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The Almighty Buck Businesses Communications Handhelds Apple Hardware

AT&T Playing Hardball With Apple? 175

Posted by Zonk
from the trouble-in-the-boardroom dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "There's some interesting speculation from Cringley on why AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson let drop that a new version of Apple's iPhone will be introduced in 2008. The announcement is sure to cut into Apple's Christmas sales and could also cost ATT a million new customers and at least $1 billion in market cap, says Cringley. 'It is no coincidence that Stephenson made his remarks in Silicon Valley, rather than in San Antonio or New York,' says Cringley. 'He came to the turf of his 'partner' and delivered a message that will hurt Apple as much as AT&T, a message that says AT&T doesn't really need Apple despite the iPhone's success.' What may be troubling the relationship between AT&T and Apple is the upcoming auction for 700-MHz wireless spectrum and AT&T's discovery that Apple may be joining Google in bidding."
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AT&T Playing Hardball With Apple?

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  • Pscht! (Score:4, Informative)

    by goldaryn (834427) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:37AM (#21542955) Homepage
    a message that says AT&T doesn't really need Apple despite the iPhone's success

    Pscht, yeah right... AT&T need Apple way more than Apple need AT&T. Apple's whole business model is built around early adopters, they have shedloads of goodwill from the whole iPhone rebates debacle, and this won't hurt their business one bit. AT&T are the ones who really stand to lose out.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bshellenberg (779684)
      I'm quite certain that Apple needs AT&T far more than the other way around. Without the iPhone, AT&T still sells phones and does business. Without AT&T, Apple has no carrier.
      • by Bert64 (520050)
        AT&T is just one carrier of many... And remember the iphone is also on sale in europe with carriers other than at&t...
        They could even just sell the phones in the same way every other manufacturer does - unlocked units, or cheaper units subsidised by contracts.
      • by cioxx (456323)
        Apple used AT&T as a launch pad to roll out the iPhone. The word it out and it isn't some conceptual technology anymore. Apple would benefit by cutting its ties with AT&T at this point and selling an unlocked phone. They'd lose the visual voicemail, but who cares.

        At this point AT&T is dead weight for Apple, I am sure.
        • The other carriers could implement visual voicemail too if they were able to carry the iphone. AT&T isn't exactly dead weight to Apple. An unlocked any-carrier iphone wouldn't get the kickbacks from monthly service subscriptions AT&T is presently giving Apple for the exclusive contract.
          • Isn't it more valuable for Apple to be enable their phones to work with Verizon OR AT&T and sell them to both customer bases than it is to get "kickbacks" from monthlly subscriptions? Plus, remember, to Apple, their branding is hugely important, and AT&T's suckiness in terms of technology is hurting apple. I know Apple would have much preferred to be with Verizon. I for one welcome the rift between Apple and AT&T, even as I worry that it means my current iPhone may become a doorstop in the ne
          • by Fred_A (10934)

            The other carriers could implement visual voicemail too if they were able to carry the iphone.
            And there I was thinking could use visual voicemail for quite a while with my Sony phone (or any 3G phone for that matter).
            Oh wait, silly me, I'm not in the US (aka the backwater of personal telecoms).

        • by Zeinfeld (263942)
          Apple used AT&T as a launch pad to roll out the iPhone. The word it out and it isn't some conceptual technology anymore. Apple would benefit by cutting its ties with AT&T at this point and selling an unlocked phone. They'd lose the visual voicemail, but who cares.

          True, Apple does not need AT&T, but it does like the premium that AT&T pays for the iPhone exclusive. At some point Apple and AT&T are going to part ways but not for another 18 months at the least and probably not until Apple

        • by kscguru (551278)
          I tend to agree, AT&T gives Apple some $$$ from exclusivity and a bunch of bad PR. Hmm... wild guess, but maybe Apple has already made (but not yet announced) a decision to go elsewhere, and this announcement is AT&T's way of saying "we're screwing you before you screw us"?

          I know, probably wishful thinking on my part. Still, it is a nice wish...

