremental development. The features were gee whiz, not time saving like touch tone dialing. In any case, ATT is not a monopoly at this point and cannot control the market. They have to compete with Verizon, Cricket, and Sprint. The lack of tethering is not an issue limited to ATT. ATT charged more for G3 by eliminating the included text messagesz(despite the complaint about tethering, text messages are the real rip off, and as far as I know most companies use this rip off). They will charge extra for tethering.

Honestly, I think this tethering is a bad idea. I can imagine the complaints on the boards. Tethering made my batteries die! Tethering is too slow! It is a customer service nightmare. I think most laptops come with cell service now, and I wish apply would do the same with the powerbooks. What sucks is that in the US the service is tied to Verizon or Sprint, both of which ARE stifiling innovation by charging exhorbant fees, often double of competitors.

We're talking about AT&T right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310587)

Does this question really have to be asked?

Of course they are charging extra for teathering, they always have with other phones. MMS will likely be "included" in the fee.

I thought... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310589)

...paying extra for stuff was considered a feature by Apple users.

"Will AT&T Charge Extra?" (5, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310625)

Finally, proof there IS such a thing as a dumb question! Congratulations! Was this one of the Millennium Problems?

Re:"Will AT&T Charge Extra?" (4, Funny)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310901)

funny thing.. dealing with verison (after they bought MCI).. we dropped our t1 with MCI back in Nov 07.. after they came and removed equipment we continued to get bills.. I just findly resolved all of that about 2 months ago (yes nearly 2 years alter).. just last month i got a bill again.. but this time it wasn't for service..

the bastards had the nerve to bill me for the postage and paper they send the previous bills on - as it was a "fee" that is normally included with service but as we didn't have "service" we had to pay the fee separate.. i enjoyed ripping their phone people a new one

Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (3, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310637)

Until they upgrade their capacity. Maybe it's that simple. Maybe it's not a conspiracy to deprive you.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310709)

Maybe the problem is that tethering competes directly with their data-only "Internet found!" campaign, which doesn't seem to be hindered by lack of facilities.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310715)

Ditto for MMS. What would be special about iPhone MMS, other than that all of a sudden millions of iPhone users are suddenly going to start using the service. Here's to hoping its simply a capacity problem and not a "how can we rape our customers even more" problem.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310811)

What would be special about iPhone MMS, other than that all of a sudden millions of iPhone users are suddenly going to start using the service.

I never understood the point of MMS on an iPhone considering you can bloody E-MAIL photos to people...

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (4, Insightful)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310879)

I never understood the point of MMS on an iPhone considering you can bloody E-MAIL photos to people...

If your buddy doesn't have a phone that can do email, how can you get it on his phone? Most phones can do MMS.

The fact that iPhone can't do MMS is pretty sad.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1, Troll)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311029)

The fact that iPhone can't do MMS is pretty sad.

Well, it was, anyways, and it didn't seem to hurt the iPhone much in the market. The fact that people pay $10/mo to send 640x480 pictures to each other's 1" screens is an altogether different kind of sad, IMHO.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311251)

Well, it was, anyways, and it didn't seem to hurt the iPhone much in the market. The fact that people pay $10/mo to send 640x480 pictures to each other's 1" screens is an altogether different kind of sad, IMHO.

It used to be the only game in town, so the lack of MMS didn't hurt its sales. Now, we have the Pre and the G1 and the N97 and more android devices coming in the next few months.

But AT&T is still acting as though it's the only game in town. I'm guessing they'll learn soon.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311293)

For what it's worth, my phone takes 2 MP (1600x1200) pictures, though the quality isn't nearly as good as an actual 2 MP camera.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

Jestrzcap (46989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311079)

This has never been a limitation, there isn't any mobile company I can find that doesn't have an email to mms gateway

examples:
http://www.modmyi.com/wiki/index.php/MMS_Email_Addresses [modmyi.com]
http://basicstate.com/htm/page.htm [basicstate.com]

and they can turn right around and MMS your email address

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (0, Troll)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311221)

And to think the iPhone is supposedly "user friendly".

