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Why Verizon Doesn't Want You To Buy an iPhone

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the have-you-considered-a-new-blender? dept.

Iphone 207

Hugh Pickens writes "Sascha Segan writes that although Verizon adamantly denies steering customers away from Apple's iPhones in favor of 4G LTE-enabled Android devices, he is convinced that Verizon has a strong reason to push buyers away from the iPhone. 'Here's the problem,' writes Segan. 'Verizon has spent millions of dollars rolling out its massive LTE network' but the carrier can't easily add capacity on its old 3G network. Since the iPhone isn't a 4G phone, sales of Verizon iPhones just crowd up their already busy 3G network while their 4G network has plenty of space. 'The iPhone is a great device. But it's making a crowded network more crowded. Until the LTE iPhone comes along, to rebalance its network, Verizon may quietly push Android phones.'"

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207 comments

It's all about the Benjamins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902097)

Subsidy. The iPhone has a bigger one than any other device. That's it. If it doesn't affect the wallet, they really don't care.

Re:It's all about the Benjamins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903351)

"The iPhone is a great device."

hahahahahahahahahaha

Even apple said that except for its design, everything in it is inferior to other recent phone.

Too bad they're not also pushing ... (0, Troll)

SpryGuy (206254) | about 2 years ago | (#39902117)

Too bad they're not also pushing (or even offering) the Lumia 900. It's also a 4G/LTE phone. And pushing more people on it would help create more competition in the market place. I think we could do with three major players instead of just two (one of which is more or less a 'copy of/me too' of the other).

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (4, Insightful)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about 2 years ago | (#39902227)

Here's the problem: the Lumia 900 is an GSM/LTE cellphone, not a CDMA/LTE cellphone. As such, the Lumia 900 can be engineered for GSM networks (which is essentially most of the world's cellphone networks!) that have added LTE functionality, for example Australia's own cellphone network with GSM and LTE.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (4, Informative)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#39902549)

And the US your GSM options are T-Mobile and AT&T. Verizon and Sprint are both CDMA.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#39903093)

Doesn't LTE actually converge these 2 standards - CDMA and GSM into one?

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (1)

mk1004 (2488060) | about 2 years ago | (#39903295)

Doesn't LTE actually converge these 2 standards - CDMA and GSM into one?

Well, you could potentially use VoIP on LTE, but where you don't have LTE, you still have to fall back on GSM or CDMA. IIRC, LTE also uses spectrum more efficiently than 3G, so all of the carriers with LTE would like to migrate their users over to 4G phones.

Hmmmm.... (4, Informative)

dogsbreath (730413) | about 2 years ago | (#39903479)

LTE capability is just part of it. The direction is to get off of dedicated telephony transport systems and move to an all IP solution. LTE to the carriers is not just bandwidth and a different spectrum but also the promise of controlling future costs by getting away from systems that have to be replaced every couple years with a new technology.

Phone design becomes simpler and the telephony application is disentangled from the physical system (towers, radios, cell management, etc etc). Most people are not aware of just how much infrastructure the cell providers have gone through in the past decade.

Not feeling sorry for them as there is always a profit in there but it does help explain why your carrier may not come out with your much anticipated latest device as quickly as you like. Often there are hidden system changes that have to be invested in and implemented: all of which requires investment, resources and time.

There is a payoff from convergence for the user as well. You may not know it but that old CDMA or whatever phone may have better coverage than your GSM iphone simply because your carrier chose not to upgrade/add/replace hardware on all towers. Lots of fragmentation in the cellular coverage because of the many different "standards" that have come and gone.

IP convergence has been a religious mantra in the wireline world for a long time now but it also is hugely important in the wireless world.

Your phone becomes a pure data device where the telephone is essentially just a canned VOIP application.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902237)

The problem is that no consumers actually want a Windows Phone, so it's pointless for them to dedicate store space to it.

Even the Lumia, which was supposed to be the flagship, is crippled with a ridiculously low resolution, slow processor, and connectivity problems. It's no surprise that Android sells more phones in a week than Windows phone does in a year.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (4, Informative)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#39902287)

It seems to be #7 on Amazon best sellers.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Cell-Phones-Accessories-Service-Plans/zgbs/wireless/2407747011/ref=zg_bs_nav_cps_1_cps [amazon.com]

#7 isn't bad for a phone which nobody wants.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 2 years ago | (#39902831)

#7 isn't bad for a phone which nobody wants.

Yes it is. It's a disaster. Because it's the only Windows phone anybody is pushing. You're basically comparing the entire Windows phone market to specific models of Android phones -- and even by doing that, you end up as #7 rather than #1.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902883)

One phone at number 7 when all but one of the 6 above it are all Android is not going to help Windows Phone 7's market share at all. They're still falling behind. It's not just bad, it's an unmitigated disaster.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#39902979)

A possibly interesting tangent... if you click on the top-most link to the left of that page there - the one labeled "Cell Phones & Accessories" - the top twenty products are all iPhone accessories, not Android accessories. And on the next page, 21-40, all but three of the items are iPhone accessories.

