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Apple and AT&T Announce iPhone Service Plans

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they're-going-to-zing-you dept.

Media (Apple) 538

daveschroeder writes "Apple and AT&T today announced service plans for iPhone, 4 days before its release in the US at 6pm local time on Friday, June 29. The plans are $59.99/mo for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes, and $99.99 for 1350 minutes, and all include unlimited data, 200 SMS messages, rollover minutes, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling. Any other standard AT&T service plan may also be used. A two year service plan is required, with a $175 cancellation fee if terminated early. In addition, activations are done via iTunes, so only the hardware is purchased in the store. Interestingly, activation of a contract via iTunes is required to enable the iPod/syncing functionality of the phone as well. (It will remain to be seen whether there are workarounds for this for those who only want the iPod functionality of iPhone, and whether the iPhone is easily unlockable for those who wish to try it on alternate carriers, and so on.)"

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For the Love of Money (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649213)

daveschroeder writes "Apple and AT&T today announced service plans for iPhone, 4 days before its release in the US at 6pm local time on Friday, June 29. The plans are $59.99/mo for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes, and $99.99 for 1350 minutes, and all include unlimited data, 200 SMS messages, rollover minutes, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling.
Nice slashvertisement there, Dave.

You want me to spend a minimum of $59.99/mo. + $499 for an iPhone?

What else can you expect from a fat cat sconnie [wisc.edu] who prides himself on the BMWs he's owned [wisc.edu] and lists his top 'interest' as Apple?

Re:For the Love of Money (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649275)

Nice slashvertisement there, Dave.

So, people aren't interested in this?

Ooookayyyy...

You want me to spend a minimum of $59.99/mo. + $499 for an iPhone?

No, I don't "want" anyone to do anything, other than know that plans have been released for iPhone.

Which is what a lot of people have been waiting for.

Which is why I submitted the story.

What else can you expect from a fat cat sconnie who prides himself on the BMWs he's owned and lists his top 'interest' as Apple?

Sorry I didn't submit as AC. Maybe I will next time to please you! And "fat can sconnie". Heh.

Also, I must deeply apologize for being interested in Apple. I know it's a rare ailment, and that it must offend you greatly. I'm almost shedding a tear!

Re:For the Love of Money (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649319)

Dave, seriously. You are being trolled. Don't egg them on or they'll keep pestering you.

Re:For the Love of Money (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649377)

Are you a cell phone salesman? If not, I don't get what this guy's issue is with you submitting the story. If you are then whoopideedo, not like any vendor will sell different, better/worse plans than you. Waaaait...are you an Apple and/or AT&T exec? If so, then I totally agree with his response!

Re:For the Love of Money (3, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649427)

Nope. I don't sell cell phones (and never have), don't work for Apple or AT&T/Cingular (and never have), and I won't have anything to do with iPhone sales (other than buying one myself on Friday).

I just submitted it because one of the most awaited pieces of information about iPhone was its plans, and since every other story here and on other tech blogs lately seems to be about iPhone...well, you get the idea.

Re:For the Love of Money (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649383)

YHBT HTH HAND

Re:For the Love of Money (4, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649773)

"You want me to spend a minimum of $59.99/mo. + $499 for an iPhone? "

I dunno what the big deal is. In the US, you buy a phone and you're signing a 1 or 2 year contract, that is the norm here.

My phone with SprintPCS is about $80/mo, unlimited nights and weekends...I think about 1000 anytime minutes, SMS is extra, but, I don't use that much, nor do I ever come close to the daytime minutes. I have the full Vision plan...unlimited data, picture mail...and since I 'unlocked' the bluetooth modem capabilities in my Samsung A900...I can tether it to my laptop as needed.

The latter point, is the main reason I'm not going with the iPhone in Jan. when my current contract is up. It isn't price, it is the stated fact [macworld.com] that iPhone will NOT allow tethering to a laptop as a modem as part of their 'unlimited' data plan.

The price and monthly cost is no big deal to me....but, I want my tethering capability.

You will let us know when ... (2, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649795)

So, people aren't interested in this?

Sure, I am interested. This news indicates a minor step towards making the iPhone viable for me.

No, I don't "want" anyone to do anything, other than know that plans have been released for iPhone.

You will let us know when the iPhone is finally made available unlocked so that we can use it with any carrier of choice, and when plans are available with no time periods for those who buy the whole phone up front, and when Apple finally releases the codes to allow us to develop and deploy our own applications, right? Be sure to let your buddy Steve know that we are waiting.

Alternate Carriers (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649221)

whether the iPhone is easily unlockable for those who wish to try it on alternate carriers, and so on.

