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The iPhone's Role In Crippling T-Mobile

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the doubles-as-a-ninja-star dept.

Iphone 325

GMGruman writes "The feds may be blocking AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile, but T-Mobile is in poor shape to continue as is. Parent company Deutsche Telekom's decision not to invest in U.S. spectrum a decade ago constrained T-Mobile's ability to grow, especially through 4G networks now finally emerging. But from a customer point of view, it was the iPhone that has threatened the company the most. Or, more precisely, its lack of the iPhone."

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325 comments

Fanboi rant (4, Insightful)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298006)

Are you kidding? Unless you are paid by Apple or a Zombie, can do you really believe and iPhone is any better and a T-Mobile G2 or any high end Android handset?

Really? Want some Apple flavored Kool Aid?

Re:Fanboi rant (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298094)

Are you kidding? Unless you are paid by Apple or a Zombie, can do you really believe and iPhone is any better and a T-Mobile G2 or any high end Android handset?

Really? Want some Apple flavored Kool Aid?

I agree. Why is it that Apple fans have to make everything about the iPhone? Considering that the handset market is owned by Android, not by Apple (half a million Android phones light up every day) the claim that T-Mobile is being hurt by the lack of that product is remarkable. Now, the tablet market is a different matter entirely, but we aren't talking about tablets here.

More to the point, when you look at the total number of handsets sold, smartphones are a drop in the bucket. Supersmart phones such as the iPhone and high-end Android devices, even more so. Cellular outfits did just fine before the iPhone came along, and they'd do just fine without it. About the only thing the iPhone did for AT&T was allow them to sell voice/data plans at the subsidized price for unsubsidized phones!

The fact that millions of iPhone owners fell for that ongoing scam still amazes me. Those people who bought a Nexus One from Google and went with T-Mobile found themselves getting a discount, because T-Mobile wasn't providing the phone. Just good business. Now, I suppose in that context the iPhone did hurt T-Mo, because AT&T was making extra money to not supply a device to the consumer. Really says a lot about AT&T's management than anything else. Says even more about your average iPhone user.

I also agree with you about the T-Mobile G2 / HTC Desire Z ... I have one of those and you'll pry it from my cold dead fingers. It's rooted and running Cyanogenmod 7 (no choice in operating system is yet another reason why I detest Apple and AT&T.)

Apple Fans (2, Insightful)

VisibleSchlong (2422274) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298192)

"Why is it that Apple fans have to make everything about the iPhone?"

It really is sad. Apple fans were never like this years ago. I know I certainly wasn't. Yes there was fanboyism. But somehow Apple's move into the cellphone market turned Apple fans into foaming at the mouth batshit insane cultists.

One just has to see what has become of major Apple sites like AppleInsider:

* Apple invented EVERYTHING

* Anything not made by Apple SUCKS

* Anything not made by Apple would be AMAZING if Apple did it

* 'Teh OMG!!! iPhone' caused or is responsible for X. Where X is basically EVERYTHING. Wars, famines, stock market swings, celebrity breakups, medical breakthroughs.

Re:Apple Fans (3, Insightful)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298242)

Im sorry, but Apple fans were always like this. When I became aware of it they were talking about how superior the G3 processor was over anything offered by Intel or AMD. This is in spite of actual evidence showing that other processors were superior at many things. I remember an ad campaign when Apple talked about how "Your Macbook is a super-computer, doing XXX gigaflops". Funny thing about that is they were making up lies by using an older standard of what a super-computer is. Apple fan-bois have always been assholes. The only difference now is that since Apple became mainstream, they have more people making decent enough money to afford their products who are also fucking idiots. I own some Apple products in spite of the distasteful ways Apple fanboi's handle themselves. There are legitimate reasons for using Macbooks, or iPods, etc. One in particular is that you can use Unix based scientific software on Apple with slightly less of a headache over using Unix. However, Apple products are hardly more advanced, or more capable over other products. They just slap on some prettiness and ergonomics to existing technology.

Apple Warriors Unite! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298282)

Head for your local Starbucks and mod down the unbelievers! Let's those mod points fly Apple Warriors!

Re:Apple Fans (3, Informative)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298594)

No, they've been like this for a long, long time. About 18 years ago I got into 3D animation with the Amiga/VideoToaster(because Lightwave was still tied into the VT hardware back then) and was interested in talking with others in the field. Lo and behold one of the first people I meet is some little twerp telling me how Apple was going to rule the 3D world like it did desktop publishing...Lightwave was lame and never going to go anywhere and Strata3D was the best software there was. Less than a year later Babylon 5 came out and about a year after that I never heard anything about Strata except as some form of lame utility or something...but Lightwave is still going strong AFAIK. That's not entirely directly related to Apple but he was an Apple user and had the same fucking nasty attitude that we see today...

Re:Apple Fans (5, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298628)

But somehow Apple's move into the cellphone market turned Apple fans into foaming at the mouth batshit insane cultists.

Apple fans turn up, they babble a lot. Android fans turn up, they babble about how sheeple'ish Apple fans are. Apple fans fight back, pointing out strengths in their choices. Android fans fight back, pointing out the strengths in their choices. Apple gets bad news, Android fans laugh. Android gets bad news, Apple fans laugh louder. Then it escalates from there.

Let's just face facts, we like the side we're on and we like antagonizing the other side. There really is no real substance here outside of that.

Re:Fanboi rant (-1)

Salvo (8037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298212)

In GSM-only markets, like Australia and parts of Europe, where all carriers had the iPhone at the same time, Android Phone market share is only marginally better than Android Tablet market share.

