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Rumor — AT&T Losing iPhone Exclusivity Next Week

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the can-we-terminate-luke-wilson-now dept.

Cellphones 353

MojoKid writes "An inside source over at HotHardware reports that AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity on 1/27, coincident with Apple's upcoming press event next week, though it's not yet clear what other carriers will be stepping in to pick up the iPhone. For anyone who has followed the saga, you may notice that you haven't seen AT&T fighting to extend their original exclusive agreement as of late. In fact, they have spent most of their time fighting Verizon's negative ad campaigns. This may not be all that surprising. Inside of AT&T, word is that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before. On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Do you remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone? The iPhone itself doesn't really handle the switch from 3G to EDGE very gracefully, so calls that are in-progress tend to fail whenever 3G connections aren't optimal and the phone attempts to step down to EDGE. It seems that AT&T may finally be tired of taking the heat."

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I get the (-1, Redundant)

webnut77 (1326189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30877944)

first post?

Who cares? (0, Flamebait)

rhook (943951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30877950)

The iPhone is nothing special, this is even more true now that there are many Android based phones to choose from.

Re:Who cares? (1, Insightful)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878006)

exactly. although i would really like to see them disband the whole "tying certain phone to certain carriers" bs. just make everyone pay for the phone and have them choose whatever service. as for service, now if they could all just start offering unlimited plans at a decent rate (less than $50/month).

Re:Who cares? (2, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878424)

The whole point of this is not everyone wants to pay $500 for some phone. It wasn't that long ago that even low end phones would have been several hundred dollars without a contract that is how we got into this.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878720)

You're still paying for the phone, it's just built into the contract. You don't really think that cell providers "subsidize" phones, do you?

Re:Who cares? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878866)

Don't you guys have some sort of deal where you just have a SIM and a call plan of some kind? I thought most countries did. That way, you can buy whetever phone suits your needs. You can't buy a Rolls-Royce for the price of a Morris Minor, but if you only use a phone to make calls and send SMSs, then you can get a phone for about $20 pretty easily.

If you need every bell and whistle under the sun, and expect the device to be shiny and groovy, then expect to pay more. Simple.

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878042)

Have you actually tried both?

Android's fine for geeks who don't like fuild usability, but it'll take another generation or two for Android to catch up.

Re:Who cares? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878104)

Have you tried the HTC phones with the sense UI (which, by the way, has multitouch)?

Serious question.

It is absolutely brilliant. I was certain that it would be some trashy vendor attempt at being unique, to be quickly disabled, however it is actually extremely decent.

The "Android is a geek's phone" meme is baseless. It is only true from the perspective of "if by geek we mean people who aren't just mindlessly following the crowd".

Re:Who cares? (3, Interesting)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878122)

Was thinking the same.

This bit from the post: he iPhone itself doesn't really handle the switch from 3G to EDGE very gracefully, so calls that are in-progress tend to fail whenever 3G connections aren't optimal and the phone attempts to step down to EDGE. It seems that AT&T may finally be tired of taking the heat.

That is enough for me to delay my purchase until I see something really good.

the big scams over (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878278)

now that you bought one your what SCREWED when they drop the iPhone

haha suckers all this tech they gloat over and they cant even get it to work

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878290)

Admittedly, it is easier to design a simple fluid interface when you can only run one application at a time. It removes one level of complication that most of the other smartphones need to deal with.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878484)

Really? Because Android and the Pre have windowed interfaces? I hadn’t noticed.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878330)

Well, I am a geek so I guess I fall into your comment. I have to say I really like my android phone (Droid). I'm not sure what better, more fluid, experience I would have with the iPhone. Oh, that's right - I know now, it's more fluid because I can't use Google Voice. I guess it is also more fluid because it can't do more than 1 app, so no background instant messenger.

You're forgetting the price (4, Informative)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878368)

To get the iPhone, I would need to sign up for a VERY expensive and long term contract. There is no way I'm spending a thousand dollars a year for a friggin phone. To get the Nexus One I can buy a prepaid sim from T-mobile and pay $100/year, using WiFi for network connectivity. This price advantage alone is enough to give the Nexus One an enormously larger market than the iPhone.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878376)

Holy shit your post is making me rage. Android is FINE FOR FUCKING ANYONE. Fuck you retarded ignorant arrogant bastard geeks who think that android is too complicated for those folk of average intelligence to use. And youre also stupid if you believe that most people put more importance on how something looks or feels over its function. If you think that ANYONE would struggle to use android then YOURE the retarded one. android is VERY easy to use. mod parent down.

Re:Who cares? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878418)

You definitely could have been more eloquent with that, but I agree.

Anyway, as of the Nexus One, Android has definitely caught up to the iPhone in terms of usability.