I thought one could purchase an unlocked iPhone from the Apple stores, instead of going to AT&T?

Re:Alternate Carriers (3, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649321)

nope, its only Apple stores and select AT&T stores are carrying it. In no way has it ever been stated that you can buy a unlocked phone. Jobs was very clear to the fact that the iPhone was a 2 year AT&T exclusive.

Re:Alternate Carriers (4, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649395)

Actually, it's not quite that simple.

Here is who's carrying it:

- Apple retail stores [apple.com]
- Apple online store [apple.com]
- AT&T corporate stores [att.com] (not corporate kiosks or resellers initially, but those may come in the future)

As to the other points:

Yes, it's always been generally said that iPhone would require a two year contract, but what was said at the keynote was that the agreement between Apple and AT&T was a "multi year exclusive", which has subsequently been revealed to be five years. Until today, it appeared that AT&T would be selling the phones with mandatory activation, whereas you could just walk out with a phone from the Apple store. So, a lot of people were hoping that the phone was hackable or easily unlockable, so as to use it with other carriers. If the iTunes activation thing is easily worked around AND the phone is unlockable in some way, then you might be able to move it to another carrier. The worst case scenario - assuming the phone is unlockable - is that you sign on with AT&T, have them unlock the phone after 90 days (assuming it's unlockable in this way), cancel the contract, and move to another carrier. Obviously, a lot of people are hoping they can just buy the hardware, unlock it somehow, and use it on the carrier of their choice. That may still be possible, but we really won't know until people start playing with these things.

Re:Alternate Carriers (3, Interesting)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649351)

Nope...The iPhone is exclusive to AT&Tingular for a "Multi year exclusive" So...unless someone finds a way to unlock it, the iPhone at AT&T are married for a minimum of 2 years in the USA...there has been speculation that it's a 5 year exclusive for the USA, but no one knows for sure yet.

According to the article, you buy the phone from apple or AT&T unactivated...You then use iTunes to activate the phone and your plan. It seems Apple wanted total control over the unboxing and activation experience...they didn't want oily prepubescent AT&T sales reps get their greasy fingerprints all over someone's brand new iPhone :)

Re:Alternate Carriers (2, Interesting)

mmeister (862972) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649403)

That fact alone is almost worth the cost of the iPhone.

Also, they make it super easy to transfer an existing number. Bravo Apple!!

Re:Alternate Carriers (4, Interesting)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649437)

Also...check out http://www.apple.com/iphone/usingiphone/activation .html [apple.com] for a video on how to activate using iTunes...It would seem that this is the same for iPhones bought at AT&T stores and Apple Stores. So...lines should be quick...just go in, pay for the phone, and go home to activate... None of this activating a plan and taking 30 minutes to get going bull that normally comes with buying a cell phone...In, Pay, Out, Activate.

Lines should move fairly quickly.

Unlimited data, eh? (1, Interesting)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649225)

all include unlimited data
If the phone calls will be running on voIP, which is *data*, then technically there should be no monthly limit on minutes. Who wants to be the first to try this out?

Re:Unlimited data, eh? (5, Informative)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649315)

What makes you think the iPhone will run voice calls over IP? It's a traditional GSM phone that uses EDGE data to provide additional services including the visual voicemail. But calls go over the traditional cellular network just like any other phone.

Re:Unlimited data, eh? (1)

Utopia (149375) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649325)

Is there are an in-built app? I don't think you can do VoIP without an in-built application. Considering that this phone can only support webpages from externel providers.

Re:Unlimited data, eh? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649329)

Actually, if you look at it from a purely technical point: right now even normal voice over a GSM phone is data. It's a digital phone, GSM is packet oriented. It sends purely digital data. Just like on ISDN...

The difference is that the "voice" data has strict timing requirements, and some trade-offs were made to accomodate these requirements. Normal data networks have caught up, and that's why VoIP is possible these days.

Re:Unlimited data, eh? (2, Funny)

jdrew77 (1058530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649803)

theres not a chance that a VOIP app could run over AT&T's network. The pipes are not fat enough.

Re:Unlimited data, eh? (1)

hypermanng (155858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649813)

What do you mean GSM is packet oriented? Traditional GSM is connection oriented, assigning a TCH via multiframe only at call time.

Re:Unlimited data, eh? (2, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649431)

Ive run skype over a cell phone used as a modem and even with EVDO speeds the latency and dropped packets are pretty bad. I doubt EDGE will be much better and I'm certain plain-jane GSM will sound much, much better. I also wouldnt put it past cell phone providers to make sure that voip gets either blocked or the lowest priority on the data network end of things.

Ah ha! (5, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649473)

If the phone calls will be running on voIP, which is *data*, then technically there should be no monthly limit on minutes. Who wants to be the first to try this out?