The increases in Android sales coincided with supply issues of iPhones. People would only buy Android phones when they couldn't get and iPhone and *needed* a phone now.

Like in the US however, Android Phones do come with ridiculous amounts of Google, Carrier and Manufacturer Crapware.
iPhones only come with Apple Crapware of iTunes Store, App Store and the useless Yahoo Weather and Stocks Apps and the not-quite-so-useless YouTube and Google Maps Apps.

Re:Fanboi rant (0)

Rhodri Mawr (862554) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298284)

Oh dear. So your basic argument is Apple Crapware is much better than Google/Handset Maker Crapware? Please!

Furthermore, your suggestion that Apple dominates parts of Europe and Australia and Android is nowhere in these places is absolute nonsense. Can you back it up with any statistics not provided by Apple's Marketing Department? Of course not. I can only suggest that the rose tinted spectacles that you're wearing should come with a complimentary white stick.

Re:Fanboi fiction (5, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298670)

In GSM-only markets, like Australia and parts of Europe, where all carriers had the iPhone at the same time, Android Phone market share is only marginally better than Android Tablet market share.

Speaking from a GSM-only market (Finland), I don't see this at all, and your rant looks like fiction. Android phones greatly outnumber Apple's iPhones in public places such as shopping malls and airports, and in corporate environments. Hint: most corporations here don't provide iPhone or Android phones, people must buy their own and stick the company SIM card in it unless they're happy with the corporate-issue Nokia crap; they seem to be choosing Android by a substantial margin.

The increases in Android sales coincided with supply issues of iPhones. People would only buy Android phones when they couldn't get and iPhone and *needed* a phone now.

Do you have any data to back up this fascinating conjecture, which looks like baseless wild speculation from here. I don't know anyone who has an iPhone. I know many people who have Android phones.

Ironically accurate title (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298148)

Fanboi rant
Are you kidding? Unless you are paid by Apple or a Zombie, can do you really believe and iPhone is any better and a T-Mobile G2 or any high end Android handset?

Although I dislike using the term "fanboi" in any context, I cannot help but note how ironic it is that you disparage iPhone users by using that term, when you yourself seem to be blindly pushing Android even to people who would be better served by using an iPhone. There is a real difference in security and ease of use.

Re:Ironically accurate title (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298214)

jailbreaking and iphonre or installing a rootkit on it is pretty much the same, so your claim about security don't hold very well, now if you want to talk about the perceived security, the iPhone wins....

Hi Bonch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298218)

How many Apple shill accounts do you have?

SuperKendall
Bonch

How many more?

Re:Hi Bonch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298438)

Err... I though bonch was a M$ shill? :#

Re:Ironically accurate title (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298286)

Fanboi rant Are you kidding? Unless you are paid by Apple or a Zombie, can do you really believe and iPhone is any better and a T-Mobile G2 or any high end Android handset?

Although I dislike using the term "fanboi" in any context, I cannot help but note how ironic it is that you disparage iPhone users by using that term, when you yourself seem to be blindly pushing Android even to people who would be better served by using an iPhone. There is a real difference in security and ease of use.

You are a fanboi. He wasn't pushing anything: he was making a valid point that the market today is not like it was when the iPhone was first introduced. From a functional perspective, Android products are generally equivalent in capability to the iPhone, and are actually ahead of the game in others. They're often a better value as well, although I've never found an iPhone user to understand that concept when applied to smartphones.

There may or may not be a "real" difference anymore (many people prefer Android for one reason or another, hey, no accounting for taste) so claims that one is intrinsically superior to the other are fundamentally ridiculous. Face facts: smartphone tech is maturing, rapidly, and the iPhone is no longer the unquestioned leader in that market. Certainly it isn't in terms of unit sales. And that is to be expected and is entirely proper: nobody (and I mean nobody) remains market leader forever. That's just the way it works.

Put it this way: there's a reason that Apple broke into the tablet market, even though they were hardly the originators of that technology either. It's because they knew very well that their lead in the cellular market would eventually be lost, and it has been. No different than Microsoft casting desperately about to find something, anything with which they can make money outside of Windows and Office. Well, it is different in that Microsoft has continually failed at that whereas Apple has had some spectacular successes. But it's the same idea, and I give Apple credit for pulling it off again.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether their new leadership can continue Jobs' tradition of learning from his own failures and coming up with something that people just absolutely must have. Generally speaking, when the founder of a successful organization dies or retires, his creation loses focus, becomes excessively conservative and risk-averse ... and falls from the top spot. We'll see. Jobs' vision drove Apple to where it is and it remains to be seen if the company can flourish without it.

Re:Ironically accurate title (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298324)

I greatly appreciate your post, and the non-confrontational nature of it. However I must say I disagree that CEO's hold all the cards when it comes to making "something". Jobs may have shown leadership and helped bring Apple out of a dire situation, but the people that did the actual work doing so are still there.

Re:Ironically accurate title (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298398)

I greatly appreciate your post, and the non-confrontational nature of it. However I must say I disagree that CEO's hold all the cards when it comes to making "something". Jobs may have shown leadership and helped bring Apple out of a dire situation, but the people that did the actual work doing so are still there.

True, and that's why I said "it remains to be seen." But historically I'm correct: committees don't have vision, individuals do. I never personally liked Jobs or where he took his company, but he did have a vision and he made it happen, and the company was successful because of that. That is, after all, leadership, and a board of directors without out the right leader is about as useful as tits on a boar.