People may be buying their Android phones on Amazon, but they're sure not buying much in the way of cases, extended-power batteries, and such for them.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (4, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#39903243)

That's one of the reasons carriers are willing to pay a higher subsidy for iPhone users. Apple customers buy more stuff across the board. They buy more services, they buy more accessories, they add more people to their accounts.... Apple focuses like a laser not on market share, but market share among profitable customers. That's why they generally pull 80+% out of markets they often have 10% or less share of.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903273)

Well of course the numbers are larger you silly child there are more accessories for iPhone than for Android. Its a numbers game at that point and not a telling of the markets movement.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903323)

Well of course the numbers are larger you silly child there are more accessories for iPhone than for Android. Its a numbers game at that point and not a telling of the markets movement.

I'll have to remember this one.... Making more varieties of something guarantees you will take all the top sales spots. Brilliant!

Release date (1)

Dennis Sheil (1706056) | about 2 years ago | (#39903037)

The Lumia 900, #7, was released last month in the US. The Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, #4, was released in September of last year.

The Lumia 900 is more than six months newer than the Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch which, with the rate smartphone innovation is going, is half a lifetime. Yet that older S2 release with its older specs is beating the 900. What is going to happen to the 900 when phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III become available? The S3 is going to become available in Europe at the end of this month, and will soon be available in the US as well.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902307)

That, of course, isn't actually true. In fact, none of what you posted is true except the last sentence. And the Lumia 900 hasn't even been out in the US for a month yet (and it's selling well enough).

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (1)

agent_vee (1801664) | about 2 years ago | (#39902887)

Nokia was basically giving away the Lumia 900 for free for a while with their $100 rebate. So no, it is not selling well at all.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903011)

No, it's not. Shareholders are suing Nokia. That isn't the normal day-to-day of running a handset business.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (4, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#39902329)

1. The Lumia 900 is not a CDMA LTE device. Which in the US kind of shoots it in the foot. Verizon which is number one in the US is CDMA as is Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T are GSM CDMA carriers.
2. There are three players right now. Don't forget RIM. While not doing great these days they have more marketshare than WP7.
3. The Lumia 900 may not run WP8 which is really going to suck for those people that bought the "first real Windows Phone 7 phone".
4. Windows 8 is the real OS that will make Microsoft competitive in the market.... Except that is what they said about WM6 WM6.5 and WP7 so I would not hold my breath.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#39902823)

What is the waiting period now, between when they ship an OS and start hyping the next one, which will revolutionize computing and cause all competitors to go out of business down to now? A couple of Months?

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (1)

caladine (1290184) | about 2 years ago | (#39902999)

One correction: Sprint is a CDMA carrier like Verizon. AT&T and T-mobile are GSM/WCDMA carriers.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39902435)

I suspect that carriers have a somewhat mixed view of encouraging Microsoft to not fail.

In their competition with other wireless carriers, the carriers do want spiffy devices that will sell contracts and data plans. However, in the fight between telcos and tech companies over how the money gets divided, having strong handset and internet-based-services entities is Very Much Not what they want.

The AT&T/iPhone case is the most blatant: AT&T had an exclusive on what people wanted, and scored substantial sales despite constant whining about how their network sucked. However, Apple demanded a nontrivial slice, and their expansion into 'iMessage' and 'Facetime' and whatnot, never mind the annihilation of carrier download stores in favor of their own, shows a distinct disinterest in protecting the carrier's future gouging for SMS and other such services.

Given Microsoft's strong control of their platform and(while currently rather larval) strong potential for future integration with MS-controlled services to the exclusion of carrier ones, it isn't obvious that a carrier would want to encourage them.

Android, by contrast, is fairly closely controlled by Google if you want the full, blessed, all-google-goodness, flagship; but Google's very weak control over the periphery of the Android ecosystem means that it is trivial to get just about any company that makes cellphones to puke up an Android handset for you, complete with carrier branding and crapware, at cutthroat commodity prices. There is also some flexibility when it comes to hardware design. Consider something like the 'Motorola Admiral'(known to its somewhat reluctant users as the 'droidberry'). Not a wildly compelling phone; but the fact that you can get hardware that looks like that churned out probably helps the next time you and RIM go to the table about Blackberry service pricing... [motorola.com]

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#39903261)

Excellent post. Let me just add RIM up until about 2 years ago did the same thing. They had an exclusive high end market. They gave the carriers a nice chunk of extra revenue in fees but they absolutely would not implement protections for things like ring tones the carriers wanted.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902493)

nobody asked about the Lumia, and nobody wants the Lumia. Quit wasting our time with a garbage phone. It's not even selling as a free offer. That is extremely telling.

What's with all the pro Windows Phone stuff on /. (2)

gQuigs (913879) | about 2 years ago | (#39902943)

Not to jump on SpryGuy or anything but I have noticed a bunch of people posting about Windows Phone on here.

It's really not a very interesting OS, what Nokia had previous to the Microsoft "buyout" was: http://swipe.nokia.com/ [nokia.com]

I do agree we need more competition doing well in the marketplace than Android and iStuff, but can we not get stuck with another propriatary OS that doesn't even allow GPL licensed software to compete?