I think you may have just hit on the very reason why Apple isn't supporting 3rd party apps. I'll bet the deal with AT&T had some sort of language to prevent this very thing since many of the iPhone's coolest features require a lot of data access. Since non-unlimited data plans are nightmarishly expensive if you're a heavy web user (like I am), it seems almost a prerequisite that iPhone plans come with unlimited data.

Naturally, this opens up the very possibility you just mentioned, so both AT&T and Apple are probably very keen on making sure that it doesn't happen. Hence, no iPhone SDK for 3rd parties. All the bluster about controlling the experience is probably just that -- bluster meant to distract from the real issue.

Why else would Apple cripple a brand new platform that could fuel a rush of developers for them except to appease AT&T?

Re:Ah ha! (2, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649741)

"Why else would Apple cripple a brand new platform that could fuel a rush of developers for them except to appease AT&T?"

Its actually for the reasons that they stated. I know the Slashdot set is rife with conspiracy theories but Apple and AT&T simply want to avoid the nightmare that other phones cause, such as Treos and WMobile devices of being returned when the user installs some instable 3rd party app and of course they go home and reload everything that was on the first phone onto the second phone causing another return, repeat repeat repeat.

A few other notes (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649229)

- iPhone DOES have a user-accessible SIM tray.

- Since one would presume the iPod functionality of the device still needs to work when the contract expires, there is probably going to be a fairly easy hack/workaround to use only the iPod functionality (e.g., perhaps just a file sitting somewhere, a la .AppleSetupDone).

- It will be interesting to see whether AT&T will unlock the phone on request, as they do for other GSM phones (for international travel and prepaid SIMs), and if that is the case, how well other carriers' networks work with iPhone (obviously sans things like Visual Voicemail).

- Still no word on battery replacement specifics, but it seems safe to assume that iPhone is the same as iPod in this respect; namely, that it is sealed and that the battery isn't "user accessible", but that there will still be plenty of ways to replace the battery [ipodbatteryfaq.com] yourself or via third parties if you so choose (battery failure under warranty would be covered by the warranty [ipodbatteryfaq.com] ). I'm going to be tracking this issue here [ipodbatteryfaq.com] .

- Still no word on insurance or AppleCare, but since all iPods have AppleCare options ($59 for two years), iPhone probably will as well.

- Two more days to determine this for certain, but it appears that if only the iPod/syncing functionality (or first time setup, anyway) is what is tied with iTunes activation, WiFi via the browser will probably work fine as-is without a contract. Note: it is not certain that this is the case, but it seems likely. (Just a point of information; not stating this as inconrtovertible fact. The only way this might not be the case is if the entire phone is just locked until activated, which seems unlikely.)

- Also remains to be seen how "hackable" the phone is in general. Here's to hoping.

Re:A few other notes (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649317)

I for one will be waiting for the 2nd generation iPhone. some rumour mills have it supporting GPS and some other goodies. If so, and the phone can be unlocked, w/o ATT service then I may well just stay with MetroPCS and use it to replace my dead newton. Oh and here's hoping that sqlite or something similar is in the build.

2nd gen? -- rubbish (5, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649671)

Everyone knows that the 3rd gen will have a ball massager and and a cheek flosser. However, I am really stoked for the 4th gen which will cut the price of the phone to .25 of its original price, as Apple always does.
According to the rumor mills, the 4th gen may also come in watermellon red, which as far as I'm concerned is the color of Kings.

Definite articles (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649345)

Why don't you use definite articles when referring to Apple products? It's awkward. Is your original language Russian?

A few MORE notes (0, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649415)

-Dave Schroeder found a great opportunity to nab some karma.

-Slashdot is partly an advertisement site, as nothing else can explain this "story". Remind me how many other advertisers get to have every new detail about upcoming products made into a /. story?

-Dave Schroeder has a deep, abiding fear of using "the".

Re:A few MORE notes (-1, Offtopic)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649513)

Dave Schroeder found a great opportunity to nab some karma.

My karma is already excellent, and I didn't even know (or care) that article submissions added karma (do they?). If you're talking about my post, it contains more detailed information that wasn't appropriate for the submission. Since karma maxes out, and I'm likely already at that point (since from what I can tell it's pretty low), it's not something I exactly care about when posting. I apologize for posting something that others considered informative, and will refrain from doing so in the future.

...

Slashdot is partly an advertisement site, as nothing else can explain this "story". Remind me how many other advertisers get to have every new detail about upcoming products made into a /. story?

This has been one of the most anticipated pieces of information dealing with a product which has dominated this any many other news sites. I fail to see how it isn't a valid piece of information that many people were curious about.