Re:Ironically accurate title (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298354)

It's not fanboi-ism: you are right that, today, I don't think an iPhone is going to be a decision-maker for most of the market. But it was two years ago, and that means that AT&T was able to capture a lot of the big-ticket high-end market then. Even if the alternatives are as good now, the customers in those markets will need a compelling reason to go elsewhere, one as compelling now as the iPhone was back then.

This is old news, long time coming. I may not like it (I don't like AT&T and am meh about iPhones) but that doesn't mean the analysis is wrong.

Re:Fanboi rant (1)

Salvo (8037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298158)

I think T-Mobile was hurt more by the Microsoft Sidekick debacle than the iPhone.

Well, sure, I think it's better and I'm not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298274)

paid by Apple or a Zombie--whatever that means.

I think the other phones are fine, to each their own and all that, but I prefer an iPhone because of the quality of the hardware and software, elegant integration across laptop, tablet, phone, aTV. I can understand others not being into it.

I don't know if the lack of iPhone hurt T-mobile substantially; at best I would guess that's a second order effect given the size of the high-end smartphone market relative to the overall market.

Re:Fanboi rant (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298300)

I prefer Android phones, and I am a T-Mobile customer, yet I think the original post is correct. People left T-Mobile so that they could get an iPhone, and - despite glowing reviews of T-Mobile's service - decided against becoming T-Mobile customers due to the lack of an iPhone.

I think that the pull of the iPhone is weaker than it used to be: many people who I know would have been "iPhone or nothing" 2+ years ago are either buying Android phones now or, at least, see them as real alternatives. But the damage done to T-Mobile's numbers has already happened.

Oh Shut Up Idiot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298374)

Fucking retard.

Re:Fanboi rant (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298322)

After using the iPhone (both original and 3G), and owning an iPad, after switching to an Android handset in February of this year (HTC Desire), I can personally say with full confidence that yes, I prefer the Apple iPhone and iOS ecosystem to my Android experience.

I can't wait to switch back to the iPhone early next year, nothing about my Android experience has impressed me at all, and while my iPhone 3G did have a lot of niggles under iOS4, it was never as bad as what I am experiencing with the Desire. With my iPhone, it used to be my main mobile platform while out and about, on the train or whatever - the browsing experience on the Desire is so poor in comparison, I rarely bother.

So what am I? Am I paid by Apple? Am I a zombie? Or am I someone who has tried both sides and made an informed decision? Because my current stance is that the iPhone is much better than a high end Android handset and I won't be choosing Android again in the near future.

Re:Fanboi rant (1)

kaatochacha (651922) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298544)

Your argument is weakened by an OSX signature. It's like arguing for Catholicism simply being a better religion, and having a "The Pope ROX!!!!" sig.

Re:Fanboi rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298560)

cool story bro.

I've used android and iphone and dislike them both. who fucking cares.

Re:Fanboi rant (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298664)

After using the iPhone (both original and 3G), and owning an iPad, after switching to an Android handset in February of this year (HTC Desire),

Well, okay. You have a G2 with the stock firmware, probably using the stock Android launcher. Yeah, it works, but it's not the best, I agree. However, unlike the vaunted iPhone, you'll find (with a little research) that you can completely change your experience. Try playing around with some different home apps in the market: some of them are very good and might very well change your opinion. Download something like Home Manager to help you switch among the different environments until you find one that suits you better. That's a strength of the Android ecosystem, one that Apple will never offer you, and actually reflects Android's roots as yet another Linux distribution. Apple gives you a standardized user experience that is what it is, take it or leave it, like it or not. Android gives you more in that regard.

Consider rooting your G2 and installing a third-party ROM, such as Cyanogenmod or one of the MIUI releases (probably the most iPhone-like of them, if that's your thing.) You'll get better performance on a given device, more stability, and faster updates. My G2, for example, has a stock CPU clock of 800 Mhz, but can be overclocked to 1.5 Ghz. or more. A faster clock rate was one of the reasons I rooted it in the first place, but the upgraded kernel is so fast now that I still run at 800 Mhz: that blew me away. Even more interestingly, the Cyanogenmod group makes its nightly builds available with changelogs: it's fascinating to watch how a major software project like this evolves and responds to user feedback. Things get fixed fast, stuff improves, and you get to see it happen. Something that Apple Computer and the cellular carriers won't give you.

That's another reason that I went to T-Mobile in the first place: they were very friendly towards rooters and modders, and Google for its part encouraged the development of third-party ROMs. Much of Cyanogen's work has ended up back in Google's main source tree. That allows all users (even those running stock firmware) to benefit from the open source nature of Android. What's fascinating to me is that Cyanogenmod has become the Debian of the Android world: more and more distributions are coming out that are based upon Cyanogenmod (because it's fast, rock solid and works) but are customized or oriented to specific needs or interests.

Contrast that to Apple's rather Microsoft-like closed source approach. iPhone fans like to state, with absolute certainty, that iOS (which is just a BSD Unix kernel with a GUI layer) is fundamentally more secure than Android. Well, that's not a legitimate claim: nobody but Apple knows exactly what's been done to that kernel, or what security issues exist in the Apple-created components. Android has the benefit of the many-eyes principle, and there have been a *lot* of very sharp engineers outside of Google going through the Android codebase. That's more than Apple can say.

Re:Fanboi rant (4, Informative)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298362)

Are you kidding? Unless you are paid by Apple or a Zombie, can do you really believe and iPhone is any better and a T-Mobile G2 or any high end Android handset?