Let me tell you how MMS works on my Pre:

  1. Tap a photo
  2. Tap "Share via MMS..."
  3. Begin typing the recipient's name until recognized
  4. Tap send

And to think if I had an iPhone, I could start reading up on MMS to email gateways. ;)

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (4, Insightful)

Jestrzcap (46989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311385)

Because its so hard to add 5556667777@mms.cellphone.com to a contact?

User friendly or not, it has always been incorrect to say that iPhone users cannot send pictures to MMS devices.

MMS was designed for use with camera phones with a bare bones OS. With email to MMS available, specific MMS support on smartphones is just keeping alive a technology that should die sooner rather than later.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311107)

There is a reason why so many people refuse to use MMS, because we knew this is what was going to happen. So fuck MMS and SMS, give us the Interweb.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311283)

There is a reason why so many people refuse to use MMS, because we knew this is what was going to happen. So fuck MMS and SMS, give us the Interweb.

What's wrong with having both? Let me choose what's better for me.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311133)

Sadly, it's quite common for Smartphones to not support MMS. I'm not sure why this is, but I've seen many smartphones from Blackberries to Windows Mobile devices that do not get MMS in their data plan for some reason.

It's just awful when someone sends you an MMS and you have one of those phones too. The message comes in and it just says "go to this extremely long URL". You try to pull it up in your mobile browser, but the website is about 8MB and has another 4MB of javascript on it plus flash and it doesn't work at all. So you go home and use a real browser only to discover that the site is so slow that it times itself out 5 or 6 times before finally delivering you the tiny blurry photo.

I'm not sure which is the bigger factor, the greed or the stupidity on the part of the phone companies.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (0, Troll)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311323)

It's just awful when someone sends you an MMS and you have one of those phones too. The message comes in and it just says "go to this extremely long URL". You try to pull it up in your mobile browser, but the website is about 8MB and has another 4MB of javascript on it plus flash and it doesn't work at all. So you go home and use a real browser only to discover that the site is so slow that it times itself out 5 or 6 times before finally delivering you the tiny blurry photo.

And they tell me the iPhone provides a good user experience. Thanks, but no thanks. ;)

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311279)

Can't you just email it to their wireless number? All the carriers have systems like that: 5555555555@tmomail.net, 5555555555@message.alltel.com, etc.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (-1, Troll)

croddy (659025) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311367)

No, the fact that any phones still do MMS to the exclusion of proper MIME email is what's sad. MMS has been a silly, obsolete hack since the moment it was conceived. I for one have no intention of ever sending or receiving another MMS, and I think it is unfortunate that Apple have caved in to pressure to support this nasty, hokey, pile-of-crap technology. I was hoping that Apple would continue to use their position as the manufacturer of the #1 top-selling mobile phone in the country to pressure other manufacturers to phase MMS out and replace it with far more interoperable MIME email.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

sl0ppy (454532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311391)

Ditto for MMS. What would be special about iPhone MMS, other than that all of a sudden millions of iPhone users are suddenly going to start using the service. Here's to hoping its simply a capacity problem and not a "how can we rape our customers even more" problem.

if it were a capacity problem, wouldn't we have already have seen it for the razr? it supported MMS from day one, and there were plenty more of those than iphones out there.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310961)

Maybe it's not a conspiracy to deprive you.

Yeah, its public knowledge on the minutes from the last shareholder meeting.

Re:Maybe it doesn't make sense to allow tethering (2, Interesting)

spleck (312109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311135)

I agree its probably about capacity. iPhone users already use more data than the average data plan subscriber, so they probably estimate iPhone tetherers will also use a lot more data.
AT&T has been consistent lately about pricing the iPhone plans just like any other phone plans--I don't see why they wouldn't offer a 5GB capped tether plan for an additional $30.