Re:What's with all the pro Windows Phone stuff on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903257)

Does this [waggeneredstrom.com]answer your question? Spryguy has been at this game a long time.

CAPTCHA: circus...how appropriate.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902995)

One reason: No CDMA circuit switched fallback.

Re:Too bad they're not also pushing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903229)

Too bad they're not also pushing (or even offering) the Lumia 900.

Maybe because is isn't compatible with their network.

And pushing more people on it would help create more competition in the market place.

The smartphone marketplace is the last place we should be worrying about competition as it is already hypercompetitive.

I think we could do with three major players instead of just two (one of which is more or less a 'copy of/me too' of the other).

Oh, now we get to it. An Android hater.

Easy solution (5, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | about 2 years ago | (#39902121)

Add an unlimited plan that applies to 4g only. That'll give Android users some bragging rights for at least a few months. Then, when the iPhone gets 4g, Verizon won't need the plan and can drop it, and that'll allow Android users to blame the iPhone for ruining the party.

Re:Easy solution (4, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 2 years ago | (#39902257)

That is...actually a fiendishly good idea. I'm not sure why you got Funny, that should have been insightful. And any verizon wireless rep that's reading this, there's your answer.

Re:Easy solution (2, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#39902459)

One reason is that I've read that among smart phone users, that those with Android tend to use a lot more data than the average iPhone user. My guess is that's because the average iPhone user is closer to "joe six pack" who is likely downing a few apps and songs, but mostly doing light surfing and checking email. Whereas a lot of android users are more geekish and tend to use the data side more.

I know with my iPhone I've averaged about 450MB of data per month over the life of my last contract and only once went over 1GB. Only reason I know this is I remember when AT&T dumped the unlimited data plan I was a bit irked as I'd never really needed 2GB, but 200MB wasn't enough and wishing they had a 500MB plan. Which is probably what their numbers showed that an average user probably used around 400MB a month so force them to get the higher option.

Re:Easy solution (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39902677)

More likely it is due to iPhone users getting a lot of updates and downloads through iTunes on their PC, rather than over the air directly on the phone. I bet the majority of Android users don't even have the manufacturer's sync app installed, where as with the iPhone it is mandatory just to copy your data on to it.

Combined Android handset sales easily outpace iPhone sales and I'm pretty sure technically minded users don't outnumber "joe six pack" types.

Re:Easy solution (2)

grub (11606) | about 2 years ago | (#39902741)

iOS 5.x can use iCloud for everything including backups and syncing. My mother-in-law has an iPad that was set up and deployed without a computer, the iPad being her first gadget.

Re:Easy solution (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#39903281)

iPhone is very aggressive about jumping onto wireless access. I know some Android phones are not.

Re:Easy solution (2)

blackC0pter (1013737) | about 2 years ago | (#39902369)

From a business standpoint, offering an unlimited plan on a service that can push 20+Mbps would kill them down the road. They want mass adoption on LTE but they don't want people to destroy the network early on or even. I think the carriers have learned from the 3G unlimited plan mistake. Back in the day using your phone as a data connection was a joke and it was almost pure profit for the carriers. So they throw an unlimited tag on it to make a ton of money. But now that people actually use it an unlimited plan would kill the business. AT&T just went on the record in the past week saying that the unlimited 3G service killed them and was a major mistake.

Take a look at the history of their services. SMS plans are moving to unlimited because those are pure profit. Even calling plans are being offered as unlimited because people are moving towards data and the cost to transmit voice is becoming very low. Data is the future and they want caps on it to milk it as much as possible.

Re:Easy solution (0)

geekmux (1040042) | about 2 years ago | (#39902497)

From a business standpoint, offering an unlimited plan on a service that can push 20+Mbps would kill them down the road...

Barring any (more) gross abuse of monopoly laws, offering anything but an unlimited data plan will likely kill carriers down the road anyway.

If you're going to push people away from landline phones to cellular, and your offering on voice is unlimited as the justification, it only makes sense that as you push more and more people to mobile computing devices that your plan options mirror what you offer at home (which is usually unlimited).

And if your network can't handle it, then you're doing it wrong. Plain and simple. Adapt, or die.

Re:Easy solution (3, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 2 years ago | (#39902571)

That last sentence is the fault of some dead white guys named Maxwell, Hertz, Shannon, and Nyquist, not anyone at AT&T or Verizon.

Re:Easy solution (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 2 years ago | (#39902899)

Yes and no. It's true that you need more spectrum to get more bandwidth, but the carriers are the ones causing the shortage: Most people are in range of wifi most of the time. If all phones would default to using wifi for everything whenever it is available then it would take a huge chunk of the load off of the cell towers.

But that would take a huge chunk of the load off of the cell towers. Which reduces scarcity, which by supply and demand makes prices fall. They don't want plentiful bandwidth and low prices, they want artificial scarcity and higher profits.

Re:Easy solution (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#39903369)

If all phones would default to using wifi for everything whenever it is available then it would take a huge chunk of the load off of the cell towers.

