×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

AT&T Gears Up for the iPhone

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the 4000-extra-hands dept.

Communications 256

ElvaWSJ writes "In preparation for its exclusive launch of the cellphone industry's most anticipated device, AT&T is pulling out all the stops. It is adding about 2,000 temporary employees to cope with the influx of shoppers in the first few months. And it is planning for enhanced security to control the potentially large crowds and avoid theft of the phones, which will go for a steep $499 or $599, depending on memory capacity. Some sales agents expect to see people camping outside the night before. 'Apple, which plans to start selling the phone in all of its 162 retail stores on June 29, did not disclose any plans around training or staffing for the launch. Apple will also start selling the phone online on the launch date, but AT&T will first launch only in its stores ... AT&T, which is requiring iPhone shoppers to sign up for a 2-year contract, has not yet revealed the service fees it will charge iPhone customers.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

256 comments

What is this "iPhone" thing you speak of, (4, Funny)

93,000 (150453) | more than 6 years ago | (#19599983)

and why have I never heard of it?

Re:What is this "iPhone" thing you speak of, (3, Funny)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600071)

It must be something from Google since the little i is the same as in their customizable homepage, iGoogle.

Zonk Isn't Earning His Paycheck Then (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600399)

Gee, yet another Zonk$$$ marketing/hype story for a product...

Anyone remember when Slashdot use to be a place for tech savy people to discuss technology and not marketing hype?

Re:What is this "iPhone" thing you speak of, (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601109)

I agree, it is overhyped.

I have mostly positive to things to say about the iPhone, get annoyed at the naysayers predicting its doom for shortsighted geek reasons (same things were said about the iPod), but isn't all this overkill on at&t's part?

I can see the iPhone being a good seller, I don't think it will be an albatross like the PS3, but I don't see it reaching Wii/iPod popularity until the 3rd or 4rd revision where the price comes down to about $299.

Tattoos (0, Flamebait)

mushupork (819735) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600001)

They should set up tattoo kiosks outside the stores so these nutjobs can get ink'd with the Apple or AT&T logo of their choice.

C'mon, people! It's only a phone. And it's version 1.0!

Re:Tattoos (1)

ice666 (601599) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600045)

Everyone on version 1.0 is never that great and they will have a second version out in a few months... Why not just wait and see how it works out first?

Re:Tattoos (2, Funny)

benjamin264 (813527) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601037)

Apple or AT&T logo


Why not the Death Apple?! The chunk out of the apple would go with the dimple in the Death Star... Oh, this is good.

thank the Steve there is only another week of this (4, Insightful)

SatanMat (757225) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600033)

I'm a fan boy, I'll drink the Kool-Aid and ask for seconds but WE KNOW this... Let me know when we are going to get the pricing info.
tell me when we get the contract terms, and let me know if I can get it pre-paid.

please give me some real info, Mr. Ramero.

Re:thank the Steve there is only another week of t (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600283)

There just isn't anything else to say about Apple's phone. The only thing surprising is how much money Apple is spending to get the constant press coverage or Slashdot type stories all over the Net.

I got to check one out a week ago and after all the silly hype it was like "heh, yea this looks like what one would imagine a phone designed by Apple would be like". There simply isn't anything compelling about the phone. It sure as hell isn't something that would ever compel me to give up my current phone which I love.

Re:thank the Steve there is only another week of t (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600397)

i know the feeling - and the fact that there is going to be a min of 2 year contract to get it (from a store manager) yea.. i think i will stick with my 8525 - atleast with WM5 i can write my own stuff for it without much issue

Re:thank the Steve there is only another week of t (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600553)

And especially since I just got my 8525 for no cash down (they still stick you with that two year contract but try buying something without one these days!) I've been busy installing lots of 3rd party apps and am considering writing my own soon. Only thing that looks better on the iPhone is the internet browsing -- IE is awful and Opera (supposedly the best) doesn't really thrill me that much. But 3G plus google maps? Nice. Really cool stuff.

Re:thank the Steve there is only another week of t (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600959)

yea the IE is crap but i like Opera (got a free licence from that promotion a while back)

and i reallllly like 3G + MS Live Search + Blue Tooth GPS

MS Live Search for WM5 seems alot more polished than using google maps on it..

and MS Live Search is free (amazed me) http://ls.windowsmobile.com/ [windowsmobile.com] they even supprised me that you can download the cab file directly instead of having to use active sync to install the app..