Another possibility is that they're having trouble distinguishing tethering from normal use--possibly if they enable tethering then it might work even when not paying for the tethering plan. That would be a deal breaker for them.

All of it smells to me like Apple is trying to make their issues with AT&T obvious. It's very possible that Apple has a CDMA iPhone in the pipeline for 2010, with or without LTE. Consider that it took 2 years for the new graphics chip to reach market after the supply deals were made and that last year Apple was headhunting CDMA2000/EV-DO engineers.

Doesn't really matter in the short term. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310669)

AT&T has Apple by the balls, and Apple has its fanbois by the balls. All of this complaining is just a smoke screen; they will gladly pay the extortionist prices because they are Apple fanbois and are used to it. In the short term AT&T will rake it in. In the long term, who knows? Businesses today aren't really concerned with the long term anyway. With any luck AT&T HQ will be attacked by Godzilla.

Re: AT&T by the balls (1)

colinnwn (677715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310843)

I hate AT&T and am pretty indifferent about Apple, but how do you figure AT&T has Apple by the balls? I figure Apple has AT&T by the balls. The only reason Apple doesn't twist them off, I figure, is 1) Apple thinks it will be easier to wring a bigger percentage of iPhone revenue from AT&T only, than from multiple carriers and 2) convenience of dealing with one vendor and one network to support.

No MMS? (1)

the_arrow (171557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310687)

What, AT&T doesn't support MMS? Wow, the US truly have fallen behind!

Re:No MMS? (1, Troll)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310819)

What, AT&T doesn't support MMS? Wow, the US truly have fallen behind!

No, it's just the iPhone that has fallen behind.

The Palm Pre [palm.com] supported MMS from day 1.

Re:No MMS? (3, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310991)

I think AT&T simply doesn't have the capacity. The iPhone is the best selling smartphone in the US and is selling like hot cakes simply because we don't have anything like it in the market (except maybe the Android, but it's still far behind as far as functionality and only on T-Mobile which doesn't have decent coverage in many areas in the countries). This has already put a large strain on AT&T and MMS support and tethering is going to add to that. Being able to tether your phone used to cost you practically another plan and special phones (although my Nokia can technically do it, it doesn't have the software capabilities). But the iPhone is not controlled by AT&T so AT&T can't control who's tethering since it's going to look like you're just using your iPhone. If they block it, users will just download another providers' firmware or unlock it.

I believe that AT&T thought in the beginning: whatever, another smartphone for that niche group of Mac fans, no big deal but it has really changed the market and AT&T wasn't prepared. Since the iPhone everybody wants to surf the internet, their e-mails, cheap music downloads, now movie, in-app game and e-book downloads as well and they never had the capacity to begin with and many other vendors have followed with their own take on iPhone-knockoffs. We're supposed to have 3G on AT&T but in many areas this means less than 100 kbit/s which is only slightly faster than dial up simply because they only wired in about 1 Mbps (carrying compressed voice and GSM control) on your average pole . Now we want 7 Mbps HDSPA - you expect them to wire in something akin to Ethernet?

Re:No MMS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311261)

As others have said, its just MMS on iPhone. I have a different phone on ATT and it supports MMS.

I want more money! (2, Informative)

fandingo (1541045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310691)

I have an iphone (original model), so the rate increase might affect me. The iPhone has been tremendously successful for AT&T. I can't remember the exact statistics, but something like over half of new subscribers have an iphone and they are getting 2-3x as many new subscribers as any other network. $3-5/month for MMS will not deter many people, so it will probably translate to increased profits. Iphone users are use significantly more bandwidth than other customers, so AT&T is probably going to offset some of the increased network costs. However, it's a common situation where costs for the provider go up a certain amount, x, but the costs increases by 1.5x, 2x or maybe even more. It certainly sucks for consumers, but there is certainly rationale to it. It reminds me of an intro Economics class I took. Consumer Surplus is the difference between how much the consumer values a good and how much the supplier is willing to sell it for. In this example, I would argue that most iphone customers are getting a consumer surplus, which means that AT&T could charge more and still have happy consumers (they still think the transaction is better than holding onto their money). Err, I'll qualify that statement; they will have consumers that are still happy but certainly not as happy. I don't pretend to defend AT&T or even like them, but this is a pretty straightforward business decision.