Dave Schroeder has a deep, abiding fear of using "the".

Wow, now that one stings! It's almost like you found something factually incorrect with the content of the submission!

Oh, wait...

Re:A few MORE notes (2, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649613)

Don't worry about it man,
They wouldn't understand "change" if it bit them in the ass.

So they take it out on the people who happen to see the big picture.

btw. I see that the new "chocolate" phone (coming out shortly, I guess) from one of the other carriers will now start supporting transfer of music from the computer onto the phone. Where did they get that idea, and how did they ever find engineers that could accomplish such an amazing feat? And only a dozen months after they released their original music playing phone!

Re:A few MORE notes (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649621)


I apologize for posting something that others considered informative, and will refrain from doing so in the future.

Fat chance.

;)

Re:A few MORE notes (0, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649769)

My karma is already excellent,

So? Some people need to build up karma buffers for when they want to criticize sacred cows. I would know. Nothing wrong with building up karma of course, but there's a reason they call them "karma whores".

If you're talking about my post, it contains more detailed information that wasn't appropriate for the submission.

Right, because there has never been a story that had a "read the remaining 28084 bytes" on it.

I apologize for posting something that others considered informative, and will refrain from doing so in the future.

Strawman. The problem wasn't that you posted something informative, but that you intentionally delayed it for a vanity/karma post. It's not something you necessarily should apologize for, but intentionally withholding information from the original posting -- that most people will read -- so you can post it later and get karma, is sleazy.

This has been one of the most anticipated pieces of information dealing with a product which has dominated this any many other news sites. I fail to see how it isn't a valid piece of information that many people were curious about.

Yes, it's anticipated because some sites hype it up. As an advertiser I would love for my product to have this kind of free promotion. It necessarily has a network affect whereby hype generates hype.

Wow, now that one stings! It's almost like you found something factually incorrect with the content of the submission!

I'm just saying, maybe work on including definite articles in your writing?

Re:A few MORE notes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649537)

Dave Schroeder found a great opportunity to nab some karma.
Isn't that why we are all here?

Remind me how many other advertisers get to have every new detail about upcoming products made into a /. story?
They don't 'get to have' that, they pay for it. As I recall the first obvious one was bought by the band They Might be Giants, and things have kind of taken off from there. Microsoft has bought a few. Ubuntu certainly has. The Ruby on Rails people were buying them one after another but have slowed down some.

Anyway, it is part of the site. Like it or leave.

Dave Schroeder has a deep, abiding fear of using "the".
Only with regard to the iPhone. Note 'the' appears before 'iPod' in his post. It seems that he had developed a more personal connection (pun intended) with iPhone than with his iPod. Like one would with a household pet.

Re:A few other notes (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649489)

one would presume the iPod functionality of the device still needs to work when the contract expires
Maybe, maybe not. Remember, this isn't just an Apple product, it is an AT&T product as well.

The only way this might not be the case is if the entire phone is just locked until activated, which seems unlikely.
Unlikely for Apple, maybe, but I'll bet it's not at all unlikely for AT&T. Remember, AT&T has an exclusive deal to sell this thing, and they're going to want to enforce that. I really wish that Apple would have cut a deal with more than one mobile phone service. AT&T is not my ideal wireless company.

Re:A few other notes (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649551)

Oh yeah, I wouldn't be "surprised" by any of that; but I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a very easy (or "easy-for-the-savvy") workaround, even right out of the box. I mean, AppleTV is supposed to be an appliance, and look how hackable that is, or, for that matter, many of Apple's products. Of course this is a different game and AT&T is involved, but I'd bet there's an easy workaround to get everything set up and working on the iPhone with the exception of the phone functionality, unless a significant amount of effort was directed at preventing this (and they may have).

As to your other point about after expiration, yes, AT&T and/or Apple may have played some games there too. But I'd assume that they wouldn't want to brick the phone when it's out of contract. One thing that's interesting to me is the backend processes Apple and AT&T must have built to support activation, billing, customer account information, etc., via iTunes. I don't imagine this will be a big issue for many people, because aside from the AT&T exclusivity, most ordinary people will get the phone and use it as, well, a phone, and talking about all of this kind of stuff is moot.

Re:A few other notes (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649703)

Well, again, the issue is more with AT&T as a wireless carrier. I had them and their service was really crappy, at least where I lived at the time. Dropped calls, 'static', etc., despite all of their advertisements as having 'fewer dropped calls' than other carriers. If Apple went with a different carrier, I would get one of these in a minute. I've had good success with Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile ... AT&T, forget it. That's on top of the fact that they fully supported the illegal NSA wiretapping, which, in itself is unforgivable in my book.