Re:thank the Steve there is only another week of t (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601107)

Thanks, will check it out. This [live.com] looks promising, but too bad they closed the beta. (And the tech looks pretty young too).

Other Carriers (-1, Redundant)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600047)

So... will we be able to use the iPhone with other carriers? Verizon, etc? What matters how cool it is, if I'm stuck in a 2 year contract elsewhere. Noone is going to ditch their contract and pay $500 for a phone + $400 for breaking a contract just because it's cool, unless they have disposable income they dont care about.

If you can you use it with Verizon or other providers then woohoo.

Re:Other Carriers (3, Informative)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600091)

...as with every phone before it, if it's on AT&T's network, it's GSM. That means no, you can't use it on verizon, yes, you can use it on T-Mobile.

Re:Other Carriers (0)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600191)

What is GSM and why can't other providers use it? Some kind of proprietary protocol? Thought all cell providers used the same protocol since you can use their towers for roaming.

Re:Other Carriers (4, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600251)

GSM is one of the three cell protocols in use in America right now. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, Sprint and Verizon use CDMA, and Sprint-Nextel uses iDEN/TDMA. When you're roaming, you're probably using the "other network"'s towers

Re:Other Carriers (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600699)

IIRC, around 2000-2001, AT&T announced they were going to start purchasing GSM hardware to upgrade their network instead of switching to CMDA. As I recall, it was a big blow for the adoption of CDMA.

Anyways, AT&T still supports TDMA phones, just not for much longer.
http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/articles-resourc es/tdma-notification.jsp [att.com]

"AT&T will be shutting down our TDMA and Analog networks in early 2008 and will begin that process by turning down TDMA service in about eighteen markets in 2007."

Re:Other Carriers (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600287)

You're obviously USian.

GSM is the standard protocol that the world uses.

Except for the US. It uses IS-95.

So, because the iPhone uses GSM, it'll only work with two US carries, and THE REST OF THE WORLD.

GSM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_System_for_Mob ile_Communications [wikipedia.org]
IS-95: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IS-95 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Other Carriers (0)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600757)


So, because the iPhone uses GSM, it'll only work with two US carries, and THE REST OF THE WORLD.

Bzzzt.

GSM is a communications standard that doesn't specify the frequency it runs on. For this thing to work with "the rest of the world" it has to support the frequencies in use where you are and it also has to not be locked to a single provider.

Also, GSM isn't as universal as you think. Japan for instance uses GSM + some other layers/technologies.

Re:Other Carriers (2, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600279)

...as with every phone before it, if it's on AT&T's network, it's GSM. That means no, you can't use it on verizon, yes, you can use it on T-Mobile.

Ever heard of locked phones? Just because the phone uses GSM doesn't mean it'll work on anyone but AT&T. There's unlocking methods available, but that doesn't mean they'll work.

Re:Other Carriers (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600471)

please name me one remotely desirable phone that AT&T has ever had that was not unlocked? It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when.

Re:Other Carriers (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600631)


please name me one remotely desirable phone that AT&T has ever had that was not unlocked? It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when.

Given how much rigmarole? Not everyone wants to go through a bunch of nonsense just to unlock a phone, buy some special cable, or whatever.

Re:Other Carriers (1)

nphyatt (1014363) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600127)

I think if AT&T is requiring people to sign up for a 2-year contract AND they are the exclusive launch company, it's safe to say you will probably not be able to use it with Verizon or another carrier.

Re:Other Carriers (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600161)

unless they have disposable income they dont care about.

You just described most mac owners. So they'll probably sell a few million of these things.

Re:Other Carriers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600189)

No,

you get a 2 year deal with AT&T. Then *maybe* you can get it on T-Moble. (Chances are it'll be broke or obsolete, like any other phone)

And, btw, its the same AT&T who is filtering their internet traffic to keep you from seeing the naughty stuff (see article from yesterday).

Of course, this new censorship, and end-run around net neutrality on the basis of helping the MPAA "take a bite outta crime" used to be something slashdot would be pissed about.

The old slashdot, not the new slashdot - which bravely promotes Apple products 24 hours a day.

AT&T is an awesome company, censorship is great. Besides, why would you want access to torrent sites, obviously it's better to buy everything through iTunes. God, I fucking love me some DRM in the morning. Apple has the hippest, trendiest DRM out there.