Re:I want more money! (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311143)

But if the costs for the provider go up, they should be able to leverage their large market share into actually lowering the cost per subscriber. IE, go to your phone company,and buy a 1MB/s connection. Then go to them and buy a 100MB/s connection. You will notice that one is not 100 times more expensive than the other.

Then don't buy it! (4, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310711)

Sheesh, if you don't like AT&T's terms, then don't buy an iPhone. It's not like there aren't alternatives out there that provide nearly the same functionality.

Want to play their games? Use their apps? Get the iPod touch.

It's not that simple (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311011)

You don't think they won't try the EXACT same thing if and when they are able to put iPhones on their network? Your point is taken, but we are not living in a properly competitive market in the US when it comes to cell phones. Like many US corporations, they aren't competiting on service and lowest prices, but competing on how much can they squeeze out of their consumers without actually improving service. There are too many barriers to switching services and they all know it.

Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint are all watching very closely and will probably have pricing structures similar to AT+T the moment someone can switch to their service. T-mobile and Sprint might think they have iPhone killers (The G1 and the Pre), but in truth they want the iPhone on their network as well. They make no money on the hardware, and just want to charge as many fees and the highest rates possible. When one of them does it, all of them follow suit and do the same thing.

Re:Then don't buy it! (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311041)

That doesn't mean people shouldn't or can't complain.

AT&T sucks balls (4, Insightful)

paimin (656338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310719)

As an IT person at an organization that uses iPhones for both phone service and Exchange support, I can state definitively that the instant it is possible to part with AT&T we would do so. They SUCK.

Don't get me wrong, we are happy enough with the iPhones that we will stay with AT&T as long as the exclusive agreement lasts, but listen up AT&T, you are expendable and we would GLADLY drop your ass. We and everyone else is fed up with your BS.

Re:AT&T sucks balls (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310897)

iPhone exchange support is buggy is hell. Why don't you use blackberries?

Re:AT&T sucks balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310945)

How is it buggy?

Re:AT&T sucks balls (2, Informative)

paimin (656338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311019)

Uh, we also have Blackberries, and from our experience they are 10x buggier than the iPhones. The people with iPhones? Almost zero support requests. The people with Blackberries? Constant problems.

Re:AT&T sucks balls (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311131)

Funky. Surprised to hear it. All I hear from the guys at work with iPhones is how wonky the exchange sync is.

Oh well, glad it works for you. Maybe iPhone users are just more tolerant of a buggy experience. :)

Re:AT&T sucks balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311191)

I concur completely. We have a mix of Blackberries (some using enterprise server, some not) and iPhones at my work. The iPhones I just set up and forget, the only time I get asked any questions about them is if someone is looking for some cool apps or getting started downloading movies/music. I have constant support requests from Blackberry users.

Re:AT&T sucks balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311087)

No, your exchange setup is buggy. We have 300+ install base on iPhone with zero problems. ZERO. Don't even get me started on when we used to have 300+ blackberries.

Re:AT&T sucks balls (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311247)

I haven't used Blackberries for a few years now, because at the time I switched, their Exchange support sucked. They didn't support ActiveSync, so you either needed to be running a BES or a desktop redirector, which is insanely stupid. On top of that, what each of those things did was redirect the user's email to RIM's servers, which wasn't something I was particularly fond of doing. Beyond that, their web browser was horrible and HTML support in email was non-existent. And they really stank as phones, weren't too hot as PDAs. The only thing they did well was act as a portable Exchange client, but even that had problems (as I mentioned).