What? (1)

dharbee (1076687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649749)

"It will be interesting to see whether AT&T will unlock the phone on request, as they do for other GSM phones (for international travel and prepaid SIMs), and if that is the case, how well other carriers' networks work with iPhone (obviously sans things like Visual Voicemail)."

This runs contrary to everything I've read, heard, and personally experienced with unlocking a phone from AT&T (Cingular). Has their policy changed recently? All evidence I have indicates you must wait 90 days before they will unlock a phone.

Huge penis failure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649237)

In your pants. [goatse.cz]

The Lone Troller

Yes but (3, Funny)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649247)

What about the iPhone?

Re:Yes but (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649313)

I believe it's time for Poochie to become the iPhone's mascot.

Unlimited Data. (5, Informative)

Silas Palmer-Cannon (973394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649251)

Some carriers define "unlimited data" as some arbitrary level, which once you break you either lose service, or are charged a hefty fee. Just something to keep in mind.

Re:Unlimited Data. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649457)

Some carriers define "unlimited data" as some arbitrary level, which once you break you either lose service, or are charged a hefty fee. Just something to keep in mind.
Yeaaah, so does anyone have any hard data on what Cingular's track record was on unlimited use of their unlimited data plan was so as to be a predictor of how The New AT&T will define abuse of their unlimited data plan?

Re:Unlimited Data. (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649477)

With those prices, a two year contract, and unsubsidized handsets, AT&T had better not be playing any of the usual telco tricks with the definition of "unlimited".

Re:Unlimited Data. (2, Insightful)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649597)

Unless there's someway to tether the iphone to a laptop and use it as a modem or something, I highly doubt that you'd use enough bandwitdth for them to think about turning you off.

Re:Unlimited Data. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649585)

Has anyone ever sued for breach-of-contract over this?

Re:Unlimited Data. (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649675)

Defining "unlimited data" should be easy:

Maximum transfer rate per second * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours * 31 days.

That should give you your monthly limit.

Anything below that should be called "limited".

iPod functionality (3, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649267)

I don't understand the part about users "only wanting the iPod functionality of the iPhone". Why not just buy an iPod then?

Re:iPod functionality (4, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649311)

Bigger screen for video.

Re:iPod functionality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649583)

yeah, there isn't a ton of screen add-ons for the ipod that still makes the 80gig ipod and the larger (much larger than the iphone, in some cases) cheaper then the iphone.
 
another bullshit argument debunked.
 
NEXT!

Re:iPod functionality (0, Flamebait)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649693)

another bullshit argument debunked.

What is this, some kind of pissing contest? Does your penis grow bigger for every "argument" you "debunk" on the internet, never mind if it even was an "argument" in the first place?

What exactly did you "debunk"? Are you saying that since there are screen add-ons for the iPod, no person will ever buy an iPhone just to get a bigger screen to watch video on, ever?

Re:iPod functionality (4, Informative)

matthew.thompson (44814) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649335)

Because there isn't an iPod with 3.5" touchscreen?

It's a great looking iPod and I'd be tempted if it were a little cheaper even with just 8Gb. But I live in the UK so we're not going to see it until Christmas anyway.

Re:iPod functionality (2, Insightful)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649401)

Bigger and widescreen screen with the multitouch interface. If apple made a version of the iPod in the iPhone form factor (basically, an iPhone without the phone) and charged $100 less for it, i'm sure they could make a good bit. Put a hard drive in place of the phone circuitry, and you have a sure fire winner.

Re:iPod functionality (1)

Shabbs (11692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649649)

If apple made a version of the iPod in the iPhone form factor (basically, an iPhone without the phone) and charged $100 less for it, i'm sure they could make a good bit. Put a hard drive in place of the phone circuitry, and you have a sure fire winner.

Now THIS would have my attention. I don't need a new phone, but would LOVE an iPod with the iPhone screen/touch interface and large iPod capacity (40/60/80/100GB). I'd be all in on that one. Hell yeah.

Cheers.

Re:iPod functionality (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649555)

I don't understand the part about users "only wanting the iPod functionality of the iPhone". Why not just buy an iPod then?
iPhone has a much larger screen and a better experience for video than a video iPod. It also has cover flow which the video iPod doesn't have. And less storage :-(

Re:iPod functionality (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649609)

The iPhone has a larger screen that is touch-sensitive, and can handle widescreen formats beautifully (automatically senses the orientation of the screen). You would assume it would have longer battery life than a regular iPod if you do not use the phone/wireless functionality at all.

Re:iPod functionality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649681)

That orientation shit is going to suck. I use my iPod video in bed alot laying on my side because of a bad back. I hope there is a manual override for people like me.