Re:Who cares? (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878064)

Man you are dumb.

For one the market share for iPhones is still much much larger then all the Android based phones out there. It is second only to RIM Blackberries.
Most mobile application/web development is primarily tested for the iPhone So right now iPhone as more apps.
The iPhone is the standard that all the other phones need to set the bar against.

It isn't about features or technology it is about mindset. Right now the iPhone is still the winner (next year who knows bur right now they are the winner)

AT&T got a lot of new customers just because people wanted the phone... For the most case this is opposite... People search for the plan they want and get the phone. If AT&T looses iPhone exclusivity it would really heart them. Well lets go with the other ones instead they may have better coverage or faster network. Spring G4 iPhone would be cool. Perhaps Verizon my have a cheaper Service. Perhaps t-mobile will allow tethering.

Android is still second fiddle... I for one like to see it grow and give apple a good run for its money however you have to be an idiot to think the iPhone is irrelevant.

Re:Who cares? (2, Interesting)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878274)

It isn't about features or technology it is about mindset.

Oh how right you are about that. However, the point you bring up in you post directly runs opposite of the point that you are trying to make.

The biggest thing about cell phones is that most people change out phones every two to three years. The iPhone is no different. I've seen many of friends ditch the iPhone after their contract was up. It's no different than when I ditched my LG last year as soon as my contract was up. People's "mindset" as you would call it is to junk the phone they've got every time their contract is up. iPhone is no different. It's not about apps or technical merit. It's about advertising. Right now Apple has got word of mouth on their side and Google is doing its best with their TV ads to counter that. AT&T dropping the exclusive part of iPhone sounds like Apple try to make their phone more like the Driod. Everywhere. Beside, the iPhone has shown how shit the AT&T network is and AT&T is fighting an uphill battle with that. So, yeah I think the honeymoon between AT&T and Apple is over, burned, and now they are tossing bricks at each other. Soon we may see them fighting over custody of the kids but who knows?

So, I would not say that Apple has a better phone because of apps, or what have you. They just have better marketing. Also, most apps are tested for the iPhone because it has the most market share at the current time, but some, it is a slow growing trend, commercial API for cellular devices are becoming cross API. Think of it like the toolkits that people like EA use to code for PS3 and XBOX 360 at the same time. Eventually that's exactly what we will see in the mobile market. At that point it is pretty moot about the apps issue and who is building what for what.

When it come to cellphones be damned the technical merit. Most people buy whatever looks cool on the TV. You'd be an idiot to think otherwise.

What did they get then? (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878724)

When your friends dumped their iPhones (and perhaps the ATT contract), what hardware/carrier did they switch to..and why, besides the "cool" factor like you were mentioning. There must be at least some technical specification thought go into their next phone purchase, even if it is secondary to new and shiny.

Just wondering, especially on the handset switch, I do prepay only, no more long term contracts, I don't want to feed that particular telco business model, for the same reason I stick to OTA TV broadcasts and won't go to satellite (or cable, which I can't get anyway). Just don't need nor want more long term contractural debt. I can either pay for something right then, or not interested.

Re:Who cares? (1)

hazzey (679052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878758)

Another point which I rarely hear about in discussions of the iPhone is how it is fundamentally marketed differently. We have had an iPhone for many years now. It hasn't been the exact same hardware this whole time, but it has been an "iPhone" the whole time. Now think about other mobile phones. Ask someone what phone they have and it is either "LG", "Motorola", etc. Mobile phone models change so often than no one can remember what model they have currently, because there is a good chance that you can't even buy the model anymore. Apple has won the marketing game because by keeping the same name, they don't have to scrap all of their previous marketing whenever the model changes.

Re:Who cares? (1)

carbuck (1728596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878472)

"Most mobile application/web development is primarily tested for the iPhone So right now iPhone as more apps. The iPhone is the standard that all the other phones need to set the bar against." But at the end of the day, its still a phone, and if you don't have reliable service, what good is everything else?

Re:Who cares? (-1, Troll)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878542)

Man you are dumb.

If you're going to start out with such a remark, you might want to proof read your post.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878246)

troll troll troll troll

Chant of the telcos (4, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30877952)

"iPhone, you phone, we all phone for iPhone"

Well, maybe before AT&T's woes.

About time... (4, Insightful)

CrazeeCracker (641868) | more than 4 years ago | (#30877956)

...a fair amount of other countries already have multiple carriers for the iPhone. Let's hope this stirs up some competition.