The iPhone does that. I don't know that the carriers want to force this though. And no this is not artificial. The real problem is congress not cannibalizing the HDTV bandwidth for over the air internet. Who uses rabbit ears anymore?

Re:Easy solution (1)

Americano (920576) | about 2 years ago | (#39903457)

So I should pay AT&T for an unlimited plan, when my phone will do everything in its power to avoid using that service, and only use it as an absolute last resort?

That seems like something the carriers would love.

Re:Easy solution (-1, Offtopic)

geekmux (1040042) | about 2 years ago | (#39902951)

That last sentence is the fault of some dead white guys named Maxwell, Hertz, Shannon, and Nyquist, not anyone at AT&T or Verizon.

If that were true, then care to explain how we came to define and follow Moores law for many a decade?

Sorry, but an unlimited data plan is not some sort of physical impossibility. It is a business decision. Plain and simple. Unlimited Internet plans are offered in MANY other markets in which those businesses DID adapt to meet demand, with some existing in the same cellular market.

Re:Easy solution (3, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#39903381)

If that were true, then care to explain how we came to define and follow Moores law for many a decade?

What does the transistor density have to do with signal error rates?

Sorry, but an unlimited data plan is not some sort of physical impossibility.

Actually there are limits. That was his point. As for unlimited internet in other markets, generally those are capped to. But over the air is vastly more complex than wired so you bump against the one limit and not the other. People who backup their entire Blu-Ray collection notice the home internet limits.

Re:Easy solution (2)

blackC0pter (1013737) | about 2 years ago | (#39902585)

You are commenting on this from a consumer perspective. If you want to understand why verizon is doing this you must think from the business perspective. A business wants to increase their profits and increase their margins continuously. In order to do this you either expand into new markets or increase your profit on current markets. Their biggest growing market right now is data on their faster LTE network. They increase their profits by making you pay for the LTE connection. Then they guarantee future profits by limiting your data usage now since they know your data usage will only grow in the future and make them more money.

Just because you want a cheap and unlimited and super fast connection doesn't mean that makes business sense. I'm guessing you still pay for a cell phone but complain about the price. If you don't like it, then don't buy it and the business will adapt. But last I checked, their business is booming and they are making very healthy profits. So clearly they are doing something right even though you personally don't like it.

Re:Easy solution (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 2 years ago | (#39902861)

You are commenting on this from a consumer perspective. If you want to understand why verizon is doing this you must think from the business perspective. A business wants to increase their profits and increase their margins continuously. In order to do this you either expand into new markets or increase your profit on current markets. Their biggest growing market right now is data on their faster LTE network. They increase their profits by making you pay for the LTE connection. Then they guarantee future profits by limiting your data usage now since they know your data usage will only grow in the future and make them more money. Just because you want a cheap and unlimited and super fast connection doesn't mean that makes business sense. I'm guessing you still pay for a cell phone but complain about the price. If you don't like it, then don't buy it and the business will adapt. But last I checked, their business is booming and they are making very healthy profits. So clearly they are doing something right even though you personally don't like it.

Based on your mentality of defending a profitable model, I suppose every single oil company in the world is doing an absolutely amazing job as we all pay $4/gallon for gas, right?

There's a line between being profitable, and doing what is right. After watching the LECs of the world eat everyone else for lunch as they dance around monopoly accusations, I rarely find their actions commendable, even from a business standpoint.

And I don't pay for a cell phone, so there's no bias to find there either.

Re:Easy solution (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#39902975)

"Based on your mentality of defending a profitable model, I suppose every single oil company in the world is doing an absolutely amazing job as we all pay $4/gallon for gas, right?"

Wrong! Because in Europe they manage to get that price doubled.

"There's a line between being profitable, and doing what is right."

Yes... for some people.

For corporations (sadly, I may add) "being profitable" and "doing what is right" are strict synonyms.

Re:Easy solution (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 2 years ago | (#39903025)

"Based on your mentality of defending a profitable model, I suppose every single oil company in the world is doing an absolutely amazing job as we all pay $4/gallon for gas, right?"

Wrong! Because in Europe they manage to get that price doubled.

"There's a line between being profitable, and doing what is right."

Yes... for some people.

For corporations (sadly, I may add) "being profitable" and "doing what is right" are strict synonyms.

All very true...very sad, but very true.

Re:Easy solution (1)

blackC0pter (1013737) | about 2 years ago | (#39903029)

You do realize that the price of oil is not set by the oil companies? It's set by the global commodities trading market and largely OPEC, which is a monopoly / oligarchy. It is naive to think that just because the oil companies sell oil that they can control the price of it. You should be complaining about trading markets and financial firms that seek to gain on artificially raising the price of a commodity.

Back on topic, I don't like the high price of Verizon's services either but then I don't like the high price of a Ferrari or any other luxury car. At the end of the day, a cell phone can be considered a luxury. Do you really need to make a phone call anywhere at any time? Do you really need to check that email immediately? Maybe you do need those services but do you need the super fast speed of LTE? There are plenty of alternative cell phone networks and there are plenty of alternative data connections. But Verizon is offering the fastest and newest technology (LTE) and selling it at a premium. Yet you complain that this luxury service is not offered at bargain prices. If you want unlimited cell service or cheaper service, go with the carriers that are offering it. But if you want premium features that Verizon is offering, then you better be prepared to pay for it.