Re:iPod functionality (2, Insightful)

mcwop (31034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649677)

I would like one to use as a web browsing device (using WiFi, and not the cell network). Basically a slick alternative to the Nokia N800.

Living in europe sucks (1)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649269)

I'd like to buy one...I'm still using my Motorla slvr. It's a nice phone but the iPone had me at ...well it just had me...unlimited data sounds pretty good :). The plans I will admit are a little pricey.

Re:Living in europe sucks (1)

pete.com (741064) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649361)

Not pricey for the US. AT&T Charges 89.00 for 1400 minute plans, unlimited data is like another 50.00.

I saw 1350 minutes, 200 sms messages, with unlimted data for 99.00 a month and thought why is it so cheap?

Unlimited data is a lot cheaper than that. (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649527)

I pay $20 for unlimited data on top of my $40 300 minute plan.
Unlimited data only costs $50 and up when its either a corporate plan or a data-only plan.

Alternate carriers (5, Interesting)

Diordna (815458) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649273)

(It will remain to be seen whether there are workarounds for this for those who only want the iPod functionality of iPhone, and whether the iPhone is easily unlockable for those who wish to try it on alternate carriers, and so on.)

Apparently, Apple had to make AT&T make changes to the voicemail system to accommodate some nifty features, so if you switched carriers, you might lose voicemail.

Re:Alternate carriers (2, Insightful)

rekoil (168689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649533)

Well, you'll lose the Visual Voicemail system - you can always just call the VM number to check messages like everyone else does today.

Unlimited Data Transfer, eh? (0, Troll)

ronadams (987516) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649285)

Imagine a mobile Beowulf Cluster of these...

Plans are not cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649287)

These plans are way overprized, but then again if you can afford this phone you can probably afford the plan (for 2 years minimum).
Same goes with a Hummer or a Porsche, if you can't afford the gas why bother buying the car

http://dotnetsamplechapters.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:Plans are not cheap (3, Informative)

ryanov (193048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649359)

That's actually not expensive -- I was surprised to see how low they were. Verizon's 900 minute plan is $99, and the cost of a Treo is really not a lot less than the cost of an iPhone (I think it might be more). When I had T-Mobile and a Treo 650, I was happy with the price I was getting (though it included WiFi in Starbucks and wherever else they controlled WiFi), and I was paying $58 for 300 mins and unlimited data. It would not surprise me to find out that these plans are cheaper than other unlimted data plans that AT&T offers.

Re:Plans are not cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649579)

> the cost of a Treo is really not a lot less than the cost of an iPhone

There's where you're plain wrong. When I got my Treo, with a two year contract, I was given a mail-in rebate. The total cost was a mere $100 after rebate. With the iPhone you have to pay the full cost of the phone, with no discount for signing up for service.

Re:Plans are not cheap (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649633)

Actually, Sprint offers unlimited data, 500 minutes, nights n weekends (nights start at 7) and mobile to mobile calling for $30. This is however under the SERO plan which no one's heard of. http://www.sprint.com/sero [sprint.com] (I think it is open to everyone now... just google for the current email address they want you to use)

Cheers!

Re:Plans are not cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649707)

FUD. verizon's does't offer a 900 minute plan for smartphone. but the 1350 plan is 110 usd and part of that price is a real e-mail service, not a web mail service. if you want to get right down to it the kind of "data" plan that at&t is offering with the iphone is more like a verizon voice plan with internet access which is much less then what ryanov is claiming.
 
anyone who modded this up is a fanboy.

Re:Plans are not cheap (1)

sydney094 (153190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649407)

Or, it's an extra $20 on top of your current voice plan. For me, the extra $20/mo is worth it. I'd go so far as to say that the plans are actually quite reasonable, since they include voice and data.

Re:Plans are not cheap (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649423)

I haven't looked at the details but the plans don't seem to be anything new. I have a RAZR with AT&T right now and pay $39.99 for (I think) 450 minutes per month. There are some night & weekend minutes in there somewhere. I added $19.99 per month for unlimited data. Here in the US midwest this is the least expensive route to have a reasonable number of voice minutes combined with unlimited data.

AT&T? (5, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649295)

"The plans are $59.99/mo for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes, and $99.99 for 1350 minutes,"

Man, it sure is expensive these days to get illegally wiretapped.

Plans starting at $60/month (1)

oxidiser (1118877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649375)

$500 for the cheapest iphone, $60/month for the cheapest plan... I'm going to have to get a second job.

Family Plan Pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649397)

The article says, "Family plans are also available."

So how much are they?!