Re:About time... (2, Informative)

Xenious (24845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878406)

Of course other countries have mobile networks that all use the same frequency and technology. Only here in the US are we blessed with 2 diggerent HSPA frequencies and CDMA networks. I suggest the CDMA networks change over all their towers and join the real world. ;)

Re:About time... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878742)

I suggest the CDMA networks change over all their towers and join the real world. ;)

I'm going to address this on a serious note, as a lot of people do feel this way. CDMA is being replaced by LTE. LTE is the equivalent of HSPA from what I read. So, I guess you could say they are joining the real world.

That said, do you want everyone on the same technology or the companies trying out what they believe is the best technology and having the customers deciding which network they like the best? Seriously, I'm not sure of any better migration plans.

Disclaimer: I use my phone as a phone. I do not use it as a PDA/Music Player/Laptop/Tricorder/Web Surfer/Game Boy/Instant Messenger or anything beyond voice communication.

Re:About time... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878676)

If the UK is anything to go by, it doesn't necessarily help much. O2 and Orange both sell the iPhone for virtually the same price on very similar contracts.

Knowing Apple, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they're responsible for this.

Verizon (2, Interesting)

Salo2112 (628590) | more than 4 years ago | (#30877960)

If Verizon gets the iPhone, I'll be there next week.

Re:Verizon (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878078)

Verizon is going to get the ipad tablet not the iphone.

Re:Verizon (2, Interesting)

TroyM (956558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878098)

I can't see Apple going to the trouble to develop a CDMA iPhone when Verizon is already starting to deploy LTE. I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation iPhone is available on Verizon, but not next week.

You know what this suission is? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30877964)

Useless FUD and hearsay.

Underlying technology. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30877982)

The iPhone itself doesn't really handle the switch from 3G to EDGE very gracefully

That's GSM's fault, not the phone's.

Re:Underlying technology. (1)

Mindjiver (71) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878112)

The iPhone itself doesn't really handle the switch from 3G to EDGE very gracefully

That's GSM's fault, not the phone's.

In what way is that "GSM"'s fault?

Re:Underlying technology. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878284)

In what way is that "GSM"'s fault?

As far as I understand it, the older version of the EDGE protocol that's being used on many a tower doesn't include a procedure for passing in a call that was being handled by 3G, so it just drops.

Re:Underlying technology. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878696)

funny, my htc fuze has never dropped a call so long as i have more than one or two bars of signal, even while driving from areas with good hsupa coverage to areas with only edge....

Re:Underlying technology. (2, Insightful)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878212)

Funny how in the past couple of decades using Nokia GSM phones on a Finnish carrier, I've never experienced a single "dropped call". It's amazing this happens in the US.

Re:Underlying technology. (3, Insightful)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878634)

No wonder, when the whole country population is about a half of NYC (5.5 vs 9 millions)

Re:Underlying technology. (1)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878772)

Maybe, but I do hear about this kind of stuff from all over the US. It's the some sort of data transmission per area measure that is relevant, and NYC is a bit of an extreme example... when one hits a relatively unprepared network (you guys did get on the bandwagon just in the past few years) with iPhone data transmission requirements, I guess you could assume problems.

It is, I would suppose, still fundamentally an iPhone issue though...

Re:Underlying technology. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878864)

15 years ago I drove through Austria, Switzerland and Italy. I drove through the Alps and made crystal clear calls to the US in deep canyons in the middle of nowhere and never dropped a call. It has nothing to do with the population of the country because it relates to the number and location of towers relative to the number of users. Europe has a higher density of cell phone users than the US, so they should in theory have more network problems, but they don't. Cell phone service just works. You don't get charged for incoming calls and you rarely, if ever, drop a call.

Re:Underlying technology. (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878658)

I hate AT&Ts service, dont get me wrong. I get lots of dropped calls, mostly when driving. However, a lot of those are rather long distance. While I realize finland is ~900 miles from tip to tip, I also know very few people travel anywhere near that distance on any form of regular basis. Here in the US 100-200 mile commutes are not uncommon. My daily commute is 70 miles, each way - and most of the dropped calls I get are on longer drives than that. Driving from NYC to Ft. Lauderdale, FL (a drive I've done far more often than I'd like in the last couple years) for example is a nightmare of dropped calls, but you have to realize it's also ~1300 miles of driving. At least most of it actually *has* cell coverage though, the large chunks of the year I used to spend in the adirondaks (~300 miles north of NYC) were marked by periods of, uh, less than stellar coverage (that's changed a bit actually).

The US is rather large, and rather sparsely populated. It's harded to maintain a network of up-to-date towers with full coverage here than in finland. Not that it excuses *AT&T's* piss poor infrastructure planning and spending, but it helps explain it. Remember (according to a saying I actually saw first on /.), in the US 100 years is a long time, and in Europe 100 miles is a long distance.