Re:Other Carriers (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600725)

Good thing you are an AC, or the Legions of Apple Faithful around here would...

OH SHIT! They're at my door! With torches, pitchforks and icons of The Steve...

Watch the demo, then comment again (4, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600535)

Go to http://www.apple.com/iphone/ [apple.com] then watch the launch keynote. Then try to honestly say you'd rather have that current ugly lump you call a phone. I am not a fanboy, but I realise that there is the iphone and there is the rest.

Yes, there will be rabid KoolAid-drinking fanboys that will throw away a phone + plan bought yesterday and buy one of these. However, the fans would most likely have held off buying phones since the January announcement. There will be a lot of people who have plans that have expired or will expire in the next few months. Apple can achieve their sales goals within the normal upgrade stream.

AT+T already has almost 60M subscribers. Apple has set a target of selling 10M iphones in 2008. They coupld probably do that within the AT+T client base without getting anyone to switch.

From a manufacturing stand point, the last thing Apple wants is for everyone to dump their phones and buy iphone on the day of release. Manufacturing huge numbers is very difficult. With the goal of selling 10M phones in a year, almost 1M per month, they'd rather have customers roll in slowly than in one big wave. Plan lock in helps because it means that people will wait until their current plan completes (or nears completion), thus providing a smoothing effect.

Re:Watch the demo, then comment again (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601135)

AT+T already has almost 60M subscribers. Apple has set a target of selling 10M iphones in 2008. They coupld probably do that within the AT+T client base without getting anyone to switch. I agree with most of what you say, except I don't think Apple will sell 1/6th of current at&t/Cingular customers. I think it'll take converts, but they'll get converts too. I'm not sure they'll hit their 10M mark, but I don't think they'll flop either.

Wow, that means financial troubles next year (1)

rimugu (701444) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600103)

Wow, that means financial troubles next year. Or as Garfield said: "It is incredible the things people have, instead of money"

Lame. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600107)

The iPhone will bomb, and bomb carpetly. The iPod sold well because of music piracy. People needed a portable device to listen to all the music they were downloading off P2P, and the iPod fit the bill perfectly.

The iPhone offers no improvement over the iPod except the opportunity to switch cell providers and play with the shiny touch screen. This device will bomb.

Am I the only one... (-1, Flamebait)

$1uck (710826) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600111)

Who thinks this is going to flop? and by flop I mean be nowhere near as successful as the I-pod and probably less successful than the Mac? maybe more successful than the newton?

Re:Am I the only one... (3, Insightful)

His Shadow (689816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600243)

Yes you are.

Oh, and every Apple Fan bashing web traffic whore posing as a "tech journalist".

Simple put, they want it to fail. They are tired of having every single lame attack on Apple being repulsed by reality of Apple's success. The company that was supposed to be dead 20 years ago continues to make "tech journalists" look like fools and that's a damn good thing. The invented reasons why people don't want an iPhone are now more numerous than the feature set, and most of theses asses have never so much as seen an iPhone in the flesh.

I wanted the iPhone to be a success for Apple's sake, but now I want it to be a runaway smash hit just to continue to annoy the naysayers and expose them as the frauds they are. Maybe, someday, they'll stop letting their irrational biases taint their Apple articles and maybe, just maybe, stick to the facts and be the journalists they are actually paid to be.

Yes, I realise that this is a pipe dream.

Re:Am I the only one... (-1, Flamebait)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600465)

It's annoying, whining fanboy assholes like you who makes people hate apple so much. Without you and your douchebag buddies we'd all just happily ignore apple and their irrelevant computers while feeling superior because our portable music players sound better, look cooler, and do more for less than an ipod.

I also hope the iphone does well though... and then turns out to have a violently exploding battery so that we'll have to suffer far fewer annoying pricks like you.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

repetty (260322) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600259)

Quote:

Am I the only one... Who thinks this is going to flop?


Yes, you're the only one.

--Richard

Re:Am I the only one... (3, Interesting)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600295)

No you're not the only one. But I wouldn't exactly say it's going to flop. I think it will do well, just as most other smart phones and pda's do well. Nothing overwhelming. It may seem like a flop just from the amount of hype that Apple and AT&T are trying to generate. There certainly will not be any long lines or opening day campers. There will be no fights breaking out and there will not be riots in the streets when the supply iPhones runs short. When people are in the market for a new phone, they will likely look into the iPhone. Some will bite, many won't. I can certainly see market share picking up in the next few years though.