Re:Family Plan Pricing? (1)

plazman30 (531348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649511)

Well, if you actually went to the web site, you could click on the really big 'Family Plan' tab right there at the top of the page.... Andy

Congrats to Apple! (0, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649453)

Congrats for Apple on maintaining exorbitantly high prices on all of their products and services. If they can get enough suckers to buy this, then good for them. Just goes to show how powerful some smart marketing can be, even among supposedly "educated" consumers.

Re:Congrats to Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649635)

Wow, what a stupid thing to say. Did you have this comment all typed up and ready to post, and not check the facts first?

No plan from any carrier in the US with unlimited data and comparable minutes is significantly cheaper than these.

Re:Congrats to Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649743)

If they want it to be a success, the 2 year plan should be including in the cost of the phone, not extra.

If everyone jumped off a bridge (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649459)

MetroPCS was charging $99 a month here for unlimited minutes & no data, their service was terrible though, my brothers had alot of explaining to do with people since he's been using them.

I'm on a T-Mobile contract myself, 3000 minutes that are valid to any non-tolled number of the 48 contenental United States at anytime, unlimited mobile-to-mobile, & data for rates similar to the contracts from AT&T.
The service is ok, though I had to manually set my phone to piggyback on Cingulars' network when I was in Paoli Indiana last year.


I think the biggest issue for people is going to be trying to get everyone they know switched over so the mobile-to-mobile kicks in.
Alot of people are already in contracts with other companies & the people on pre-paid are going to laugh at a 2-year contract.

Re:If everyone jumped off a bridge (1)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649535)

> unlimited mobile-to-mobile

This is in the summary as well, "unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling". Could you explain what this means? Maybe it's just because I don't live in the US, but why would you get a limited number of minutes, but "unlimited" calls to other mobiles? Aren't most calls made from a mobile phone to another mobile phone?

/me is confused

Re:If everyone jumped off a bridge (1)

xjerky (128399) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649593)

Isn't 'mobile-to-mobile' a misnomer? It's probably "unlimited Cingular-to-Cingular" instead. Currently, if I call someone on Verizon Wireless, it still comes out of my minutes.

Re:If everyone jumped off a bridge (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649647)

mobile-to-mobile as in other mobile users with the same carrier, but not necessarily the same service plan.

For instance, if I use T-Mobile & so does my friend, then neither of us are charged minutes when we talk to eachother on our mobiles no matter what time it is, & in my case, wherever we are in the United States.
I could talk to a friend in California using T-Mobile from here in Florida untill our batteries died every day & still have the same bill at the end of the month.

If my friend was using AT&T, I would be charged minutes for calling them, I don't know what would happen to them though.

Re:If everyone jumped off a bridge (1)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649759)

Ah, I see, thank you. Isn't the term a little confusing?

Re IPhone (5, Interesting)

anand78 (832850) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649479)

Last phone I bought was a Treo 650, thnking that I will be using the applications. A year later I use my phone for " Making phone calls".

Re:Re IPhone (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649739)

I got a cingular 8525 five months ago (aka HTC Hermes), and dropped the full data to a non-pda data plan (NATed access, email requires a workaround). I don't do email or IM, but I've used the browser for lookups when I'm out, and it's my full up planner and GPS (in the car with a BT GPS unit). I've even used it to entertain my 4yo when she gets antsy (the bubble game is her favorite, though I put Madagascar on the phone as a test of the video and that's nice for longer waits).

Oh, yeah, it makes phone calls too. Actually, it's really good at that. Go figure.

I think a iPhone icon is needed (1)

bodland (522967) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649499)

There are four iPod, Apple, Handheld and Communications categories in this article.

I guess if that doesn't highlight the convergence of personal technologies I don't what else would.

lies, damn lies (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649543)

Apple and AT&T today announced service plans for iPhone, 4 days before its release in the US at 6pm local time on Friday, June 29
Today is the 26th. Unless you are working with some alternate calendaring system, its only three days from now to the 29th.

Rate plan not so bad.... (3, Interesting)

xjerky (128399) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649561)

I currently pay $60 for 450 mins, unlimited data, and 1500 text messages for my Treo with Cingular. Thing is, I bought the Treo on eBay, and I swapped SIM cards from my old Motorola. So as far as Cingular is concerned, I'm still using that. They normally want to charge $40/month for unlimted data for Treos (as opposed to the $20 I'm currenly paying), which doesnt really make sense since unlimited dats is unlimited data.

With that in mind this isn't too bad of a deal. It's the same as what I'm paying though 200 text messages instead of 1500. I assume there will be iChat for the iPhone which will use the data plan, so that won't be so bad.

Re:Rate plan not so bad.... (1)

Beat The Odds (1109173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649821)

They normally want to charge $40/month for unlimted data for Treos (as opposed to the $20 I'm currenly paying), which doesnt really make sense since unlimited dats is unlimited data.