Re:Underlying technology. (2, Interesting)

JAK (6169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878282)

Regarding the dropped call when switching between 3G and Edge: I can't speak to the underlying cause, but over the past few years I've had a Palm Treo and a blackberry that did this constantly (Dallas area was especially bad). From my personal experience, the iPhone seems to do this less than these older phones.

Not really. (3, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878354)

That's GSM's fault, not the phone's.

Maybe due to the US-implementation of GSM, but GSM can handle this just fine.

You don't see this problem in Europe.

Re:Not really. (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878694)

Maybe due to the US-implementation of GSM, but GSM can handle this just fine.

Specifically, the _AT&T_ implementation of GSM. Which sort of throws the problem right back to them.

Re:Underlying technology. (1)

MobyTurbo (537363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878592)

It's hard to have sympathy for AT&T not having enough infrastructure to deal with the iPhone when they had a profit well over 3 billion dollars last quarter, and have spent less on infrastructure over the past year than on previous years.

Re:Underlying technology. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878830)

But they have plenty of infrastructure to forward your bits into the NSA's warrantless dragnet.

This isn't TechCrunch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30877990)

If I wanted to hear asinine and completely unsubstantiated rumors, I'd head over to a shitheap like TechCrunch.

Let's leave this sort of crap over there, okay? Even if it's a slow news day, it's better to post nothing at all than to post useless nonsense like this.

ATT vs Verizon in NYC (ATT rocks for data) (4, Informative)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878000)

I work in NYC and have the choice between Verizon and ATT for my "company" phone service. I use the data features fairly frequently and when our group of 40-50 folks sits down and chats (we're pretty equally divided between ATT and Verizon users) it seems to me that ATT data service is usually faster and more reliable. Of the people who are most vocal about their Verizon support there, they seem to be mostly voice users and only casual data users.

As far as the iPhone goes, I'd MUCH rather have a Nexus One if I was in the market for a fancy smart phone.

Re:ATT vs Verizon in NYC (ATT rocks for data) (2, Interesting)

dachshund (300733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878300)

As far as the iPhone goes, I'd MUCH rather have a Nexus One if I was in the market for a fancy smart phone.

What is it about the Nexus One that's got people so worked up? As best I can tell it's a great piece of hardware with a UI that's (admittedly by Android fans) only about 95% as good as the iPhone. It's manufactured by a company that doesn't really have any experience making phones, and could easily get out of the business, leaving you high and dry.

In any case, it's about 180 degrees out of sync from the iPhone release schedule. I plan to wait til the next iPhone comes out before I make any decisions about what phone to buy.

Re:ATT vs Verizon in NYC (ATT rocks for data) (3, Informative)

mejogid (1575619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878382)

The Nexus One is manufactured by HTC, not Google - they have a lot of experience making OEM phones (many of the network-branded phones of the last 15 or so years were designed & built by them).

As for software, it's give and take - I like Android for the multiple concurrent apps (allows some very clever add-on features, such as automatically switching on your wifi when the cell identifier indicates you're in an area you normally use it), the widgets (especially calendar), the open app store (so emulators and alternate browsers are allowed) and the google integration & syncing. On the other hand, the app ecosystem isn't as good as the iPhone and the UI isn't always as fluid/good looking.

Depending on your use case, I can see how Android could be far better suited.

Re:ATT vs Verizon in NYC (ATT rocks for data) (2, Informative)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878438)

Or, go look at a Nokia N900. I find it amazing how little press this wonderful mobile computer that has phone functions is getting. I have been a fone freak for years, the N900 is like the parting of the Red Sea in a CB DeMille movie.

Re:ATT vs Verizon in NYC (ATT rocks for data) (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878316)

I'll probably stay on my crackberry with Verizon, but I'd never go back to AT&T (was Cingular). Coverage for voice is superior with Verizon and that is far more critical on how fast I get weather.com site pulled up. iPhone is tempting, but only if I stay away from AT&T.

Re:ATT vs Verizon in NYC (ATT rocks for data) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878774)

Just North of NYC there are lots of dead spots for AT&T. Verizon has the best coverage here. But I use Sprint, which has good coverage where I use it, for my smartphone. (including most of the Caribbean countries I just visited.)

Verizon iPhone (3, Interesting)

chrisgeleven (514645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878014)

My AT&T contract is up on July 12th. I tell you, I am going to have a very difficult decision on that date if a Verizon version of the iPhone hasn't been announced or released by then. While I love my iPhone, the AT&T service is just not reliable at all in my experience in New Hampshire, especially if you get out of the major cities. You pretty much have to be in a deep cave to not have a Verizon cell phone signal here.

My thinking is if there is no sign of a Verizon version of the iPhone by July 12th when my contract is up, I may very well switch to a Nexus One or Droid. It is sure going to be tempting.