    • by shmlco (594907) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:45AM (#21543201) Homepage
      I think some industry types are overestimating just how much the public follows the off-hand comments of a CEO at a luncheon.

      Besides, the fact that a 3G phone is coming isn't even a secret. If you wanted an iPhone for Christmas, you wanted one, and despite knowing full well that another one was coming next year. Heck, I bought one in June, knowing full well that Apple could easily introduce a newer version in November. I'd even figured out who'd get the old one if it happened.

      Net effect on Apple? Zip. [isights.org]

      And Cringely was right about one thing. Google announced that they were bidding today [google.com]. But the press release also made another thing quite clear: their application does not include any partners.

      So. No partners means no Apple partnership, which means that there was nothing for AT&T's CEO to find out. Which in turn means that his comments were relatively innocent, and not "a $1 billion message to Apple CEO Steve Jobs." By my watch, it took less than ten hours for Cringely's consipracy theory to be shot down. Could be a new record.

      Of course, you could spin it that Jobs, quaking in his boots at all of the iPhone sales he's already lost, called up Schmidt, pulled out of a planned multi-billion dollar deal, and Google obligingly issued the press release to cover his tracks. Yeah, right.

      That's exactly how SJ would handle it.
      • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @08:40AM (#21543441)
        But the press release also made another thing quite clear: their application does not include any partners. So. No partners means no Apple partnership, which means that there was nothing for AT&T's CEO to find out.

        You misread the summary. By "joining Google in bidding" the poster meant that Apple will also be bidding on the 700MHz spectrum--not that they will partner with Google in bidding for it. This isn't a partnership--it's the two going head-to-head for something they both want.
        • by shmlco (594907)
          Actually, I've seen a bit of analysis recently that says that Google DOESN'T want to win the spectrum auction. Presumably, they're just in it so the bidding goes high enough to keep the "allow any software and any device" clause alive and kicking.

          Besides the fact that Google's CEO Schmidt is on Apple's board, and that Apple and Google have a few things going on together, and bidding against Google would strain relations a bit, why would Apple go up against Google? Several things can happen:

          1) Google bids, G
        • by LetterRip (30937)

          But the press release also made another thing quite clear: their application does not include any partners. So. No partners means no Apple partnership, which means that there was nothing for AT&T's CEO to find out.

          You misread the summary. By "joining Google in bidding" the poster meant that Apple will also be bidding on the 700MHz spectrum--not that they will partner with Google in bidding for it. This isn't a partnership--it's the two going head-to-head for something they both want.

          I'm not familiar with the FCC bidding rules - but it could also be a behind the scenes partnership that if Google wins, then Apple is going to guarantee a loan for Google or promises to purchase n amount of bandwidth from them, etc. Ie they can make it so that Google can go much higher m

        • Perhaps. But Apple doesn't need to bid. They "won" the minute Verizon said they would open their network to all devices--essentially the same thing Google intends to do should they win a chunk of the 700 MHz spectrum. Google has reasons to become a carrier. Apple really doesn't, especially if they have open access to networks for any device they may wish to build.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by shmlco (594907)
            I'll just quote from the same article:

            "A similar decision will have to be made by Verizon Wireless, which this week applied ITS reality distortion field to trying to make us believe the second-largest U.S. mobile operator actually intends to open its wireless network to non-Verizon devices and services. Yeah, right.

            Verizon's move is straight from the playbook of the old AT&T back in the 1970s, when that company was trying to keep third-party telephone handsets from being connected to its network. If you
    • Re:Pscht! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Divebus (860563) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @12:17PM (#21544823)

      ...Chief executive Randall Stephenson let drop that a new version of Apple's iPhone will be introduced in 2008...

      Doesn't Apple sue information leakers out of existence? Not that it takes an Einstein to guess that anyway.


      Apple needing AT&T? Only for a few special iPhone features. If Apple opened the iPhone to any carrier and passed off that special feature set, AT&T would likely be everyone's last carrier choice so who needs who?