That's because Treo data is twice as betterer.

Nice price (0, Flamebait)

Rethcir (680121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649591)

$60/mo for that many minutes, unlimited data, and 250 texts is an extremely reasonable price. If you disagree, you really are an apple-hating troll.org/blog. It's gonna be reeeeally hard to keep myself from dumping like $700 to switch and get this thing right away.

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER? WTF? (4, Informative)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649603)

From this announcement: [apple.com]

System Requirements ...iPhone activation requires an Internet connection; an iTunes Store account or a major credit card; a valid Social Security number (as required by AT&T); the latest version of iTunes available at www.itunes.com and a PC or Mac with a USB 2.0 port and one of the following operating systems [blah, blah, blah...]

Social Security number? WTF? This is 2007, companies that want my business should need my social security number.

As the Social Security Administrationtells us, [ssa.gov] "Your number is confidential... You should be careful about sharing your number with anyone who asks for it (even when you are provided with a benefit or service)." I reluctantly give it to banks and brokerages who need it for tax purposes. I very, very reluctantly give it to medical organizations.

A phone company? No, thank you.

Re:SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER? WTF? (5, Interesting)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649659)

I believe that's for the credit check they run on you. Thus, the proper anger should be about why the phone company needs to run a credit check on you and/or why a social security number is required to do so.

Re:SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER? WTF? (1)

CallFinalClass (801589) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649683)

Cingular/AT&T cellular are notorious for doing hard-pull credit checks on everyone that wants service. The SSN is to enable that credit pull. I don't like it either.

Don't most still require that? (1)

RootWind (993172) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649685)

Don't most services still require a SSN for credit checking purposes? I certainly didn't have an option when I signed up for my cable internet, or phone service.

Re:Don't most still require that? (1)

CallFinalClass (801589) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649705)

I tell them not to pull my credit score, it's not authorized by me, if they want me as a customer they'll have to figure out some other way. Generally this means me paying a bit more up front or a deposit but that's OK by me.

Re:SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19649775)

Two words: Credit Report. Every contract based cell phone company gets one to make sure you aren't a deadbeat. For that, they need an SSN. Yes, it's stupid that the credit reporting is based on SSN, but that's also usually the reason you're worried about giving it out, so I guess it kind of makes sense.

Who came up with these prices? (2, Interesting)

CompMD (522020) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649731)

I get 750 minutes, free nights/weekends, unlimited data (EVDO), and insurance (if the phone dies or starts acting weird, I get a new one at no charge) for $68.00/month from Sprint, and the HTC 6700 will do just about everything the iPhone does, is easily hackable, can be safely overclocked, has a wide variety of compatible software, has an easy to develop for platform (Windows Mobile), and it will even run linux.

And Apple/AT&T want the general public to pay HOW much for WHAT again?

I can't wait to laugh at my friend's iPhone when he gets it.

Very reasonable... (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649753)

Can this bring to an end the theory the phones are, in fact subsidized? $60 is a reasonable price IMHO for voice plus unlimited data. I don't really use the phone part of my phone that often, so the plan is perfect.

74GB capacity? (5, Interesting)

berj (754323) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649765)

Did anyone else notice this screenshot in the video?

http://bayimg.com/LAcLFaabd [bayimg.com]

It shows an iPhone with 75GB of storage. Earlier in the video they show the storage as 8GB.

Any speculation as to a hard drive version becoming available sometime soon?

No free nights & weekends? (2, Interesting)

beef curtains (792692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649767)

Free nights & weekends seem to be a staple among wireless plans...but I don't see any mention of it in the iPhone plans.

I have free nights & weekends with AT&T now (which start at 7pm, which usually costs $10/mo. extra, but they threw me a bone to apologize for some chronically lousy service a while back...normally they start at 9pm, I believe)...but since I rarely exceed 300 minutes/month, not having them isn't much of a deal-breaker for me.

However, I don't understand why they wouldn't include that feature in the iPhone plans...they're already including unlimited data use, why not just throw in some unlimited voice use during off hours, like they do with all their "normal" plans? Would that break the bank, or are they afraid all their anticipated new customers will overwhelm their systems?

Like I said, this doesn't affect me too much, but it does strike me as a big odd.

74 GB iPhone (1)

jdigital (84195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19649787)

Heh. It appears that there is a little bug in the presentation video. Once the presenter has loaded everything onto the phone, the iTunes space utilization bar shows that the phone has 74GB of capacity. WTF? see http://blog.i2pi.com/2007/06/26/iphone-74gb-model/ [i2pi.com] for photos.
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