Re:Verizon iPhone (1)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878378)

Why not just switch carriers and keep the phone you have?

Re:Verizon iPhone (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878662)

Verizon uses CDMA and EV-DO/LTE for the cell network. The AT&T iPhone uses HSDPA (Edge for backup). They are incompatible with each other.

AT&T Sucks (5, Informative)

Derpnooner (1606505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878018)

Howdy, I worked with AT&T/Cingular right at the release and that is when "it" happened. From what I was told, AT&T reduced the range of their network to make data transmission more "reliable" for the iPhone, and in so doing, they pissed off a number of end users. We had so many complaints from people about their service no longer working in their homes, work, etc. I was there for the switch to 3G in OH and though the service is fast, the batteries don't last (heh); my phone(s) would be dead with very limited surfing. Oh well, maybe AT&T will rebrand again - back to Cingular and become completely Open Source... and monkeys might flight out of my butt. Bye iPhone.

Re:AT&T Sucks (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878132)

I was there for the switch to 3G in OH and though the service is fast, the batteries don't last (heh); my phone(s) would be dead with very limited surfing.

The batteries don't last in a lot of EVDO phones either. That's the fault of stupid phone manufacturers who switched radio chipsets without bothering to improve battery capacity or power consumption in the rest of the phone.

The real problem seems to be that AT&T has very limited 3G coverage, while their EDGE network has very good coverage. Unfortunately, as you allude to, they had to degrade the EDGE network for the 3G iPhone. The 3G-EDGE failover problems actually have nothing to do with the iPhone and everything to do with GSM. This has never worked very well, not even in other dual band phones. EVDO to CDMA fails over pretty seamlessly, though in the very early days of EVDO back around 2005 or so, several phones (like the Moto Razr) had problems failing over as well.

Re:AT&T Sucks (1)

Triceratot (1728610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878876)

*grins* Been there, done that. I worked the overtime for the iPhone release, and worked customer care for the switchover from analog/TDMA to GSM and then to 3G....Rebranding is just a pain. Every cell company has complaints about service, and not every cell phone is going to work everywhere for myriad of reasons. Both AT&T and Apple handled the i-Phone wrong, period. Chalk it up to experience and perhaps AT&T will get its head out of the clouds. They are going to lose a heck of a lot of customers, and my heart goes out to "tech" for phone unlocking.

Shiny overrode Technical (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878020)

The iPhone itself doesn't really handle the switch from 3G to EDGE very gracefully, so calls that are in-progress tend to fail whenever 3G connections aren't optimal and the phone attempts to step down to EDGE.

Given that carriers test phones on networks, it would not be the least surprising to learn that AT&T technical staff evaluated the iPhone (or already had experience with the 'modem' it uses), told management about the problems, and management decided what was more important was the couple of years of revenue from people who wanted iPhones regardless of the network.

I've been a customer of AT&T since the "AT&T wireless" days (pre AT&T, pre "cingular", etc.) and I can count the number of dropped calls on one hand. I currently have an original iPhone, jailbroken/unlocked, on a very old AT&T Wireless account. $30/month for a regional plan = awesome (as is having one device to surf the web where I can get Wifi, play games, listen to music, and make phone calls.)

Living in New England, I also haven't heard many complaints from 3G iPhone users. Seems to be mostly NYC where people are screaming (yes kids, NY and NYC are not "New England.")

Boohoo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878160)

If you want to cry about specifics, why mention "New England"? It is neither a city nor a state. Where the fuck do you live? It must not be New Hampshire, since those folks think too highly of their state to lump it into "New England".

Re:Shiny overrode Technical (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878222)

You're absolutely correct when talking about management versus engineering. Management wins, and so does shiny. Just look at the Nexus One. It's THE Google phone, but you get terrible customer support. But besides that, your concept of reality is skewed.

I've been a customer of AT&T since the "AT&T wireless" days (pre AT&T, pre "cingular", etc.) and I can count the number of dropped calls on one hand. I currently have an original iPhone, jailbroken/unlocked, on a very old AT&T Wireless account. $30/month for a regional plan = awesome (as is having one device to surf the web where I can get Wifi, play games, listen to music, and make phone calls.)

Your wireless account has nothing to do with network quality. Secondly, you have illegally voided your contract, ruling you out from any legitimate apples to apples comparison.

Living in New England, I also haven't heard many complaints from 3G iPhone users. Seems to be mostly NYC where people are screaming (yes kids, NY and NYC are not "New England.")

So you're saying that between New England and NYC, your user report has been that more people that you have seen have been complaining in NYC than New England. Again, not a great statistical analysis which networks truly need. I've personally had issues between the 3G and EDGE call drops, often getting 5 calls a day dropped in Atlanta, GA. Leaving it on EDGE mode, I waited a year until I was in San Jose, CA. There I replaced my iPhone (even after my warranty expired, no strings attached) and haven't had issues with 3G since.