I'm guessing all of that must have changed by now, or else they'd deserve to be the laughingstock of the industry. But at the time I switched to Windows-based phones, which were really slow and crashed a lot, but seemed overall to be a better deal. I switched from them to iPhones for my company, because the iPhones crashed less frequently, provided equivalent Exchange support, a better browser, and better support for Macs (we run both Macs and Windows at my company). Plus, the employees are generally much happier because they can listen to their music and get games and applications really easily.

Re:AT&T sucks balls (0, Redundant)

CaptSaltyJack (1275472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310911)

Hear hear! AT&T is garbage, and the iPhone is the only reason I'm with them.

Re:AT&T sucks balls (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310939)

But who would you go to? Let's say the exclusivity contract with AT&T ended right now. Who would you switch to?

Verizon? Uses a protocol that's incompatible with the iPhone.
T-Mobile? Horrible coverage.
Sprint? Counting the days until they're part of Verizon.

Anyone else in the US? Reselling the service of one of those four previously mentioned companies.

And we owe our lack of choice to the US Government! Thanks to regulations on cell companies, no competitors are allowed to exist. Yay regulation!

Re:AT&T sucks balls (1)

paimin (656338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311057)

Yeah, well that's the long story isn't it? Its pretty much bloody awful across the board. Why do you think AT&T is able to offer such shitty service? If there was a much better option, they would have to actually compete.

Re:AT&T sucks balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311075)

Ditto...good riddance to AT&T's service the moment I can leave with my iPhone in hand.

Re:AT&T sucks balls (2, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311267)

I can state definitively that the instant it is possible to part with AT&T we would do so. Don't get me wrong, we are happy enough with the iPhones that we will stay with AT&T as long as the exclusive agreement lasts, but listen up AT&T, you are expendable and we would GLADLY drop your ass.

So basically you like the iPhone so much that as long as the exclusivity agreement's in place, you'll put up with any amount of AT&T's crap and paying them anyway.

So presumably if the iPhone moves exclusively to another network, you'll go with *them* too.

Therefore, AT&T and/or other networks have no reason to care about or pay attention to your complaints or threats, only to ensure that they have (and continue to have) the iPhone exclusivity agreement.

AT&T "backpeddling furiously" (2, Funny)

bugeaterr (836984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310729)

And they didn't trip? They must be on sure footing.
I'm putting out a "buy" signal on AT&T shares.

Do dogs lick themselves??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310767)

Of course they are going to try to reap a monetary gain off of this. I remember there was an app on the app store that helped users tether a couple of years ago that got removed.

Why ask a question you already know the answer to (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310771)

Come on, tethering is charged for all over the U.S. cell space. Of course it will be extra.

The only real question is MMS, the rumors are that may be free but I am dubious. Since I think MMS is an ancient technology that should die, I'll continue to send images (and soon video) via email just as I do today.

"Will AT&T Charge Extra?" (1)

Enuratique (993250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310775)

Is the space pope reptilian and does he shit in the woods?

One of the rumors floating around at WWDC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310801)

One of the rumors floating around at WWDC is that the problem actually lies with AT&Ts customer database and that iPhone accounts are hardcoded to not allow MMS or tethering right now.

Re:One of the rumors floating around at WWDC (1)

spleck (312109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310925)

Its not that they are hardcoded to block MMS, they are set to intercept MMS and use the viewmymessage.com portal for them. You can still get MMS using an iPhone right now, but it comes in the form of a SMS with a login and password.

I sincerely doubt AT&T will charge extra for MMS. They just have to figure out how to selectively pass MMS through to iPhones using 3.0 and continue using the portal for iPhones using 2.0.

I'm am still shocked at the lack of technical understanding being applied to the idea that AT&T will charge extra for MMS.