Re:Am I the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19601123)

"There certainly will not be any long lines or opening day campers."

Apparently you're not familiar with the ferocity of Apple fans. Lots of people will buy this phone not because it's so much better than anything else out there but simply because it's Apple branded. To fans, the Apple brand means "wonderful user experience." That's worth quite a bit of extra pocket change. Just ask anyone who has been buying Apple products over the years (myself included).

Re:Am I the only one... (2, Interesting)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600575)

I'll bite

Huge Apple Fanboy that I am, I just don't think this one is going to fly- it's too pricey for personal use, and it doesn't have the features to attract the business professional. Other similar devices (like the Motorola Q) run about $200, and can integrate nicely into exchange. I just don't know who is actually going to buy these things, other than people looking for a status symbol (ok, that's going to be everyone at first).

I think the amazing Apple marketing machine is stopping right here, folks.

I Hope It Doesn't Flop... (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600581)

I, for one, hope it doesn't flop. If it is successful, we might see some of the other carriers offer 3G phones in the US sooner than they otherwise might. I have an unlocked RAZR and a T-Mobile contract counting down to month to month. Success of the iPhone might push T-M into offering a competing phone like the MotoRizr Z8. Of course, they'd have to finish their 3G network too.

Re:I Hope It Doesn't Flop... (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600691)

This is the only thing that I find hopeful about the whole iPhone thing. I keep hoping I can spend a couple hundred bucks and get some sort of WiMax phone in a year or so, though. Not sure how realistic a want that is, however.

Re:I Hope It Doesn't Flop... (2, Informative)

atommota (1024887) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600801)

How will the iPhone motivate carriers to offer 3G phones in the US sooner, when the iPhone itself doesn't even have a 3G radio? As far as radios/speed is concerned the iPhone is competing with phones from 5 years ago.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600829)

I know there are worries about this, but I think it will be big (even if it takes a ramp up). Remember that the RAZR was $500 (AFTER $100 rebate) when it first came out. How much was the StarTAC? These phones can be VERY expensive. I'd love one (but I'm not paying that much). I can see this carving out a decent niche in the market. Will it be the new be-all-end-all of phones? I doubt it. It's still expensive, there is the keyboard question, only one carrier, etc.

But the interface is very interesting, it's slim, the talk time is amazing (still quite good if you assume it's inflated by ~10-20%). If nothing else it will push phones to have better interfaces, better screens, and maybe even push towards less subsidized phones.

Plus things like visual voicemail will definitely make it into cheap phones in the next few years.

I don't think it will be a complete flop, but even if it doesn't blow the doors off the market, it will be very interesting to watch.

Re:Am I the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600871)

I think iPhone will be less popular than a lot of people think... but to say it will flop is another thing. My prediction is that iPhone will sell OK, but not great. Lots of people on the first few days, but people who need email for work (i.e. the majority of the people who want a smart phone and can justify spending the money) won't want a device without a keyboard.

But in the long run, I think Apple will be very successful in the phone business. Apple can come out with lower end phones with the apple brand that people will buy (more like iPod phones than a complete smart phone.) And in the medium/longer term the iPhone will get cheaper. Plus, they can always fix the "no keyboard" problem on a phone aimed at business users.

I don't think this is the newton all over again. With newton, no one had proved the market existed. With cell phones and smart phones other companies have been successful. Even if Apple fails/doesn't live up to expectations at first, it will stay in the market because its 100% proven there is money to be made there.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

Swampwulf (875465) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600931)

No, you're not.
I own a nice iMac, have bootcamp installed, bought a copy of XP so I could do Windows stuff on it, so I can't rightfully be called a 'Mac fanboy', though I will say I like their products.
I, however, have my doubts about how successful this product will be due to the limitations imposed on it by AT&T's network speed, Apple's refusal to add API hooks ( and by shooting their own developers by throwing everyone a bone by insisting that AJAX is the way to get your product/software on the machine ).
I have a feeling it'll be a PS3 thing. There'll be a huge fuss when it's released, but it'll peter out once the 'shiney' is gone and people realise that, despite the great interface, it doesn't really offer that much of an advantage in usability. Yahoo Mail? YouTube?
Uh, thanks, but I'll skip paying $600 for the dubious privilege of watching really badly made crap over a slow connection.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

Wansu (846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601053)


  Who thinks this is going to flop? and by flop I mean be nowhere near as successful as the I-pod and probably less successful than the Mac? maybe more successful than the newton?