      • by Why2K (29813)

        If Apple opened the iPhone to any carrier and passed off that special feature set, AT&T would likely be everyone's last carrier choice so who needs who?

        Yes, but AT&T has a four year exclusive, so unless Apple wants to wait 3 1/2 years for this scenario to play out, the do have an interest in keeping AT&T happy for the time being.

        • by Divebus (860563)

          ...but AT&T has a four year exclusive

          Crap. That's right. Makes me wonder if AT&T just violated the NDA - [insert Apple lawyers searching for escape clauses here]

      • by imsabbel (611519)
        > If Apple opened the iPhone to any carrier and passed off that special feature set, AT&T would likely be everyone's last carrier choice so who needs who?

        If apple did that, they couldnt collect "apple tax" on all revenue made with the i-phone.

        The exlusive contract was the only way for a phone carrier to consider submitting to that kind of thug tactics.
      • Doesn't Apple sue information leakers out of existence?
        If they're bloggers, they sometimes try. If they are major companies then they just stop doing business with them for a bit (ask ATi about that). I wouldn't be surprised if Steve Jobs put some nondisclosure small print in the contract with AT&T, so that 2008 will see a new iPhone from a carrier other than AT&T.
  • by eshefer (12336) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:39AM (#21542967) Homepage Journal
    basically, the fact that apple will unveil a 3g iphone is (and was) obvious - with or without that att dude blabbing about it.

      the people who'd care about the existence of a higher network tech iphone have either bought an iphone already or they haven't and won't get a 2.5 iphone, anyway.

    he also didn't say when next year. "next year" is a pretty long time frame.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tgd (2822)
      On top of that, although I haven't used ATT's 3G network, I did use my iPhone and a Verizon Voyager (3G) side by side a week and a half ago... and while individual downloads were perhaps slightly faster on the Voyager (but really not noticably), both the ATT 2G and Verizon 3G suffered mostly from horrible latency where actually starting to download anything was concerned. Once something was transfering there was a difference, but for web surfing I'd argue 3G really isn't all that necessary for the iPhone (o
      • by JoeShmoe (90109)

        Assuming your iPhone is still 1.1.1 and can be jailbroken, your wish has been granted?

        http://www.tuaw.com/2007/07/25/tether-your-iphone-to-get-online-with-edge/ [tuaw.com]

        -JoeShmoe
        .
      • both the ATT 2G and Verizon 3G suffered mostly from horrible latency where actually starting to download anything was concerned

        This sounds more like a proxy issue than anything else. When I moved from GPRS to UMTS I saw ping times drop from around 2 seconds to around 200ms (the 4G stuff that's being tested at the moment is another order of magnitude lower latency). At work, I have a GigE connection from my desk to a 34Gb/s Internet connection. Loading web pages is often slower than at home where I have a 4Mb/s connection because at work I have to go through a proxy which insists on downloading the entire web page before sending

        • by Shakrai (717556) *

          At work, I have a GigE connection from my desk to a 34Gb/s Internet connection

          Where the hell do you work that needs that amount of bandwidth? AT&T? ;)

      • by arivanov (12034)
        Depends on the network.

        Based on my experience 3G with Vodafone in the UK is actually worse than many Edge networks around Europe.

        While Edge is slower it has much better management of devices in high contention scenarios. Once you get 20-30 devices camped on a cell even if they are all mostly dormant a 3G cell starts to seriously suck. It has to rehash the coding tree nearly constantly and this takes its toll on the RNC running the MAC. Its load goes up nearly exponentially and at some point it ends up keepi
    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      AT&T is getting the LG CU920 aka the Prada phone next year.
      It runs Windows Mobile 6.0 & it is a touchscreen like the iPhone.
      And it comes with 3G.