Really? Want some Apple flavored Kool Aid?

http://www.intomobile.com/2010/11/05/t-mobile-says-lack-of-iphone-is-hurting-performance/ [intomobile.com]

I guess the CEO of T-Mobile is a "fanboi"

Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann says, âoeâConsumers like T-Mobile but they also want to have the iPhone.â

Re:Fanboi rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298458)

If you read the article you linked, what actually was said was this:

Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann says, "Consumers like T-Mobile but they also want to have the iPhone." Obermann adds that T-Mobile USA won't be getting the iPhone any time soon, either.

The title "T-Mobile says lack of iPhone is hurting performance" is the Mark Flores' (the article author) skewing of the topic, and not what the CEO said. And even his statement is still a far cry from "iPhone crippling T-Mobile"

Insane premise (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298016)

The iPhone has 5% of the mobile market. T-Mobile is not failing because they don't have a slice of that 5%. That did not cripple them in any way. Lack of investment in coverage area hurt them, but not having the iPhone is insignificant next to that.

It sucks they're declining, because they were the only company that you could ever pay off a subsidized phone - at the end of your 2 year contract, your rate went down unless you got a new phone. It should be illegal to keep charging you for the phone once it's paid off, but that's what all the other companies do.

Re:Insane premise (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298112)

What hurt them the most was the announcement that AT&T was going to acquire them.

Re:Insane premise (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298288)

What hurt them the most was the announcement that AT&T was going to acquire them.

Now that is probably true. And you know what? For all we know, that was the whole idea all long.

Re:Insane premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298278)

It's only 5%, but it's the top 5%. Just like how the Mac still only has 5% but is eating everyone else alive profitwise.

Re:Insane premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298330)

That matters to the manufacturer, but why does it matter to the network? Does Comcast care what kinds of computer their cable internet subscribers use?

Re:Insane premise (1)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298578)

If Comcast sold the computers using their cable internet, they would sure as hell care if the highest profile computer wasn't available on their cable internet.

What? (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298020)

Sprint seems to be doing fine. And are we already forgetting that Verizon just recently picked up the iPhone?

As far as I know Verizon was still more popular than AT&T even before they had the iPhone.

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298154)

Sprint is not really doing fine... their stock is down 40% in the last 3 months, they are losing over $3 billion per quarter.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298168)

And ATT wasnt 2nd place before the iPhone.
Sprint had a decently reviewed device in the EVO. And good data plans.
Verizon had good coverage and great marketing on the Droid BRAND. And just when the droids were losing traction, they got the iPhone.

T-mobile has no flashship phone worth a darn. mytouch is a disaster.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298548)

Might you have a link to support your statements?

Yeah, that's why Verizon is so small. (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298022)

That's why Verizon was such a niche cell provider prior to them getting the iPhone.

Re:Yeah, that's why Verizon is so small. (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298064)

Verizon was losing customers before the iphone

Re:Yeah, that's why Verizon is so small. (1)

jimpop (27817) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298166)

Link?

Re:Yeah, that's why Verizon is so small. (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298230)

Duh, the financial statements on their website. Their churn went up until they got the iPhone. Even if most of their customers stay android they will make bank due to lower customer acquisition costs

Re:Yeah, that's why Verizon is so small. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298182)

Yes, but they still held the #1 position and were never in any danger of losing it.

Re:Yeah, that's why Verizon is so small. (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298220)

Only with alltel purchase. ATT was number one until that

Uh, data please? (4, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298030)

I don't see any data presented in the article. The claim is made that smartphone users are leaving in droves. So, where is the chart of smartphone market share per carrier?

I switched TO T-mobile to use a smartphone, since neither Verizon nor ATT had decent options (2.5 years ago). If you want an iPhone then you're going to ditch T-Mobile, but the last time I checked most smartphone users don't use iPhones.

And the last time I checked I had 4G service just about everywhere I actually go with T-Mobile, which includes a moderate amount of travel. If you like to go fishing in the mountains then you'll do better with a different carrier, but if you actually spend your time where the population density is greater than 3/km^2 you'll almost certainly have 2G with T-Mobile, and most likely you'll have 4G as well.

Re:Uh, data please? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298132)

I did a 6 week road trip last summer, I didn't take the time off work. I sat in the back of the rented minivan working while my wife drove. Except for the national parks and Wyoming, I had a good 3G signal on my Nexus One almost the entire way. It really was amazing just how good the cell coverage was.

Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298034)

Either AT&T buys them, or they go under. Apparently Sprint realized they do better if T-Mobile goes under, as they can pick off some of the customers that way. Sprint had no interest in converting T-Mobile's terrible network to their own terrible cellular standard. T-Mobile was a sinking ship by their own incompetence and horrible network prior to now, and prior to the iPhone.

Re:Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298088)

The CDMA is not the bad part (or else verizon would be sucking wind). Sprint just has shit for coverage...

Re:Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298142)

T-Mobile does not have terrible cellular. That is a myth that anyone on T-Mobile can verify.

Re:Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298308)

T-Mobile does not have terrible cellular. That is a myth that anyone on T-Mobile can verify.

Especially anyone who has carried both AT&T and T-Mobiles phones around. AT&T has the terrible network coverage.

Re:Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298404)

I'm on T-Mobile and where I live they are hands down the worst network for cell. I can't drive from home to work without passing through at least one dead spot - and those dead spots are marked as "1-2 bars" on their map. And no, it isn't my phone's fault, I've seen the same dead spots with 4 different phones of my own, as well as 3 different phones belonging to my wife.

There is even a T-Mobile dead spot at my work, which is a spot that no other network has a problem with.

And that is to say nothing of the transient T-Mobile dead spot in my living room.