I use a Mac and an iPod and love both but this doesn't have the same appeal. I like the design of the iPhone and it's software. But I'm repulsed by the notion of breaking a contract and signing a new contract. I'm not very keen on the new contract being with AT&T either. I don't understand why AT&T has exclusivity. So what if Apple would have to make different versions for other providers?

The joke I heard 20 years ago was some guy was trying to get a job with AT&T but they found out his parents were married when he was born and wouldn't hire him.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601111)

The joke I heard 20 years ago was some guy was trying to get a job with AT&T but they found out his parents were married when he was born and wouldn't hire him.

Wansu,

I honestly don't understand the joke. Could you please explain it?

Carl

Jeez, I wish I could get an iPhone... (2, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600137)

... without giving money to AT&T. :-(

Re:Jeez, I wish I could get an iPhone... (1)

Sczi (1030288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600505)

> ... without giving money to AT&T. :-(

Ditto..

A while back I had the pleasure of giving an AT&T rep an earful.. I had at&t dialup as a backup connection on my company laptop, but I didn't need it anymore, so I needed to cancel. This was a year or two ago when at&t got busted for turning over private data to the feds or whatever the authoritarian act du jour was. So when I called to cancel (which I needed to do anyway) I raised holy hell and made him fill out an 'official complaint' which may be a post-it in his trash can for all I know, but I like to think it went somewhere... who knows. The best part was that it was an Indian guy who sounded like he could barely contain himself from laughing. I specified up front that I was not mad at him, but AT&T's policies, and after I kept an angry tone, but he seemed totally happy with writing down whatever the hell I had to say about it.

So yeah, boycott, etc.

No Apple Stores, and new hire reps? (2, Interesting)

us7892 (655683) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600159)

Not on sale at Apple stores?

So, the user interface is so easy, that a just-hired AT&T customer service person can't screw it up. This user interface must be the best of all time!!

Re:No Apple Stores, and new hire reps? (3, Informative)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600493)

I know few /.ers read the FA, but at LEAST read the FA SUMMARY, which states:

Apple, which plans to start selling the phone in all of its 162 retail stores on June 29, did not disclose any plans around training or staffing for the launch.

why is service fee unknown? (4, Insightful)

1800maxim (702377) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600167)

What is so special about the Apple phone that it needs "special" service fee? If it's a phone, and if it's using the same GSM spectrum in the same way as any other cellular GSM phone, it should cost the same as plans for their existing phones.

Is data going to cost more? Again, will there be something different in the way this iPhone sends/receives data for such things as mobile internet? If not, why does it need special pricing?

Re:why is service fee unknown? (2, Informative)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600223)

The support relationship between AT&T and Apple is different from other carriers and their phone manufacturers. Most of the time, phone support is done in-house, so if I buy a Nokia from AT&T, I'm still getting support from AT&T. The iPhones are being supported directly by Apple.

I'm not sure exactly what the fee arrangement is between AT&T and Apple, but the support arrangement is different enough to warrant special attention.

Re:why is service fee unknown? (1)

jhRisk (1055806) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600253)

I'm fairly certain it's to recoup the costs associated with the network modifications AT&T had to make to support iPhone specific features such as Visual Voicemail.

Re:why is service fee unknown? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600383)

The data will cost you more. Lots more. And AT&T will decide what data you can or cant access (look at /. stories from yesterday)

NOT ONLY THAT - you will post on slashdot how much better your "data" is than my "data", because it's from Apple and it cost you more. And you will be modded +5 informative for doing so, and I will be modded -1 troll for replying "what the fuck are you talking about?!"

Re:why is service fee unknown? (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600511)

ATT&T/Cingular doesn't charge flat or per-useage data rates like the other carriers do. AT&T/Cingular instead charges you for a data plan that is based on your phone. In other words, the data plan for X model of Blackberry is different than the data plan for Y model of Treo. I assume this is because they're basically charging for the different services that different devices support. Me, I like Sprint's method better. $15 flat rate for unlimited data usage, more if you want additional "Vision" services like TV, online games, but still fixed tiers. If your phone doesn't support a specific service, don't order that service level.