      Why AT&T would do this... make of it what you will.
  • Echo (Score:5, Funny)

    by 12WTF$ (979066) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @06:54AM (#21543023)
    "Hello? AT&T Customer Service?"
    "Good Morning, How may I assist you?"
    "I hear this echo..."
    "An echo? Do you mean on your AT&T phone?"
    "No. It's your CEO. He is just repeating what Steve Jobs said a few months ago"

    "You can expect a 3G iPhone later next year... We are working on the next iPhone already, the one after that and the one after that."
    Regent Street Apple store in London, September, 2007

    • by porcupine8 (816071) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @10:40AM (#21544127) Journal
      This one quote makes the entire thing a non-story, and it's obvious that many of the commenters below haven't read it. And yes, it's a real quote - google any section of it and you'll pull up a dozen stories on it from mid-September. The AT&T CEO can't leak something that Jobs already said in public, which means we can stop theorizing about the motivations behind or repercussions of such a leak.
  • by sirwired (27582) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:04AM (#21543057)
    It should not come as a surprise to anybody (except perhaps the logic-impaired Cringely) that perhaps Apple might feel the need to release a product update in a rapidly evolving market sometime before the sucker is completely obsolete. The fact that 3G capability is a glaring hole in the current model is not exactly front-page news. Also, "sometime next year" could mean a span as long as 17 months, an eternity in the cell phone market. I would expect that it will receive a flash capacity bump at the same time (at least a doubling).

    Also, where does the $1 Billion number come from? The same dark, damp, place that produced the "fact" that IBM was going to lay off half of its worldwide workforce?

    Cringely: Wild Speculation for folks too dumb for Dvorak.

    SirWired
    • Of course i didn't RTFA, but maybe the columnist is referring to the way apple reacted to similar announcements in the past (they were so pissed off they terminated deals IIRC).
  • Ah Robert Cringley (Score:4, Informative)

    by hansoloaf (668609) <.hansoloaf. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:05AM (#21543063)
    That should set off alarm bells in your head. A lot of his columns lately have been filled with nothing but pure speculation based on nothing but gut feeling or reading tea leaves.
    I tend to ignore his columns when he goes off like that. If he talks about upcoming technology then I'll read it.
    • by irtza (893217)

      if he talks about upcoming technology then I'll read it.


      Um... this is talking about upcoming technology - sort of. Why bother reading anything he writes? And isn't the point of sites such as digg and slashdot to sort of pick and choose articles from across different sites that would be worth reading. it seems the worth in the previous sentence is where I made my mistake.

      well, lukcily I'm one of the masses that doesn't RTFA. life is good.
    • Cringley has *always* been about rampant speculation, and he's usually wrong.
  • Cringley (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:10AM (#21543079)
    Speculation is one way to put it, crazy conspiracy theory is another.

    So AT&T CEO decides to drop 1 million customers and 1 billion in market cap (!?) in order to send a message to Apple not to bid on the wireless spectrum auction, that's his theory? If I was an AT&T shareholder I'd be wondering why not just phone them instead...

    Is this the same guy who predicted Apple and Intel merging
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014)
      Why would they drop a million customers?

      Basically, they've got a contract with Apple; unless letting the cat out of the bag this way invalidates that contract, they continue to have their exclusive for the duration of that contract.

      AT&T's interest in this deal is to rope in more subscribers. The people who wait a few months for the new iPhone are going to be signing up with AT&T. Granted they leave a few months of subscription fees on the table, but if they suspect Apple is going to knife them in
      • They have a contract with Apple for the 'iPhone'. Jobs is known for his unpredictable behavior after other companies do this to him. He had ALL ATI graphics cards pulled from MacWorld because of a slip like this.

        I agree with you. What if it's not called the 'iPhone'? What if Apple spins off a wholly owned subsidiary (Like Claris) and sells an iPhone through that route? I'm sure Jobs has some tricky little out built into the contract.

        "Ok. You wanted 5 years exclusive for the iPhone? Ok, we're never making a
        • Wow. I'm sure that'd generate a lot of customer goodwill.

          "Apple, we're the company that pisses on you, the customer, as revenge for other companies stealing our thunder."