This attitude that you deserve the newest and fastest service at a super low price is the same greed that drives Verizon to raise their prices and put limits on the data usage.

Re:Easy solution (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#39903427)

suppose every single oil company in the world is doing an absolutely amazing job as we all pay $4/gallon for gas, right?

The oil companies don't set gas prices, that's the commodities market. As for doing a great job in the last 5 years they've boosted production from 85m barrels / day to 90m against a world where easy to get to reserves are collapsing. Yes they are doing a great job. They are making far too much money for that great job, but gas would be $75/gallon if it wasn't for the technologies they introduced in the last generation.

Re:Easy solution (1)

mk1004 (2488060) | about 2 years ago | (#39903455)

It's a shame that the FCC doesn't make the carriers divest the network, regulate the network operators, and let the carriers buy airtime/data from the network. Kind of like the power companies in some states.

Re:Easy solution (3, Interesting)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#39902923)

A business wants to increase their profits and increase their margins continuously.

And that's the fallacy of continual growth. Continual growth is only possible if your growth rate is less than or equal to the growth rate of the market. If you growth rate exceeds the growth rate of the market, then no matter how small you start, or how large the market, you will eventually hit a maximum. Businesses (and stockholders) demand sustained growth exceeding the market growth, and that's simply impossible. You can only do that for a limited time. Moving into additional markets allows continued growth in those markets, but it's not enough to sustain continual geometric growth. It's simple math, yet it escapes most executives and stockholders.

Re:Easy solution (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#39903345)

I don't see how this follows. First off I don't think they are pushing people away from landlines. But even if they were, the carriers don't want you to give up home internet in a meaningful sense, because they are pushing away from landlines.

And if your network can't handle it, then you're doing it wrong. Plain and simple.

No not simple or plain. Bandwidth costs. Over the air bandwidth costs a fortune. They are selling limited amounts of data to recover the costs of a network. Their is no magic bandwidth bucket that with small changes the carriers could tap and allow everyone terabytes per month of over the air access for pennies.

Re:Easy solution (2)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#39902481)

That would violate the standard "how dare you use what you pay for you need to pay exorbitant overages for that" clause that the cellular industry likes.

Did you see where the former head of AT&T said offering unlimited data with te iPhone (so you could actually use it) was a mistake? AT&T is trying to get people off unlimited. Sprint pushes it because they're dying, but they still cap you do it's not unlimited.

Unlimited is clearly bad, and consumers are wrong for wanting it.

Re:Easy solution (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39902631)

Sprint pushes it because they're dying, but they still cap you do it's not unlimited.

I guess you could call it a cap, but the last time I looked into it it seemed more like a type of QOS to me. It's just that if you are a super-heavy user you are one of the first to get rate-limited.

Unlimited is clearly bad, and consumers are wrong for wanting it.

Well, it is convenient. I recently switched to prepay... T-Mobile has a crazy 5GB 3.5G/Free Texts/100 minutes talk plan for $30/month and another 1500 talk or text with only a few megs of data for $30/month. That covers my wife's use case and my use case and saves us about 30-40 bucks per month over our old family plan. But for most people, that savings isn't enough to have to start counting minutes again. Even I would consider one of those $50/month unlimited talk/text/data prepay plans if I spoke on the mobile phone more - I'd only need to exceed my cap by 200 minutes (10 cents/minute) on a regular basis to make it worthwhile.

Re:Easy solution (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#39903153)

The strategy for Verizon would be to ultimately migrate everyone from its 3G network to its 4G network, and it has no dog in the iPhone vs Android phone fight. As the main story mentioned, their 3G network is already congested, and until enough customers switch over, it makes sense to have incentives getting people to their 4G. From a networking POV, 4G mandates the use of IPv6, which 3G isn't, and so w/ 4G, Verizon is not going to run into an address exhaustion situation. In fact, the IPv4 address exhaustion is most visible in the mobile space, causing many international mobile carriers to switch over to IPv6.

In fact, do the carriers still have their 1G and 2G networks?

Re:Easy solution (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#39903275)

Unlimited is a very bad idea. You end up with a small percentage of users hogging bandwidth. And even regular users are much less careful when the data is unlimited. Delivering data is expensive. Cheaper phones OTOH is not. Throwing an extra $4/mo over the life of the contract into an Android is an extra $100 subsidy. You could have amazing "free" or under $100 phones on 4G.

...or a Windows Phone either, apparently. (1)

bschorr (1316501) | about 2 years ago | (#39902165)

Considering the ONLY Windows Phone handset they have is the HTC Trophy which is pretty poor compared to modern handsets on Android or iOS.

Re:...or a Windows Phone either, apparently. (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about 2 years ago | (#39902207)

The problem is that the Nokia Lumia 900--the only Windows Phone-based cellphone that has LTE support--works only on AT&T's GSM/LTE combo network for the US version. If the Lumia 900 included a version that worked on Verizon's CDMA/LTE network, that would be a different story!