Re:why is service fee unknown? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600617)

Because AT&T does, in fact, have to upgrade their equipment to fully support the iPhone. The other day I spoke with a fellow engineer who works as a contractor deploying AT&T's equipment. He said they're just starting to install the new radios now. There's no way they're going to have the iPhone 100% functional, at least not in the NYC and LA markets.

Seattle and Atlanta, you have a chance. Everywhere else: wait at least 6 months.

Re:why is service fee unknown? (0, Flamebait)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600857)

What is so special about the Apple phone that it needs "special" service fee?

It's the "Apple Fanboy Fee". See, apple users are used to being screwed over, price-wise. AT&T knows this (hell, they are willing to cough up $600 for a phone) and being the greedy POS they are, they are tacking on a $199 fee.

If you think that is bad, just wait until you see the rate plan the poor fanboys will be stuck with.

Luckily, most fanboys dwell in their Mom's basement, so they won't have to chose between their new toy and luxuries like rent and food. Money for dating, of course, isn't an issue.

Steal This Phone (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600197)

Since the phones will only work on Cingular, and AT&T is the only seller, so they know where they all should be, would it be that easy to actually use the phone given that you managed to steal it? Truth is, if the phones can be reprogrammed that easily, then no iPhone will be safe. You'll be in more danger using one than wearing white ear buds.

More likely, a stolen phone will be programmed to automatically take a picture of the person holding it, read their fingerprints on the touch screen, silently send out its GPS-derived position, and then use a Sony battery to burst into flames in the thief's hands and pockets!

Seriously, if this thing doesn't have the latest security protection against theft and misuse, it's a waste of money.

Just a reminder... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600213)

AT&T is the same company that cooperates with the government, installing multiple [wired.com] secret rooms [homelandstupidity.us] used to filter (and store?) your Internet communications. Unfortunately, this isn't some kind of big-brother schizophrenic paranoia.. it's real.

I'm an Apple fanboy myself, but for this reason I canceled my AT&T service and will not purchase an iPhone until they can be unlocked or subscribed with another provider.

More here [salon.com] and here [wired.com] . If you want to watch a Frontline about the domestic survellience program, check it out here [pbs.org] .

Re:Just a reminder... (3, Informative)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600839)

You can rest assured that MANY companies work for the federal government. So unless you are prepared to give up...well pretty much every item produced by any corporation today, you really need to give it a rest.

By the way, until the people demand that the government not do this, then its got popular support.

Just in Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600245)

If I am one of the lucky ones who score one on the 29th I'm hoping my just ordered TAD Gear Hoodie [tadgear.com] is here by then. They'll match up perfectly and I'll get to see if the phone will fit in the iPod pocket.

I just don't get one thing... (2, Insightful)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600255)

I can understand there being a ton of excitement over this thing, since it's supposed to do to cellphones what the iPod did to MP3 players.

HOWEVER...

The current state of cellphone service in the US is such that 90% of existing cellular users will not be able to buy this phone, because only a small handful of users will be nearing the end of their existing contracts. Furthermore, the high price of this phone is going to dissuade some people that were on the fence already. Furthermore...Cingular isn't exactly a shining beacon of customer service these days, and their presence in some markets is outright laughable.

I just really don't see how they can expect a lines-around-buildings type of launch for this thing except in a few urban areas in high-profile stores.

Am I interested in the iPhone? You better believe it.

Am I prepared to get one? Absolutely not.

Re:I just don't get one thing... (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600463)

The current state of cellphone service in the US is such that 90% of existing cellular users will not be able to buy this phone, because only a small handful of users will be nearing the end of their existing contracts.

A lot of the time if you want to buy a new expensive phone they will let you out of your current contract so long as it is for the purpose of signing an equivalent or more expensive contract.

Generally speaking, the cellphone company is typically willing to take more of your money and extend your contract period.

Re:I just don't get one thing... (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601055)

I think he's referring to people on contracts with other carriers. I'm going to take a wild guess that Sprint isn't going to let you out of your current contract so you can buy a more expensive contract with ATT.

Re:I just don't get one thing... (1)

Basilius (184226) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600793)

Law of large numbers.