          • by mini me (132455)
            What difference does it make to the customer? The iPhone you already own isn't going to magically become a newer model, even if Apple stays tied to AT&T forever.
  • I'm confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:13AM (#21543091) Journal
    I know AT&T is a much larger, more powerful company than Apple, but exactly how can they play hardball with Apple on this issue? If Apple drops them, signs with another carrier -- or even none -- for their next iPhone, it would be AT&T that loses money, not Apple. Apple has already made a nice bundle with the iPhone, so they probably don't really need AT&T anymore and as popular as the iPhone is, AT&T can be replaced. Does AT&T think that the primary reason people want the iPhone is because of AT&T? Obviously that is not the case, since so many people are unlocking them as soon as they get them. Seems like it would be the other way around, with Apple in a good position to play hardball with AT&T. Maybe I need more coffee, because I just don't see it.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      If Apple drops them, signs with another carrier -- or even none -- for their next iPhone, it would be AT&T that loses money, not Apple. Apple has already made a nice bundle with the iPhone, so they probably don't really need AT&T anymore and as popular as the iPhone is, AT&T can be replaced.

      Visual Voicemail, AT&T has it.

      You seem to be forgetting the whole reason that Apple had to make an exclusive deal on the iPhone. Whoever got the exclusive had to upgrade their backend to handle visual voicemail. Not everyone was interested in doing so (at the right price for Apple, I assume).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mistshadow2k4 (748958)
        I still don't get why this is a problem for Apple. Other telecoms would be quick to swoop in if Apple dropped AT&T. This would only be a problem if the iPhone were a regular, everyday cellphone, which it isn't.
        • This would only be a problem if the iPhone were a regular, everyday cellphone, which it isn't.

          Woah, a little less Koolaid. It is a regular, everyday cellphone. A few incremental improvements, a few nice new features, and a few features significantly behind the eight ball. It's not, really it's not, "ZOMG REVOLUTIONARY!"

    • by Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @08:06AM (#21543287)

      This is all about telecoms versus mobile phone manufacturers, also known as business as usual. If a telecom thinks that is business is more than just offering connection, as in being a carrier, and as more being an service provider or an experience, then the number one competitors are the handsets manufacturers as they are the ones beside operator to influence and have place in customers hand.

      Just to give some examples... Nokia has worldwide market share of approximately 40%, but in US its market share is only 5%. Why is it? Well it could be because they don't manufacture CDMA based handsets anymore (direct attack against Qualcomm), but mainly because in US handset business in operator business where operators offer to consumers what they think suites best for operators not for the consumers. To operators it suites that handsets are limited or walled, and to operators it suites better that the brand power of an handset is less than the branding power of operator. This has meant that operators don't want to offer Nokias handsets as to them Nokia is too powerful player in branding and service base, and so offering Nokias handsets more would hurt their position in longer time-frame.

      What basically AT&T is doing to Apple is just business as usual. Kick them where it hurts. Weaken their position and try to make a better deal with them. Also it should be noted that market situation has changed as major handset manufacturers and also lesser known Asian manufacturers are all offering and bringing iPhone clones to markets. For AT&T it could be lucrative to just get some iPhone clones from far east with bargain price and brand them by themselves.

      Of course there is remote possibility that mobile operators in US are colluding against Apple. There are only few GSM based operators in US, and I could easily imagine them speaking with each other to maintain status-quo in the market. So in example AT&T kicks Apple first, then as Apple talks to T-Mobile or other player, they just throw their hands up and say "oh, but we are not interested at that price", and voila telecoms win.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)
        "To operators it suites that handsets are limited or walled, and to operators it suites better that the brand power of an handset is less than the branding power of operator."
        One of the reasons I stay with Sprint is that they don't wall their phones. And as far as brand power. Well I think the Razor is a good example of how a make or model can be a big deal even in the US. I keep hoping that Apple will drop AT&T and go with Sprint.
      • Well it could be because they don't manufacture CDMA based handsets anymore (direct attack against Qualcomm)

        It is partially a direct attack against Qualcomm, but also because their CDMA chips sucked. They tried to do it without licensing (as much as they could) the technology from Qualcomm, and thus they didn't have a clear understanding of how the technology worked, resulting in dropped calls, poor reception, etc. Finally they gave up and decided not to do CDMA anymore, of course fueled by the mutual enmity between the two companies.