More practical choices? (1)

foofish (10132) | about 2 years ago | (#39902173)

Since the iPhone is more expensive than most Android phones and isn't 4g, it seems like they wouldn't have to try too hard to push people in another direction.

A bunch of corporate whining (2, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | about 2 years ago | (#39902191)

All I hear is, "we're making money hand over fist, but it's not all perfect...". Meanwhile they paid a negative federal tax in 2011 [1] and are lobbying for even lower taxes and local subsidies.

The iPhone is their best selling device. The next iPhone will have LTE support (like the iPad today). Verizon just sounds like a whiny child who didn't get *everything* they wanted for Christmas.

In short, fuck them and their entitlement complaints.

Re:A bunch of corporate whining (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39902443)

When you think that you deserve to have everything, you'll end up talking about whatever you don't have as though it has been stolen from you.

Unfortunately, the guillotine is out of fashion, so such conduct is allowed to occur unchecked.

Re:A bunch of corporate whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903531)

When you think that you deserve to have everything, you'll end up talking about whatever you don't have as though it has been stolen from you.

Oh god the irony, of this statement. It burns.

But yeah, you keep on Occupying for the 99% - get your equity, broseph! Those fat cats STOLE IT from you, and you deserve a fair share!

Re:A bunch of corporate whining (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#39902491)

You realize that this commentary didn't originate with Verizon, right? And that Verizon is specifically saying they're not steering people away from iPhone(which is a popular seller and money-maker for them ). The entire article is someone's linkbait speculation that Verizon might not want to sell iPhones, nothing more.

Re:A bunch of corporate whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902635)

This is true however...

Also the guy is wrong (all he has to do is go talk to the CEO). They subsidize every phone. Go look at the list price then go look at the new customer price (nearly 400 bucks per). Do the math. Then think of the number of people who buy them. Yeah that much. They are footing a *LARGE* bill, they do not want it. Posting anon as I know this for a fact, heard it from the CEO...

My personal guess (have not seen the numbers) they are breaking even to slight loss on them. That recent 30 dollar charge they added to activate? That is to try to recoup that loss they currently have.

Back 10 years ago their subsidy was 25 MAYBE 100 on a very special phone. They can get that back in a couple of months. 400-500? That takes a year or two. By that time people are already moving to the next phone...

Just look at what they did and you can see what I say makes sense. More expensive minute plans (raise the price), Ended unlimited data (raise the price), ended new every 2 (raise the price), extra fee on activations (raise the price again). They are raising prices across the board to help recoup that overhang.

Bottom line, if you had to pay 700 bucks for an iPhone apple would not have sold nearly (and by implication dataplans) as many but your dataplans would be a LOT cheaper. They subsidize them to get people onto the dataplans. Then on churn hopefully move them to a cheap phone the next time to lower the sub cost. Eventually most smart phones will all be pretty decent (with a few standouts). They will then have to compete on price again. AT&T is just about there. I think the next year or two you will see them move aggressively on pricing of data plans.

Lies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902201)

My iPhone says it's 4G! /snark

Re Verizon/Iphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902213)

As an Ex Rogers employee, they tended to steer people away from the iPhones, because of the hefty warranty that the company had to pay to Apple on the phone

Not to mention the enormous subsidies (1)

dustman81 (1134599) | about 2 years ago | (#39902221)

Not to mention the enormous subsidies that the carriers pay Apple to get the iPhone and that Apple gets a cut of the monthly subscription charge. It's a double-edged sword. Verizon gets more customers, but they pay through the nose if the customer chooses an iPhone. Also, Verizon had to bulk up their EVDO coverage, which cost millions if not billions, for the iPhone as they saw what happened to AT&T when the iPhone was released.

4G/LTE kills battery life (5, Interesting)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#39902233)

I have a 4G/LTE capable Android phone (Samsung Conquer on Sprint). 4G is fast, where it's available, but I leave it off except when I really need more speed than 3G can provide and I don't have Wi-Fi available, because it kills battery life. About 90% of the time, I have Wi-Fi, and most of the remainder, 3G is fast enough. So, if and when 4G/LTE chipsets can provide the speed without a major hit to battery life, that will be a viable option. Not so coincidentally, that's exactly the reason Apple gave for not supporting LTE yet.

So, from technical perspective, it may appear to make sense to push customers to 4G/LTE phones, many will do as I have and turn off 4G eliminating the technical advantages. Many of the others will complain about the battery life, it's not necessarily good customer relations.

Re:4G/LTE kills battery life (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#39902467)

I think its great that Verizon is trying to keep their limited and increasingly crappy 3G network a bit free. In the past year, my reception in NYC has gone to crap, on par with AT&T. That said, there is no reason to look forward to 4G. As you say, it kills battery life, and it just let's you rush towards the data cap that much faster. I'll be sticking with a non smart phone until unlimited plans come into play. It isn't that I will go over the cap every month if I get a new smart phone. Its that I want to know if I do happen to go over the cap, I won't be facing a few hundred dollars in overage charges on that month's bill. I've had that happen just going over my minutes. Verizon prices their plans like traps, and then releases phones that spring the traps faster. Of course they are pushing 4G phones.