Re:One of the rumors floating around at WWDC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311229)

Why not just enable it for 2G, also? That would completely eliminate such problems. The original 2G iPhone hardware fully supports MMS. In fact, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to build hardware that supports text messages that does NOT support MMS. The communication channel is exactly the same. The only things blocking MMS on the 2G iPhone are carrier settings and the way AT&T's half-assed network is configured.

Re:One of the rumors floating around at WWDC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311287)

Never mind. I misread 2.0 as 2G. The 2.0 problem can't be too hard. All the other carriers have the same problem, obviously, and have solved it. There's nothing special about AT&T in that regard.

In fact, that should be trivial. I'm pretty sure the sweeps they run every night detect the phone's OS version. As soon as they detect the phone running 3.0, switch on MMS for that account.

Bypassing corporate restrictions (2, Interesting)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310841)

Once this is out, Tether your iPhone to your work PC via USB or Bluetooth. Create a connection through the iPhone to the Internet. (With T-Mobile phones you can alread do this, but it's so expensive.)

Most companies do URL filtering at the gateway. With tethering you bypass such filtering restrictions.

In the USA;
If I browse adult stuff at work on works PC and Internet connection, work can be held libel.
If I browse adult stuff on the iPhone at work using my own Internet connect, it is less likely that work can be held libel.

But what if I provide my own wireless Internet connection and bypass the filters work has in place?

I speak as one who does the filtering, not one who is trying to bypass them.

Re:Bypassing corporate restrictions (3, Informative)

Ketto (1349749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311173)

In the USA; If I browse adult stuff at work on works PC and Internet connection, work can be held libel. If I browse adult stuff on the iPhone at work using my own Internet connect, it is less likely that work can be held libel.

But what if I provide my own wireless Internet connection and bypass the filters work has in place?

I speak as one who does the filtering, not one who is trying to bypass them.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Re:Bypassing corporate restrictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311227)

liable = accountable
libel = written slander

Re:Bypassing corporate restrictions (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311253)

Tether your iPhone to your work PC via USB or Bluetooth. Create a connection through the iPhone to the Internet. (With T-Mobile phones you can alread do this, but it's so expensive.) With tethering you bypass such filtering restrictions.

In the USA;
If I browse adult stuff at work on works PC and Internet connection, work can be held libel.
If I browse adult stuff on the iPhone at work using my own Internet connect, it is less likely that work can be held libel.

Be careful. I know of a case where somebody did something like that. While the actual pr0n was going through his local connection, all his DNS look-ups were still going over the company's DNS server, and somebody was watching and wondering why the inDUHvidual in question was looking up "www.chickswithdonkeys.com" and "www.highheelsandenemas.com".

The person got in a bit of hot water over this.

Besides, it doesn't matter whether you were using your work PC or network or not: you were at work, you were doing this, if somebody catches you they can sue your employer for "creating or allowing a hostile workplace", and they will be in trouble, and you WILL be fired.

You want to visit pr0n sites - best to do it at home.

Re:Bypassing corporate restrictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311295)

Liable.

Liable.

Liable.

AT&T... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28310853)

Yeah, that was an awkward moment when they were talking about tethering and totally skipped over AT&T, wasn't it?

Well, AT&T had no problem repeatedly, illegally spying on me [alternet.org] and selling me out [arstechnica.com] multiple [homelandstupidity.us] times and then lobbying to get themselves off [cnet.com] .

I canceled them as my home service and will never EVER use them again, which precludes an iPhone (for now).

Which is fine, because rooted Android has had tethering (bluetooth [cyrket.com] & wifi [cyrket.com] ) for a while now.

Leverage (3, Interesting)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310857)

This is AT&T trying to get back some leverage in their relationship with Apple.

Right now:
        * If you are on AT&T already, either you have an iPhone or you want one.
        * If you aren't on AT&T, the only reason to switch to it is to get the iPhone.
        * The iPhone is still a great device without AT&T, but AT&T is not great without the iPhone.