The current state of cellphone service in the US is such that 90% of existing cellular users will not be able to buy this phone, because only a small handful of users will be nearing the end of their existing contracts. Furthermore, the high price of this phone is going to dissuade some people that were on the fence already. Furthermore...Cingular isn't exactly a shining beacon of customer service these days, and their presence in some markets is outright laughable.
So, 90% can't buy the phone. That means 10% can. And, if 10% of those 10% buy the phone, you know what you get? A hell of a lot of customers and, IIRC, Apple's goal for the first year. You aren't going to be seeing these as often as blackberries, but you'll be seeing them. And people will look silly looking at people using them while trying to not look like they're looking.

Re:I just don't get one thing... (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600847)

That pretty much sums up my opinion of the iPhone. Two year contract with AT&T (of all companies) and I get to $600+ on the actual phone? I personally think I can rough it out with my Creative Zen Vision M and cheap mobile phone. Yes, I will have to switch between the two when I want to go from talking on the phone to listening to music, but I think I can suffer through it. Not that I don't love AT&T throttling their networks and helping men in black suits hook up black boxes to their networks, but I think I can do without my iPhone/AT&T combo.

Anyone but AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600271)

I'd buy one if it was with anyone but AT&T.

Hopefully the EFF will kick their ass and AT&T will no longer be a Nazi stooge. In either case I'll still never do business with them.

iPhone Stampede (2, Funny)

Ankou (261125) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600289)

As a former Henrico County Citizen, I can tell you first hand that 2000 extra employees will not be enough [slashdot.org] !

this IS flamebait (0, Flamebait)

fattmatt (1042156) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600319)

dammit dammit dammit!!! I thought they were gonna announce the killer app ... youtube is OK but not killer ... oh well, i guess it really is gonna fail ... no killer app!!!

Stupid Data Plans (3, Interesting)

lord_sarpedon (917201) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600353)

The iPhone is pushing in the direction that the cell phone industry should have moved a long time ago. Limitations now are not largely technological. And yet I somehow doubt that, the day of release, they will suddenly be awestruck at the recognition of their horrible, shameful pricing plans. Sure, data plans are poised to become much more main stream, but carriers will keep making arbitrary distinctions between voice and 'data' just because they can, and it will be a cold day in hell when we start paying a flat rate for unfettered wireless access as we do with the internet. Their customers are sheep. It's that that will most hinder the adoption and spread of anything iPhone-like... Perhaps when the day comes that Apple bundles a VoIP client the industry will finally feel fear...you know, some kind of competition that forces them to adopt sane policies. I refuse to pay for cell phone service until that happens.

Re:Stupid Data Plans (0, Flamebait)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600677)

Wait, you think apple has the ability to fundamentally change the way that cell phone companies do business and you're calling other people sheep? You support apple products and then complain about the cost of ANYTHING?!?!

Seriously, are you stupid or just fucking nuts? People (sheeple or otherwise) pay for cell (mobile for you internationals, right?) phone service because it is fucking convenient and the difference in cost between it and an almost useless landline are basically non-existent. The reason providers can get away with charging extra (a LOT extra) for "data" is probably far too complex for you to understand (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you're not insane). It shares features with, among other things, the phenomenon of windows being "good enough" and ipods being "cool" though.

Re:Stupid Data Plans (2, Interesting)

Khisanth Magus (1090101) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600789)

In Japan, the cell phone plans are for a flat amount of bandwidth. Doesn't matter if it is data, voice, whatever. This does have its drawbacks, however. Almost no one calls in Japan anymore. Because text messaging drains so much less bandwidth than calling, thats all anyone ever does. Admittedly it is becoming more common here in the US as well, but at least we are willing to call someone on occation.

Re:Stupid Data Plans (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600899)

If Apple wanted to make the market 'feel fear' it would have had an open phone to begin with instead of tying itself by the balls to AT&T. Nokia seems to be able to sell open phones without getting in bed with a cell phone company. I fail to see why Apple can't either.

Re:Stupid Data Plans (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601101)

Probably because A) They needed a carrier to support their visual voice mail, and B) The $500 iPhone is the subsidized price and would be even more expensive without tying people to a contract.

2 year contract? (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600363)

For the normal customer looking for the cheapest phone, a two year contract is often required. However, I have in the past been able to pay $50 and get a one year contract. Why do I do this? To prevent the contract hell in which one loses a phone after the first year, then has to sign another two year contract to get another phone, and so on. In any case, it saves on the insurance which would be at least $50 for the year.