Re:Shiny overrode Technical (2, Insightful)

Doogie (1550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878248)

That's nice.

I also live in "New England" and travel around the region for work. I can't begin to list all the dropped calls I've had in the last week alone, even around the Boston area. There's still huge sections of VT/NH/ME that have zero ATT coverage at all, nevermind 3g. At this point I really don't care who is at fault, I'm just done with the iPhone/ATT.

Re:Shiny overrode Technical (3, Interesting)

Ibag (101144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878256)

Well, if we're going based on anecdotal evidence, I've been an AT&T customer since they merged with Cingular, and while I can't remember how the network was when I was living in New England, since I moved to Chicago, I haven't had a call over 20 minutes that didn't get dropped at least once. I don't have an iPhone, just a regular non-smartphone, so it's not just NY and it's not just iPhones.

(as for why I am still a customer when they suck so hard if I don't have an iPhone, a family member gets a discounted family plan through work, and everybody else in the family has an iPhone, but I would change carriers if there were not extenuating circumstances.)

Re:Shiny overrode Technical (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878304)

I've been a customer of AT&T since the "AT&T wireless" days (pre AT&T, pre "cingular", etc.) and I can count the number of dropped calls on one hand. I currently have an original iPhone, jailbroken/unlocked, on a very old AT&T Wireless account. $30/month for a regional plan = awesome (as is having one device to surf the web where I can get Wifi, play games, listen to music, and make phone calls.)

Anecdote != data

Living in New England, I also haven't heard many complaints from 3G iPhone users. Seems to be mostly NYC where people are screaming (yes kids, NY and NYC are not "New England.")

The plural of anecdote is also not data; it's anecdotes.

Generally, 3G failover problems are going to come from two classes of users: 1) people who drive a lot, especially those who drive long distances; and 2) people who live or work in very densely-populated urban areas where there are lots of interference from tall buildings, industry, lots of radio noise, etc. Note that the vast majority of "New England" doesn't fall into category 2, with the exception of Boston. (New England = [Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont])

AT&T is awful in Central NH (2, Informative)

jjo (62046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878374)

I have an iPhone and it's OK in the Boston area, but I'm fairly often in central New Hampshire, and AT&T sucks big time. A few months ago, I had to take my wife to the emergency room, and wait for several hours. Inside the Laconia hospital, my iPhone signal was zero, zippo, nada. My wife's Verizon phone had a 4-bar signal strength. While both AT&T and Verizon have dead zones, AT&T's seem to be much more prevalent.

I laugh when I see AT&T's claims of having the "fastest" network. It's not very fast when you have NO SIGNAL AT ALL!

next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878028)

if this goes through i really hope germany will be freed from t-immobile next..

I'm sure Verizon will welcome all of AT&T's us (2, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878032)

AT&T hates the iPhone now? Why?

Perhaps because they know Apple does not intend to renew its contract with AT&T?

Uh, excuse me? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878046)

Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to blame for AT&T's network troubles. We don't remember hearing about AT&T's "horrible network" before the iPhone--do you?

Doesn't matter. AT&T made an agreement with Apple, they made contracts with users - really one sided contracts - to handle this. To blame a product and consumers for AT&T's short sightedness, mismanagement, and desire to squeeze every last penny out of their subscribers and their system is ridiculous.

AT&T got the business and they didn't live up to their end of the bargain.

Period.

Re:Uh, excuse me? (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878182)

It's also not a problem with either the iPhone or the users. The phone works just fine on other carriers' networks in other countries.

Re:Uh, excuse me? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878516)

Not true. At least in Finland (Sonera's network) iPhone is a total fail when it comes to being a phone. You get dropped from the network daily even in central Helsinki. I've never before had such problems and I've been a cell user since 97.

Sigh (4, Insightful)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878086)

So why didn't you wait till next week to publish a verified fact?

Re:Sigh (2)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878194)

They can get more page views by publishing the rumor now and the real story then... assuming there is a story, of course.

Re:Sigh (4, Interesting)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878306)

By next week many people may have signed up with AT&T whom, had they known, would have waited to check for better deals / a preferred carrier.

Don't hold your breath though. The situation in the UK after the iPhone recently became non-exclusive is a bunch of remarkably similar deals [moneysavingexpert.com] , the only notable exception being that Tesco offers a 12 month contract.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878618)

Also you have 30 days *I think* to return the phone if you find out the coverage isn't what you expected where you live/travel/work ... So the heads up is nice for planning, people can still try before they commit.

Re:Sigh (1)

teg (97890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878318)

So why didn't you wait till next week to publish a verified fact?