Re:4G/LTE kills battery life (1)

zeroduck (691015) | about 2 years ago | (#39903341)

I don't work for Sprint, but it already exists. They have two unlimited plans (one is unlimited voice and everything, the other is 450 anytime voice minutes and unlimited everything else). I've had service with them for a few years now, and have been generally happy with it. I'd like to pay less for service but I don't think I'm going to do any better on another carrier with the amount of data I use.

Re:4G/LTE kills battery life (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#39902479)

I've noticed the same with my mobile hotspot and typically leave 4G off unless I'm plugging it into my laptop. On 3G the device pretty much lasts all day with typical surfing. On 4G it's drained in a couple hours.

Re:4G/LTE kills battery life (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about 2 years ago | (#39903083)

I have a 4G/LTE capable Android phone (Samsung Conquer on Sprint). 4G is fast, where it's available, but I leave it off except when I really need more speed than 3G can provide and I don't have Wi-Fi available, because it kills battery life.

That's not 4G/LTE, it's 4G/WiMAX -- totally different technologies.

Link to phone arena [phonearena.com]

Re:4G/LTE kills battery life (1)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#39903221)

You're correct that it's WiMAX, not LTE. However, that doesn't change my statement at all. They're not that different [wikipedia.org]. They have similar data rates, similar modulation methods, use a 20MHz channel, and use the same transmit power. They're not interoperable, but they're not significantly different. And WiMAX is the more mature of the two technologies, which makes the point even stronger. The more mature technology still kills battery life.

Re:4G/LTE kills battery life (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#39903499)

" it kills battery life."

No, it doesn't. LTE is actually claimed to be more efficient than CDMA. Where LTE consumes more power than CDMA, it's delivering much greater bandwidth.

The problem is, current networks continue to use CDMA for voice, adding LTE only for data. That's what kills battery life - having to run multiple radios. A current 4G phone has to do everything a 3G phone does, and more. I'd expect that once a carrier has completely built out their LTE network and gotten it tweaked, they'll roll out voice on the LTE side. At that point the need to have a CDMA radio in the phone will go away, and battery life (all else being equal) should be better that it was with 3G.

Some will admit it's true (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902253)

Our enterprise Verizon rep has openly admitted to this same fact, though the primary reason she gave was the paltry profit they make from Apple devices. They'd much rather sell a BB or an android... there's more money in it.

Repackage the 4G package as "The New Unlimited" (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#39902283)

in a new shiny chrome welcome box and the they flock to it.

The newwwww Alante booty shake, booty shake, booty shake....

LOL -- as if it matters what Verizon "pushes" (4, Insightful)

wealthychef (584778) | about 2 years ago | (#39902331)

This article misses a major clue -- people who are buying iPhones are not doing so because their carrier steers them towards them. As many people know about the iPhone as know about Verizon. There are people who wouldn't switch to Verizon because they didn't offer the iPhone. Name another phone that people do that for. The truth is, if Apple pushes people away from Verizon it will make a bigger difference for Verizon than it will for Apple if Verizon steers people away from iPhone.

Re:LOL -- as if it matters what Verizon "pushes" (5, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#39902517)

I have about 14 friends who got first generation droid phones back before the iPhone came to Verizon. The reason was it was the closest to an iPhone Verizon had and they were not going to go to AT&T. Given the difference in coverage in that area, Verizon had an advantage. That was 2010. I was back visiting recently and what surprised me was the fact they ALL had iPhones now. Every single one when they went to renew their contracts chose the iPhone over the newer droids.

Yeah I know, circumstantial evidence I know, but in the same time frame I've known exactly 1 of my friends who left the iPhone for the Droid Razr. Now a lot of my friends have left AT&T (including myself) for other carriers, but they've stayed with the iPhone.

Re:LOL -- as if it matters what Verizon "pushes" (2)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#39903287)

I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile when the first Android G1 came out.

Random People on the Internet Writes... (4, Insightful)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 2 years ago | (#39902381)

I'll just quote from the source articles and let you make up your own minds.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/03/technology/verizon-iphone-sales/ [cnn.com]

Anecdotal evidence is stacking up on chat forums and other outlets...

http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/03/technology/verizon-iphone-sales/ [cnn.com]

A pretty hot story is going around, stoked by CNNMoney...

[give some facts]

Maybe those are minor factors, but they aren't the primary reason.

[reach any conclusion you want]

MAYBE it's true, maybe it's not, but I fucking hate "new media".

Enter Sprint (2)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#39902423)

This past spring I was shopping for a new small business account. My contract for my iPhone had expired with AT&T so I did my shopping. One of the major things I wanted was tethering so I could connect my laptop or iPad (wifi only) when I needed to on the road.

Sprint sold me on a mobile plan for the iPhone which is about $70 a month plus a 3g/4g Mobile hotspot instead of tethering. Even with both lines it's still about $40 a month cheaper than either AT&T or Verizon with 6GB of transfer vs 4GB for "tethering". Not to mention the deposit for a new small business account was a lot less with Sprint vs. AT&T or Verizon.