I hope that ATT is going to use this opportunity to improve it's reputation for customer service. However, I suspect that they will simply create innovative new ways to force people into contracts they don't want. I was kind of up on this iPhone thing, I don't really have a problem with ATT, but as we get closer, I don't know if ATT isn't going to return to it's scumbag roots.

Re:2 year contract? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600649)

Most carriers have pay as you go or month-to-month services as well, but they don't advertise it. Granted, you typically pay more for the phone, and often a little more for a month-to-month flat fee than a 2-year, but (at least in my mind) it's worth it to not be stuck in a contract.

Re:2 year contract? (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600895)

Typically you have to pay a lot more for the phone and have to buy it from them. I haven't found anyone willing to just sell me a SIM and provide my own equipment, even if my equipment is identical to what they're trying to sell me.

Apple Tax (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600369)

Woohoo! Get ready to have the "Apple Tax" applied to your monthly phone bill. It's already been reported that Apple will be getting a cut of AT&T's money, and of course that means the "savings" get passed along to the customer.

Which makes it a typical Apple product. But fleecing fanatics has always been what Apple does best.

iPhone recently Shrunk (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600415)

They also tweaked the iphone design to make it smaller [boingboing.net] .

Drink the Haterade drink it deep (-1, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600469)

Breathe deep the fumes of millions of /. Redmond fanboys letting go of their dicks long enough to type with both hands and smash out a post that highlights their anger and rage.

Guys jeez, calm down about the data plans (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600655)

Yeah, the data plans will cost more than say buying a Treo on Verizon, but this is Apple you morons.

The data will be better. The packets will be shinyer and better designed. The ICMP packets will be way hipper than the ICMP packets that Pocket PCs use. The bits themselves, individually forged and polished by the finest craftsmen in the world. In individual leather pouches.

So yeah, it costs more. But it's worth more, because the web pages that you view with Apple are BETTER than the shitty ones that all the losers with PCs look at.

It costs a little more to be better than everyone else, so just deal with it, K?

Meanwhile, there's Opera Mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600799)

Two days ago, Opera released Opera Mini 4 beta [operamini.com] . The story didn't make it through Firehose, tho I have no doubts that a v0.01 bump to Firefox or Minimo would immediately get posted on the front page. News about the new Opera Mini have appeared on just about every single tech site, but not Slashdot.

Yes, I know this comment is offtopic. Who cares.

Cingular VS AT&T (1)

jimwelch (309748) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600851)

Today my cell phone change its built-in logo from Cingular to AT&T! Two days ago my son's changed. My Wife's phone has not changed yet. Sure took a long time for the name change.

Sorry, I don't understand (4, Interesting)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#19600917)

I live in the UK, and when I walk into a mobile phone shop, I get shown a selection of phones, all of which work on every tarriff (orange, o2, virgin etc.) and I look, and a nice helper comes up and explains all the features, and after a lonhg explanation I choose a phone I would like. After this, we sit down and I say how much I will use the phone, and the sales assistant will say, well, you could go for pay and go, and that means the phone will cost you £150 (average high end example) and that I can top up any time I want and the amount I top up will give me so many minutes. He will also say you can get this phone on contract, and will present me with several 1 or 2 year contracts for this phone ranging from £15-£50, and of course minutes, and off-peak minutes and data transfer provided will vary. However, what will not happen is when they ask me if I want a contract, they will never charge me for that phone, that's how it works, the phones don't cost them much to produce, and they are gaurenteed your income for 1-2 years so they don't charge for the phone, in absolute extreme cases they will charge £50 for a top end phone on a short contract. Does that really not happen in America? Or does it work the same way for everyone but Apple in America? I mean $600 on a phone where you are probably paying out $75 a month for 2 years anyway?!

Re:Sorry, I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19600987)

For the most part phones are free, or a small pittance with a service contract.

You only shell out bucks to be a hipster and have the latest cool toy. Like a year or two ago it was the RAZR, etc.

My treo was free w/ plan.

Why would you buy... (1)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 6 years ago | (#19601067)

...a phone that is locked to one network?

Seriously, people, monopolies are bad. Sure, it looks like a nice device, but I sure as hell wouldn't get one until I can shove any company's sim card in it and be sure that it will work.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...