  1. Normally, if you do it this way you get to post both the rumour and the story. This increases pageviews, comments and revenue...
  2. In this case, chances are small for this happening. Thus, you wouldn't get to post anything at all.

Unlocked iPhone.... (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878100)

I wonder if it'll finally be possible to get an unlocked iPhone(in USA) without paying $600+ for it now.

Should benefit the users (1)

SKJDot (1169063) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878118)

It's high time Apple did that. AT&T does not have the bandwidth to support the pretty significant data needs of iPhone users. iPhone demography is still somewhat different from BlackBerry's(though, it's changing over the past few months), and IMHO the data requirements of that demography is much higher than the typical corporate user. This should benefit all(ok, may be not)

Verified (5, Informative)

deadend44 (1728576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878166)

My fiance works for an AT&T reseller and just verified that they are losing exclusivity this week.

Re:Verified (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878396)

Sweetheart, you're not supposed to talk about it. I could lose my job.

Re:Verified (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878446)

My dog shagged a dog whose owner works for AT&T. They also confirmed this. (Just as reliable, eh.)

Re:Verified (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30878698)

Oh, well alright then, there you have it: "deadend44's fiance" verified it, folks.

3G on T-Mobile? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878276)

In theory, you could take an AT&T iPhone to T-mobile, as they are also based on GSM, but I remember a couple weeks ago when the Nexus One launched, people pointing out that AT&T and T-Mo use different frequency bands for their 3G service, and so the Nexus One could only be used on AT&T with the slower 2G data channel. I'm guessing the same issue would be in play here, going the other way? That is, you could use an iPhone on T-Mo, but you'd not be able to get 3G data speeds?

Re:3G on T-Mobile? (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878792)

Correct.

So even if AT&T loses their exclusivity, there won't be a big shift in the market so long as there's only a GSM phone. It won't work on T-Mobile's 3G network, so a T-Mobile iPhone would be very unattractive for most users.

Re:3G on T-Mobile? (1)

MobyTurbo (537363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878806)

Correct, unless the phone supports both American 3g bands, you'll lose 3g with your unlocked iPhone or any other GSM phone in the US. In Europe, the situation is different, as the EU forced all the carriers there to use the same standard for frequencies; GSM and 3g. (Their 3g is yet another 3g standard, different than both the ones used in the US, so don't get imported unlocked phones from there unless you want to lose 3g unless they support your US standard), and as a result, there's a lot less carrier lock-in there.

The carrier lock-in in the US is solely because the FCC under Bush and other administrations took a hands-off approach to the US cellular phone market, allowing not only more than one kind of 3g network, both of which only work in the US (and maybe Canada), but also allowing several flavors of CDMA. Budget carriers like MetroPCS, if not GSM, use their own flavor of CDMA, just to make sure you can't use your nice smartphone from the big-name carriers and migrate to a budget carrier, and also iDEN for Nextel phones and Boost. Even the CDMA frequencies, identical for Sprint, Verizon, and some other carriers like Cricket, don't support other features such as SMS/MMS the same; so even if you hack your CDMA phone to unlock it (there's no such thing as an unlocked CDMA phone) not everything will work!

I see this message is a bit complex, but it gives you some idea of how much the American consumer is getting screwed by the FCC's "free market" approach to regulating near-monopolies.

Droid vs iPhone (5, Informative)

adairw (1338775) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878294)

I have a Droid on Verizon and my girlfriend just got an iPhone on at&t. Nearly all my friends have iPhones and honestly I've always wanted one. However I didn't want to carry two att phones, as my work provides me a phone. So I've stuck with alltel/verizon for my personal phone. As a self proclaimed nerd I really enjoy what I can do on my android device and I see a ton of potential in the future but as far as end to end experience goes, the iPhone's interface is a lot cleaner/smoother. As far as apps go on android I've found just about everything I want as far as apps go. Even most of the ones my friends have on iPhone. One thing I really like about my droid is the quality of the calls both on speaker and on the hand set. Sounds really nerdy but I have a friend who works for a bank and he also has a droid, before he got it if he was in his server room on the phone I could hear the noise from all the servers and other equipment...Not with his droid, it sounded DEAD quiet. I kept asking him if he was really in the server room and he kept laughing at me saying he was. I like at&t and the iphone, I also like android and verizon. When it came down to it for me I wanted something new, not what everyone else had.

Re:Droid vs iPhone (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878404)

Sounds really nerdy but I have a friend who works for a bank and he also has a droid, before he got it if he was in his server room on the phone I could hear the noise from all the servers and other equipment...Not with his droid, it sounded DEAD quiet.

May be it has this this chip [audience.com] which is doing wonders on Google's Nexus One.