So I have 4G speeds with the iPhone via the hotspot if I want them. Or if I'm getting close to my data limit, I can do more of my business with the iPhone's unlimited data at 3G speeds.

Verizon pushed me to an iPhone (0)

cualexander (576700) | about 2 years ago | (#39902501)

A few months ago, I was switching from AT&T to Verizon. As an iPhone user of many years, I wanted to try Android. I told this to the Verizon salespeople and they told me to stick with iPhone because I wouldn't be happy. I didn't listen because relying on salespeople for technology advice is not a good practice. I went with the Thunderbolt. The 4G was incredibly fast, but so was the speed at which my battery drained. I gave Android a serious shot for about a week, then I had to go back to iPhone. I went in and they refunded everything and swapped me out for an iPhone with no hassle. The salespeople were right, but just this once.

Re:Verizon pushed me to an iPhone (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about 2 years ago | (#39902761)

Sometimes salespeople are right. Just yesterday I had a guy ask me the difference between the cheaper HDMI cables and the pricey (yes, Monster) ones.

Halfway through my impromptu lecture on conductivity and signal interference and why everything's moving from analog signals to digital, he just grabbed the monster cables and walked off.

In this case, the douche deserves to spend 50 bucks on 5 feet of HDMI cable. Fuck you, guy who isn't interested in learning something new. I've had OLD people ask the same thing, and they at least pay attention to what I'm saying even if they don't understand it entirely. This guy? I DON'T UNDERSTAND SO I'M GOING TO TELL MYSELF YOU'RE WRONG! HURK!

Re:Verizon pushed me to an iPhone (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 2 years ago | (#39902921)

What customers want is a quick HONEST summary; past history shows salespeople can not be trusted so getting a detailed lecture from a salesperson is not far from watching an infomercial. If you were a trustworthy source you might be worth my time but since you are just a salesman I don't care if you have a PhD it is not going to give you credibility.

You should just tell customers the Monster cable is just beefier and might hold up to more abuse but it is not going to impact image or sound quality at all. Since you are probably forbidden from bashing products.

The store should not sell BS products in the 1st place. I might actually go to a STORE if they had the best professionally chosen products instead of the most profitable BS or a selection of branded clones from the same Chinese factory wasting shelf space so I can fell like I have a choice.

Actually, the Store needs to change. The show room should only have things worth seeing. Most the space should be robotic warehouse storage where I pick things with a terminal like a giant vending machine; or like amazon without wait or shipping.

Re:Verizon pushed me to an iPhone (5, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39902863)

I recently decided to try out Android before someone takes away my geek card :)

It's fun from a dicking around perspective, but I can definitely see how the average user would see it as inferior. It has taken me untold hours of screwing around to figure out how to get the same battery life as my old iPhones had, despite having a larger battery. In the end, I settled on an application that fixes the screen dimming on my phone and another that limits how often apps can use the data connection when the phone's screen is off, and another that sets the data networks on and off depending on where I physically am located.

Now on the one hand, I'm massively impressed because none of that would be possible on a stock iPhone. On the other hand, I never felt the need to look for those kinds of applications on an iPhone. Oh, and the jailbreaking thing is easier than the rooting thing - or at least it was for me. And yes you need root for the really fun stuff (and to keep the geek card). Backup needs some serious help on Android. I have done the standard thing and replaced the rescue utility with the fancy CWM-based recovery utility, but really that kind of thing should be included.

Too bad that most people can't get 4G! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902771)

If they'd get a move on rolling out their 4G network I might care. There still isn't a single solitary one in my entire STATE.

Face it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39902873)

Verizon's 3G network has been crappy for years and that's a major reason why the company wouldn't make concessions for the iPhone. Even with superior technology (and albeit marginally worse coverage), AT&T had enough trouble handling the iPhone traffic—and not just some iPhone traffic but all of it in the USA.

What about the money for Apps? (2)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | about 2 years ago | (#39902937)

On an iphone, the 30% cut goes directly to Apple. On an android, the 30% cut goes to the carrier. This bribe from Google was obviously a component in the widespread adoption of android by the carriers - although I've no idea how large of a component. I wonder how much that affects marketing issues like this. I don't see why they wouldn't be throwing a few more advertising dollars in favor of the phone that nets them a higher income.

Money and Margins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903143)

It's all about money, not the network. The iPhone is going to be the lowest margin product, because Apple takes all the money. They have the market power to do this. Any salesman know to push the high margin products, which is why they suggest android. The network has very little to do with this.

It's all 3G phones, not just iPhone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39903505)

I was qualified to upgrade my Incredible after 2 years recently. Out of the blue, I got a text saying I qualified for a $100 discount on ANY LTE phone in addition to my 2 year upgrade discount. I wasnt interested in the iPhone, but the Verizon rep did comment that they were incentivising high data users (I was around 3 GBs a month) in congested areas (Dallas) to upgrade to 4G phones to ease the load on the crowded 3G networks. It's not specifically the iPhone, but all 3G phones they're avoiding selling.

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