Re:Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (1)

kaatochacha (651922) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298620)

And, at my job, there is a five star signal, where AT&T and Verizon fade out in various areas. It's just luck of the draw.

Re:Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (3, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298346)

T-Mobile does not have terrible cellular. That is a myth that anyone on T-Mobile can verify.

I agree ... I've been on them for about three years now, and where I live I've had no problems whatsoever. I've had AT&T, U.S. Cellular and Sprint, and I've had the best coverage on T-Mobile. Period. And actually manage to pull in about 10 mbits/sec on my data channel, so I'm a happy camper. And the GP's talk of "incompetence"? Where did he get that from? I experienced an incredible degree of incompetence dealing with AT&T and Sprint: billing error after billing error to the point that I switched to T-Mobile. If nothing else, the Germans know how to run an accounting system.

On top of that, for the $25 I'm spending each month on 3G/4G, I get unlimited data and voice roaming. So I can go anywhere in the U.S. and not worry about coverage. Drove cross-country last year through a dozen states, and had data, voice, tethering and Google Nav all the way, and I lost track of how many different networks I went through.

AT&T and Verizon can take their pretty little floating colored maps and stick them where the Sun don't shine. This merger is certainly not in my best interests, I'll tell you that. All this talk about "savings" and "scaleability" and "service" is a smoke screen. AT&T doesn't do anything like this to benefit the consumer. They do it to benefit AT&T, and that letter that got accidentally posted to the FCC's Web site last month made that pretty damn clear. AT&T can go to hell in a handbasket so far as I'm concerned.

Re:Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (1)

Atomic Fro (150394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298388)

T-Mobile is way better than Verizon in my area of western Washington State. I will also say most of the T-Mobile customers I know have been dreading the AT&T buy out, and unfortunately Sprint seems to be the only candidate. All the upper middle class non-technical folks we know have iPhones on AT&T and they love the phone, hate the service. They were all very jealous of my unlocked N97 on t-mobile, and the N97 is a pretty shoddily built Symbian phone. Other folks who went Verizon hate the service and rarely have reception at home.

The bait and switch the major carries pulled hurt t-mobile in the beginning and the stupid contracts kept people from moving to a carrier with better service. Then when the announcement that AT&T was going to buy t-mobile which was when a lot of the contracts were running out from when the smartphone fad really took off kept people from switching. The way the American cellular phone industry works is what is killing T-Mobile.

Re:Either way, its the end of T-Mobile (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298538)

Is T-mobile actually under any threat of going under, or did you just make that up? This is the first time I've ever heard about it, and I've paid close attention to the merger attempt. I've read statements from both companies and neither ever mentioned any risk of failure.

insane government (1, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298050)

Blocking an American company from buying out American assets back from a German company. Blocking merger, that would produce economies of scale. Actually a pro-liberal administration going against unions (as AT&T has a union and T-mobile does not, so union would automatically get more members). If the deal falls through AT&T will be on a hook for about 7 Billion USD in penalties. Great idea for American government to do that to American investors (how many mutual funds own the AT&T stocks?)

Government likes to pretend it is there to break up monopolies, but in reality it creates monopolies every time it spends any money.

Solyndra LLC of Fremont California, a manufacturer of solar panel has filed for bankruptcy protection and has laid off its remaining 1,100 workers. Obama provided them with loan packages of 535 Million dollars, Obama personally visited that company over a year ago, promoting that worthless business that cannot generate profits even with government support. How many businesses could have used that money if dollars could be allocated privately where market needs them? Instead a monopoly was being created, but it failed even with government support. Figures.

Re:insane government (4, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298092)

Who cares what the market needs? The market skews the value of individuals by personal wealth.

I care about what people need.

Re:insane government (1, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298188)

Market IS individuals making individual choices to do something, to buy something, to produce something, not to buy something else, to short another thing. Market consists of individuals.

What USA has now is not a normal market, it's distorted by government's cheap money and regulations. When helicopter Ben comes out and says: interest rates will stay at 0 for 2 years, what he does is inflate another bubble (more of the US debt, it's T-bill bubble), but also he is allowing heavily leveraged banks to speculate freely, knowing that the money is free for 2 years. It's great for speculation, what good does anybody see from this except the bank executives and politicians?

Re:insane government (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298104)

A monopoly was being created? Even though there are several other manufacturers of solar panels in the US? I think you might want to update your dictionary.

Re:insane government (1, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298152)

Of-course a monopoly was being created, what else do you call it when POTUS provides you with half billion USD and promises to provide you with a market for your products via some regulations?

Re:insane government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298150)

Stupid American.

You hate communism and evil bad goverment and socialism. Yet, you sit back with your feet up when a big monopoly steals money from you and think that it is good and somehow that means freedom.

If you knew anything about economics you would know that a single company or 2-3 companies distort the market agaisnt you. There is no market unless they are many players equal on both sides of the equation between buyer and seller.

I love paying $40 a month for what you pay $100 a month and I get better service. Oh and if I have cancer I do not have to worry about being fired from work and going into bankruptcy. I get treatment for free

Re:insane government (1, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298248)

Let's skip with the first part, it's irrelevant, let's look at the second part, the one about 2-3 companies and choices.

When market needs choices, market provides choices. Government doesn't know anything about what market needs and most important thing is: government doesn't have the authority to dictate (to the formerly free individuals) what market must do.

The entire anti-trust idea is ridiculous on its face, when the reality is that all monopolies that exist are based on preferential government treatment. Any business that can take majority of business in free market is only able to do so as long as it provides the market with the products at acceptable prices/quality ratio. If the market is unsatisfied with the price/quality ratio of the product by a 'monopoly' (in reality an economy of scale) that is created in a free market, monopolies then form to occupy the niche that is left by the unsatisfied market, and these niche players can eventually supersede the former 'monopoly'.