Hmmm.... (3, Insightful)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878310)

You sure can smell it can't you? The smell of troll bait in the morning ...

The iPhone is fine, so fine it's sold 10 million units. It works just fine.

Before the iPhone we had the choice between crap and crappy and a decent RIM device. Please don't tell me about your Treo.
After the iPhone we have a few choices of very good, very smart devices.

The post is a rumor which doesn't suit /. as many have pointed out ... but most of the replies are trolls who feel it's their duty to point out how much the iPhone sucks, the users are idiots, or if only it ran Linux wouldn't the world be a whole lot better?

I can't wait for the announcement to see what new device or new services are potentially opened up. I don't care to prognosticate but it'd be nice to have open carrier choices among all handsets -- but this has never really been the case. Thanks to innovation and a little more pressure from Google openly stating this as their goal it may happen. Just like DRM and iTunes where so many needed to blame Apple, call the service shit, call the device shit, it's happening with ATT, carrier lock-in, and the iPhone.


Troll bait hoo-ha-ha!

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878352)

The Xbox 360 sold over 30 million units.

While i never had any problems with mine, would you look at me in the eyes and say that "The Xbox 360 works fine"?

Yup, thought so.

Don't expect network choice to mean lower prices. (1)

arizonagroovejet (874489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878364)

The iPhone launched in the UK as exclusive to the O2 network. In the last few months it's become available on two of the other four biggest networks Vodafone and Orange (who have announced that they will merge with the other big four, T-Mobile). The pricing and plan are practically identical.

Re:Don't expect network choice to mean lower price (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878814)

The iPhone launched in the UK as exclusive to the O2 network. In the last few months it's become available on two of the other four biggest networks Vodafone and Orange (who have announced that they will merge with the other big four, T-Mobile). The pricing and plan are practically identical.

So buy a second hand phone on ebay, unlock it and stick a PAYG SIM in it (or whatever contract works for you)...

re: doesn't handle the switch from 3G to EDGE (1)

Mr Stubby (1122233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878380)

I believe Telstra in Australia has both 3G and EDGE or something very similar and i've never had a dropped call on any of my 3 different gen iphones.. (granted the first went from edge to 2g but still). I dont think its an iphone specific problem and i think Telstra coverage (which is nigh on perfect) here might be just a tad better than AT&T from what i've read on the intertoobs.

You know what would really be worthwhile? (1)

Rexdude (747457) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878448)

Apple should start selling iPhones optionally unlocked, at a higher price if need be. People will STILL queue up to buy it, that's how popular it has become. Those who may have shunned it because of AT&T and who also couldn't be bothered with the jailbreak hassles would return to buy it.
And they have no hope in hell of significantly penetrating other more open markets(like mine, India where we've long since been accustomed to buying our phones at full price independent of any operator restrictions) unless they do so.

iPhone Users are Heavy Data Users (3, Insightful)

EvlG (24576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878488)

I have wondered if ATT is a victim of their own success with 3G congestion. They largely sold the iPhone on the merits of all the cool data features and these users consume a lot of wireless data. 3G networks aren't designed to handle many concurrent heavy users. So I wonder, if Verizon gets the iPhone and folks make the switch, will the situation just naturally improve for ATT? Will Verizon suddenly feel the pain of all those heavy users?

Re:iPhone Users are Heavy Data Users (2, Informative)

adairw (1338775) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878782)

I doubt it, I think the verizon network in general is better built. If they started feeling the squeez I think verizon would invest money into the network instead of ignoring it.

no way (1)

masini (1707522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878636)

I don t hear about this nonsens.

try finding iphone on att site (2, Interesting)

purpleraison (1042004) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878642)

My contract is set to renew, and I wanted to get a new iphone 3gs, and the ATT site doesn't even offer the iphone as an option.

I suspect that not only did they lose exclusivity, they may not even be worthy of distributing iphones anymore.

OT: iPhone now or wait? (1)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878766)

I have the option to switch from my blackberry to the iphone... the only thing holding me back is whether or not a new one will be announced next week... Would you buy now or wait? If the rumors are true, OLED, 5MP camera, flash but the ship date wasn't until June would you wait or just get it now?

I can't imagine why anyone would think (1)

jra (5600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878800)

> The iPhone itself doesn't really handle the switch from 3G to EDGE very gracefully, so calls that are in-progress tend to fail whenever 3G connections aren't optimal and the phone attempts to step down to EDGE.

since the voice and data decks are separate; the voice isn't *going* over the data connection, so a roam there shouldn't affect a voice call.

Now, that doesn't mean that it's not having *other* problems roaming from cell to cell; I just don't expect that to be the cause.

So in other words... (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878850)

Time to buy Apple and short AT&T.
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