By withholding tethering and MMS and not having a 7.2Mbps network in place, AT&T will try to make Apple look bad. AT&T will miss the "late-summer" "deadline" and they are gambling that pressure will grow on Apple to do something about it. Apple can't do anything about it and AT&T will use this in 2010 contract negotiations as a bargaining chip.

AT&T is wagering the backlash against Apple will be worse than the backlash against themselves and that they will get concessions from Apple that will make them the most attractive iPhone carrier even after they lose exclusivity.

Re:Leverage (1)

ZombiePenguin (1329977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311207)

i would guess that strategy would backfire. everything i've seen represented in the media and by apple is that they're building this technology into the phone, and all at&t has to do is allow it to work. so, all the responsibility is on at&t to make it work.

Re:Leverage (2, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311327)

[AT&T] are gambling that pressure will grow on Apple to do something about it.

Like what exactly is Apple supposed to do? Public pressure won't make Apple suddenly give back it's cut of the handset subsidy, which I imagine is the biggest bone of contention.

AT&T is wagering the backlash against Apple will be worse than the backlash against themselves

If that's their strategy they're already far behind; they should have had someone up-front at WWDC putting their spin on it. Apple's had the opportunity now to demonstrate the new iPhone features, and show that they work everywhere but under AT&T. All media reports have done exactly what Apple wanted; they revealed the new features, but have been careful to note that many new features are not available with AT&T. AT&T has been basically silent this whole time.

Why wouldn't they charge for tethering? (1)

PyroSlacker (1219150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28310921)

Alright, I understand charging extra for MMS when you have a text plan would be stupid of them, but why shouldn't they charge for tethering? They charge every other phone user extra. Since they started subsidizing the iPhone, the data plans have been the same as every other smartphone plan so why would people think its going to included on the iPhone when it's not for the other phones?

Re:Why wouldn't they charge for tethering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311215)

Because it's no business of AT&T whether I'm viewing the Internet through their connection on my phone or my computer.

It's like NAT. I pay for Internet period. Whichever devices are behind my router is none of the ISP's business.

I don't care if other telecoms do it. It's wrong to charge more for the bits just because I'm viewing them on a different device.

What if I pre-download all my surfing on my iphone and then ftp the downloaded pages to my laptop for viewing? You think I should pay more for that?

Re:Why wouldn't they charge for tethering? (1)

PalmAddict (543382) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311389)

Because it is no different surfing the net with the iphone displaying the data or your laptop displaying the data. AT&T is nothing more than a provider of the conduit. They want to charge you more because you want to use a different device to display the data? That would be like the cable or satellite companies charging you more for plugging the video output of your cable box up to you computer instead of your TV. It's just unethical.

AT&T should charge more (-1, Offtopic)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311017)

for M&Ms. Besides, I haven't bought them since they banished Tan and brought in that gay Blue one.

Void contract? (1)

MarcoG42 (1087205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311105)

I understand charging for tethering, that's to be expected. I'm curious about how they're going to handle MMS. Will they just include it in the cost of the $15 I'm already paying for 1500 text messages? If I understand the contract correctly, if they raise that fee it means I can opt out of my contract with no penalty because there has been a material change in the fees being charged. I don't see AT&T opening themselves up to droves of users ditching their contract in that manner. Nor do I see them having a separate "MMS Plan" for iPhone users, as that would piss off *everyone*. So, with any luck, we'll only see a new fee for tethering.

O2 pricing in the UK (1)

admcd (23824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311119)

O2 in the UK will be supporting tethering on the iPhone as an add on to their contracts.

Contracts start at 29.38 GBP (approx 48 USD) for an 18 month contract. Tethering starts at 14.68 GBP (approx 24 USD) extra for a 3GB package.