Any time the anti-trust was used, it was used destructively, not productively. Standard Oil wasn't a monopoly by the time it was broken up and Alcoa aluminum was selling aluminum at prices that could not be beat.

There is nothing virtuous about competition for the sake of competition. Competition is only needed by the market when the price/quality ratio is unsatisfying. If there is a way to fit in another product at a cheaper price/with more/better quality, then the market will provide space for that product. Also consumers are fickle (unless they are Apple users I suppose), and they will change their buying habits in a heart beat if they figure something else is better.

In case of AT&T and T-Mobile the merger could be useful as they would have bigger coverage, would have economies of scale, and in the current US market, they could at least keep prices where they are today without raising them longer even with all the inflation that the government produces. Maybe they could come up with cheaper plans as well, to get more people in.

In any case, it's not government's role at all to regulate businesses, and all the monopolies that you are worried about today, ALL of them are created/propped up by governments.

Banks, GM, etc. should have all gone under (Berkshire would have gone under too, by the way, they were in deep trouble with AIG, fuck Buffet, the corporatist weasel.)

Re:insane government (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298376)

Any business that can take majority of business in free market is only able to do so as long as it provides the market with the products at acceptable prices/quality ratio.

you demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of the issue

Re:insane government (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298294)

How the hell do you figure that this is primarily related to pro-union legislation? Give me a fucking break. This is related to the fact that cell companies are already an oligopoly, and they want to prevent less actual competition in a market (read, a less "free" market). If AT&T absorbed T-Mobile it would basically be the death of Sprint. That would leave Verizon and AT&T as the only major competitors. Its not like you can start up your own cell service to compete with either of them without capital that simply would never materialize through venture capital groups. No-one in their right mind would invest their money in your cell-start-up when you compete against 2 behemoth corporations that own all the infrastructure in the US. As is you would be totally unable to start your own cell service with 4 providers. Why make it worse? AT&T and Verizon already charge 1000 times what it costs them when you send a text message. Please, give. me. a. fucking. break. with. your. bullshit.

Re:insane government (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298348)

How the hell do you figure that this is primarily related to pro-union legislation?

- where did I say that? What else did you read into my comment that was not there?

they want to prevent less actual competition in a market (read, a less "free" market). If AT&T absorbed T-Mobile it would basically be the death of Sprint.

- the market was going to decide what was going to happen to Sprint and AT&T and T-Mobile. Instead the government decided.

Given how government handles any decisions related to economics (and I gave a good example in my comment, about the alternative energy fiasco), why do you trust the government to make any economic decisions?

If AT&T and T-Mobile merged, and Sprint suffered, that would have been the decision of the buyers, if they decided to switch to AT&T/T-Mobile. Because what you just said was this:

"If the merger is allowed, another company would get hurt". HOW? By LOWER PRICES FROM AT&T and T-MOBILE MERGED TOGETHER?

Isn't THAT what the market WANTS (people, individuals)? LOWER PRICES? Are you saying that if AT&T and T-Mobile were able to merge and to use their economy of scale to provide better/cheaper service then Sprint would have suffered, SO WHAT?

SO WHAT IF SPRINT SUFFERED?

Market is NOT about companies, but that's what government makes it out to be, when they prevent mergers based on the idea that another company "would suffer".

It's about customers, if customers saw a better deal from AT&T and T-Mobile merged company and switched from Sprint, this would have created COMPETITION FFS.

What an idiotic idea from everybody on this stupid fucking site, from commenters to moderators, who can't see shit out of their asses. Fucking stupid, there is no other name for you, fucking idiots.

You want LOWER prices, not HIGHER. That's why you let the market work. If one company suffers, what the fuck do you care? It means that they must compete, and it means there can be more competition, but if the merged larger enterprise gave you better deals, you fucking say THANK YOU, you fucking retards! It wasn't your money spent merging them.

And yes, with all the new tech out there, if somebody can figure out how to start another company - they should be allowed to do so, and government should stay the fuck away from creating monopolies, like they did with AT&T in the first place, 100 years ago, when they literally destroyed thousands of competitors by giving that one preferred company status of a national resources, or whatever was the deal.

Re:insane government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298304)

Solyndra LLC of Fremont California, a manufacturer of solar panel has filed for bankruptcy protection and has laid off its remaining 1,100 workers. Obama provided them with loan packages of 535 Million dollars, Obama personally visited that company over a year ago, promoting that worthless business that cannot generate profits even with government support. How many businesses could have used that money if dollars could be allocated privately where market needs them? Instead a monopoly was being created, but it failed even with government support. Figures.

Oh boy! My local paper had an article on this subject. Do you know what it mentioned? That China has been subsidizing its Solar companies to drive down the prices, which forced this company, and others into a precarious situation since they weren't getting the same amount of support from their government, and actually depended somewhat on higher prices to make their product worthwhile.

Do you know what they also mentioned? That the overall program was billions in spending. That's right, this is one company with trouble out of many. I think it was said to represent less than 2% of the total, but I'm not sure of the total offhand.

Thanks for commenting on this, I'm glad to have an opportunity to refute your ignorance.

Re:insane government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298432)

Fuck you, fucking AC, write under a nick name.

Eh? (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298056)

From the article, "People are fleeing to AT&T"? Really? Don't know what TMobile are doing wrong (decent range of phones, cheaper plans), but I'd be curious on the fleeing to AT&T part.
Time for my weekly rant;
Just open up the airwaves and share bandwidth whilst keeping separate customers. Phones ID' themselves when they connect so you could work out who should be paying who for the use of the towers, there'd be reason to install multiple towers to improve speed/reception, and far out in the wilds customers wouldn't need a tower for each network, just one if it wasn't profitable for everyone to chuck one up.

Then the customer could choose which phone they wanted, on which plan, on which network, and still everyone wins, especially the customer.

Re:Eh? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298146)

"far out in the wilds customers wouldn't need a tower for each network,"

actually the situation is a bit more complex than that.

the actual tower itself may not be the problem since its the backhaul lines and being the FIRST to put up a tower thats the real killer.

a lot of towers actually have multiple transmitters since once you have the permits to put the tower up its a lot easier to have multiple transmitters (which could be owned by multiple companies) on one tower. plus of course there are "roaming" arrangements and such with the CDMA and GSM carriers (sprint and verizon often trade connections and i would bet that T-Mobile and AT&T do also where they have a common frequency)

Re:Eh? (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298270)

People are fleeing to AT&T"? Really? Don't know what TMobile are doing wrong (decent range of phones, cheaper plans), but I'd be curious on the fleeing to AT&T part.

Yeah. I thought that people were fleeing T-Mobile specifically to get away from AT&T after the merger attempt was announced.

Re:Eh? (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298508)

Did you read the summary, or even the title? They left T-mobile for the iPhone. Until earlier this year the only company that you could get an iPhone with was AT&T.

In the cell phone business most customers are locked in to two-year contracts that prevent them from easily switching carriers, so the carriers are pretty much stuck with whatever market share they currently have. It's very difficult for them to jockey for market advantage, especially when they all offer essentially the same selection of handsets. Before the iPhone there weren't any smartphones to speak of. You had flip-phones and Blackberries. (Remember how big of a deal the RAZR was? It's kind of embarrassing to think about now, like bell bottoms.) Smartphones were really clunky and no one bought them, sort of like the non-iPad tablet market today. Android didn't exist.

So when Apple wanted to develop an iPhone everyone (except Verizon apparently) knew it would be game-changing, and a unique opportunity to pick up market share in a very inelastic industry, which is exactly what happened. T-mobile tried the same tactic with the first Android phone over a year later but they were too late and it wasn't nearly as popular, and of course soon every carrier had an Android phone anyway, with Verizon soon dominating the Android market.

LOL (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298084)

Carriers leasing phones, but only a specific subset of what's on the market. Best idea since sliced bread. It'd be totally awesome if I'd also be able to lease my shower from the water utility and then be stuck with them and my water-utility-branded shower until the lease expires:P Lol.

It's true (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298086)

I was a loyal and happy T-mobile customer since the Voicestream days, just before they became T-mobile. I waited as long as I could for them to get the iPhone, I considered the G2 and myTouch phones, but ultimately my job (iPhone app development) required that I own an iPhone, so I could wait no longer. So yeah, I'm one of those who left T-mobile to get an iPhone.

Re:It's true (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298164)

I was a loyal and happy T-mobile customer since the Voicestream days, just before they became T-mobile. I waited as long as I could for them to get the iPhone, I considered the G2 and myTouch phones, but ultimately my job (iPhone app development) required that I own an iPhone, so I could wait no longer. So yeah, I'm one of those who left T-mobile to get an iPhone.

Can't argue with your decision since you're a developer, but you should understand that you're far in the minority. People left AT&T in droves to go to T-Mobile, and that had much more to do with T-Mobile's reasonable policies and pricing than choice of smartphone. The same thing happened to Comcast when AT&T U-Verse became widely available. If your decision isn't based around the availability of a specific piece of hardware, but instead revolves around overall value ... well, odds are you'll make a different decision. I've received far better value for my money on T-Mobile with my Android phone than the people I know who continually bitch about being stuck on (and I quote) "AT&T's crappy network." Generally people like their iPhones ... they just hate the company that provides their connectivity.

To those of you who are on AT&T, remember this: it is not your Daddy's AT&T. That company was taken over by SBC (known by some as Southern Bell, but considered by most to be the Southern Bastards Club, the acknowledged worst of the one-time Baby Bells) some years ago. It is American Telephone and Telegraph now in name only. So, when your service sucks, your costs go up, and you get overage charges and limited, tiered bandwidth ... you'll know precisely who to thank for it.

There's a reason why so many people are up in arms about this deal. It's going to mean even more consolidation in a market dominated by the likes of SBC and Verizon, who have turned bending their customers over the end table into a high art form.

No thanks.

Re:It's true (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298350)

I was a loyal and happy T-mobile customer since the Voicestream days, just before they became T-mobile. I waited as long as I could for them to get the iPhone, I considered the G2 and myTouch phones, but ultimately my job (iPhone app development) required that I own an iPhone, so I could wait no longer. So yeah, I'm one of those who left T-mobile to get an iPhone.

Funny, I'm using a factory unlocked iPhone 3GS on T-Mobile.

And as a developer, you would appreciate T-Mobile's Pay-as-you-go service so you can have active sims for all your development phones with no monthly charges. You only pay for the calls and sms you use and they have a "day pass" for when you need to do network development/testing. When your development phone is sitting unused, it isn't costing you anything.

T-Mobile had a chance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298100)

Apparently, Apple went to all the carriers, and only AT&T was willing to give them the concessions they asked. If T-Mobile had stepped up, maybe even worked to become the exclusive carrier, I'm sure they'd be better off today.