Details at: http://shop.o2.co.uk/update/internet.html [o2.co.uk]

Re:O2 pricing in the UK (1)

The Outlander (1279696) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311383)

How are they going to know your using the iphone tethered? do they send some fingerprint to the carrier to inform them its being tethered?

The only thing to speculate about is how much (1)

IronChef (164482) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311195)

Will AT&T charge extra?

Will the sun come up tomorrow?

They have the ability to support tethering now! (1)

PalmAddict (543382) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311307)

I am an AT&T wireless customer in California and currently have the ability to tether through my cell phone for internet access (but for disclosure sake, I did not buy the phone from them). I don't see how this is a technological issue, but more an accounting issue. This is a matter of AT&T making time to find the right dollar amount to add to the bill for this service that they feel is above and beyond the call of what a wireless company should offer, unless they have sold you a separate piece of hardware for this particular function. The wireless industry in the US needs much tighter regulation by the US government. I am normally against government involvement in business, but the communication companies of the US have proven time and time again that they can not be trusted to charge a fair price to the public for service.

This just in... (1)

rwalker429 (1452827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28311337)

Telecos are still an evil forced on us by lack of choice. They still have a stranglehold on our wallets. This sort of thing is far from surprising and, let's be realistic here, it's another opportunity to squeeze money out of a popular market. People like to throw stones at the agitated Iphone crowd "If you don't like it don't buy it." "It sucks that you can't upgrade. Welcome to the world of cell phones..har har har" but shouldn't we look at this as a chance to bring the increasingly shitty business practices in this market to light? Few things cause more publicity than the public outrage that ensues when mainstream users of a wildly popular new gadget are being bent over and given the sandpaper rectal treatment. Hell, when RIM has an outage it's all over the news. Yeah, we all have to deal with shitastic contracts and abusive price gouging by cellular companies. Everyone knows it. However the opportunity to have a whole lot of people come together and go "enough is enough" doesn't come around all that often. I read about increasingly shady practices from ISPs and Telcos on a regular basis (especially on /.) Maybe we should be helping to turn Iphone whiners into a rallying cry that we're tired of being pushed around as consumers. Just my thoughts on the whole thing. Before it comes up... No I don't have an Iphone.

Sorry, Apple, AT&T wasn't a good choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28311357)

I love the iPhone. It's a beautiful and functional work of art. It does everything I want a webpad to do, especially now that peripherals are going to be possible. It's incredible in every way. I drool over the thought of the iPhone 3GS.

I won't pay $90/month for the privilege of having it not turn into a brick. I won't even pay $60/month. I use about 5 minutes of talk time every month, burn through 150 texts per month and might use some data on the go, but typically would be close to a WiFi hotspot if I didn't have a computer with me. If it weren't for the texts, an iPod Touch would be exactly what I want. As is, it seems as though Apple wants me to have my cell phone for texting and emergency calls and an iPod Touch for geeking out. Maybe that's fine, but I already have the phone -- the Touch will wait.

If I could buy an iPhone outright, unsubsidized, and then go to any carrier I wanted, who would then offer a "$0.40/minute voice, 200 texts, unlimited data" for $40/month, I'd do it. Strangely, Cricket [mycricket.com] has the data for 3G for $40/month, then I'd have to pick up the 200 texts for maybe $5/month. So, I'm almost there. But... AT&T wants to charge me more than twice that. No deal. Of course, Cricket [mycricket.com] would love to set me up with unlimited voice, long distance and texting for $40/month, which would knock $5 off the data plan, putting it at $85 for what AT&T would like $150 for an iPhone plan with those features.

I'm not unreasonable. I understand that AT&T needs to make some money here, but I don't want much service. Their lowest plan has 5000 night & weekend minutes -- 4999 more than I'd use -- and 450 anytime minutes. Just find a way to cut all the fat out and they'll get my money. Nickeling and diming for MMS (whatever that is, I don't even care) or tethering (I can't imagine that's more than a few people) isn't going to win a lot of customers and just scares away people like me.

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