Why I left T-Mobile (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298102)

I left T-Mobile because their network didn't cover all the areas I needed cell reception in. That's it. T-Mobile's network in the Pacific Northwest is better than Sprint's, but when you get away from the interstates (especially east of the Cascades) there are huge gaps.

Now, when I originally left Verizon and switched to T-Mobile... that was because Verizon was evil. Verizon had coverage everywhere, but their fundamental evil-tude overrode that.

"to invest in U.S. spectrum" (2, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298106)

Even the most arch-capitalist of pre-welfare-state Western thinkers a century ago would have laughed at the idea that you could sell radio frequencies to private groups. "I get exclusive right to send waves of THIS length."

They'd also laugh at the idea of intellectual property as opposed to temporary copy right.

What exactly is our current regime, anyway?

Re:"to invest in U.S. spectrum" (2)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298312)

Even the most arch-capitalist of pre-welfare-state Western thinkers a century ago would have laughed at the idea that you could sell radio frequencies to private groups. "I get exclusive right to send waves of THIS length."

Yeah, the idea that that radio frequencies could be licenced certainly didn't exist a century ago [wikipedia.org] . Nope, no way.

Re:"to invest in U.S. spectrum" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298622)

Yeah, the idea that that radio frequencies could be licenced certainly didn't exist a century ago [wikipedia.org] . Nope, no way.

Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true.

Re:"to invest in U.S. spectrum" (1)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298442)

Spectrum and the amount of data that can be carried over it is a limited resource (and even with improvements in technology, information theory puts a cap on how much data can be pushed through at a given frequency). If the spectrum is not licensed for use then two things happen. 1) The number of users skyrockets and the overall throughput available for user goes down and 2) the quality of signals degrades and the overall throughput goes down. This is why wi-fi in many areas of NYC sucks, even though it's designed to handle these issues there are areas that are just over-saturated and you will _never_ get anywhere near the promised bandwidth of the devices.

Re:"to invest in U.S. spectrum" (3, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298540)

The protection of radio spectrum goes both ways, though. I'm a pretty fucking big fan of the idea that there's nobody else on the frequency my ambulance squad uses to communicate with our dispatcher and the police, or the paramedics, or other agencies. And that's only because the FCC has a very big stick to hit people with if they violate it. If people or businesses thought they could get away with co-opting public safety frequencies, you bet your ass they would.

And you don't have to think very hard to come up with countless other problems with an unregulated spectrum. Everything from cordless phones to RC cars to WiFi would become useless as people just shat all over the spectrum because it was easy and convenient to do so. Things like allocation and emissions regulations keep the spectrum useful in the same way that a drivers' license keeps the roads useful to everybody. Even the most anarchist person must recognize the tragedy of the commons, even if he doesn't like the solution - at least if he's intellectually honest.

Re:"to invest in U.S. spectrum" (3, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298634)

There's a mile of difference between regulating usage for the benefit of a particular service and selling to private bidders according to who pays the most.

T-Mo crippled itself. (1, Interesting)

crhylove (205956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298116)

The iPhone has PLENTY of stern competition from Android phones. T-Mobile crippled itself in 4 simple ways:

Not competing on price with the big 3, and following Boost's lead.
Not competing on contract length, or better yet ditching contracts altogether.
Not updating existing Android phones to newer builds in a timely fashion.
Entering into talks with AT&T in the first place.

I was a happy T-Mo user for many years. But the second my current contract is up (which is way too high, and I'm still on a Froyo device that came out > 2 years ago!!!), I'm gone. Those four reasons are really it, but truthfully, having had AT&T in the past, I will NEVER use their service or a company who partners with them ever again. There is tons of room in the cellular market to make money and compete. Offer better service at lower rates, and offer the latest software which is BASICALLY FREE from Google anyway.

T-Mo has a good network. I get signal almost everywhere. They have good high speed data connections. But they don't have a reasonably priced contract and new cheap device to take advantage of it. And their in talks with AT&T. I don't know a single person who's sticking with them. I'm moving to Boost myself in the next couple of months.

Re:T-Mo crippled itself. (2)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298268)

What are talking about?

Not competing on contract length, or better yet ditching contracts altogether.

T-Mobile does have contract-free plans, and are the only major carrier to do so.

Not competing on price with the big 3, and following Boost's lead.

T-Mobiles with contract prices are significantly cheaper than AT&T and Verizon, and their contract-free plans are even cheaper than that.

Not updating existing Android phones to newer builds in a timely fashion.

I agree with you there. They took the lead with the G1, and but since then all the flagship Android phones have gone to other carriers.

I don't know of a single person who is leaving them, and know a couple that have gotten sick of Verizon's prices and are moving to T-Mobile. Boost et al have such shitty coverage around here I might as well carry a walkie-talkie.

Too little, too late (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298276)

It wasn't the iPhone, it was MetroPCS, Cricket, Straight Talk, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. The fact is, you don't need to sign a 2 year contract for an "unlimited everything" plan on a budget these days. T-Mobile's prices aren't good enough to compete with the real budget carriers, and their network and device selection isn't good enough to compete with AT&T and Verizon, so they're kinda stuck in the middle. Sprint is feeling the same pain (although, their Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile prepaid divisions are gaining customers). Apparently, there's not much market for people who are just a _little_ cheap.

Google to the rescue (1)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37298440)

T-Mobile is still a buyout target, and at this point I think Google or Microsoft could pick them up for less than AT&T offered. Since T-Mobile is more Android friendly than WP7 I think Google would be a more likely suitor.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37298648)

Didn't hurt Verizon any.

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