        Also it should be noted that market situation has changed as major handset manufacturers and also lesser known Asian manufacturers are all offering and bringing iPhone clones to markets. For AT&T it could be lucrative to just get some iPhone clones from far east with bargain price and brand them by themselves.

        It's not the same. The iPhone (for whatever reason) is the standard, the re

  • by ElBeano (570883) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:20AM (#21543109)

    The industry is going to go through some wrenching changes because new players are going to be more willing to open their networks (for real, not pretending to like Verizon). What new players? Clearwire and Google, or a combination thereof.

    This will make it easier for phone/device manufacturers to provide genuinely innovative products. If AT&T wants to stick it to Apple, they're going to find their bargaining position weakening. Quickly, I hope.

  • What "success" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nagora (177841) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @07:21AM (#21543111)
    The iPhone's sitting on shelves in the UK at least; retailers can't get rid of them and sales have been something like 1/3rd of Apple's projections. Is that "success" nowadays?

    TWW

    • by Bert64 (520050)
      The UK iphone plans are quite expensive compared to comparable plans even from the same operator... The average consumer doesnt understand the concept of unlocking.
      • Re:What "success" (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mccalli (323026) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @08:30AM (#21543385) Homepage
        The average consumer doesnt understand the concept of unlocking.

        Don't you believe it. The average consumer here in the UK certainly does understand the concept of unlocking, normally done down a local market for about £5. What they don't understand the concept of is paying £270 for a phone - phones here are things that come free with your contract, paying even £50 would be considered unusual. There are exceptions, such as the N95, but that's at the very top end of the market only and is still considered to be unusual.

        Cheers,
        Ian
  • But the thing that hurts the most is that the new version comes out before your 18 month contract expires meaning you have to have two contracts or just miss out on the improved version.

    This is why I don't bother with contracts, your contract phone is tarnished and practically worthless by the time you are at the end of the contract.

    It would be like having 20 year finance on a car.
  • by nurb432 (527695)
    I wonder if apple stuck on some sort of NDA about new products and this dude leaked it without permission.

    Either way, id be pissed if i was Steve Jobs.
  • by jht (5006) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @08:54AM (#21543527) Homepage Journal
    When he hits one, he really nails it, but when he misses it's by a lot. I posted some of this as a comment on his site, so I apologize for the duping, but:

    Steve already stated that there would be a 3G iPhone, and he said to expect it late next year. Quoted at the London Apple Store opening back in September. That's not the only time Apple's discussed it.

    EDGE is ubiquitous on the AT&T network. If you want data access, EDGE support is a no-brainer.

    With the minor upgrades to EDGE that AT&T did over the spring and summer, the iPhone is improved, and so are the other EDGE devices (like the Treo 680, for instance) that they sell. It's a good investment by AT&T.

    Right now, most of the 3G chipsets are still relatively bulky and draw fairly high-power - by 2008 that should change. But the current iPhone has really good battery life - adding 3G to that today would hurt. Apple's also stated this directly.

    3G support isn't built out yet on much of the AT&T network. It's still only in the major metro areas. Kind of where EVDO was about 3 years ago. Not to mention that their 4G plans are in sync with Verizon's now.

    Seriously, these aren't the toughest tea leaves to read. By the time AT&T builds out their network for 3G, Apple will be ready to use it. If Apple's contract gives them an opening to play in 700, they'll do that as well. But I count this as a Cringe miss - there's no conspiracy this time, just a lot of obvious and previously stated facts.
    • by MikeyVB (787338)

      Right now, most of the 3G chipsets are still relatively bulky and draw fairly high-power - by 2008 that should change. But the current iPhone has really good battery life - adding 3G to that today would hurt. Apple's also stated this directly.

      This already has recently changed. Broadcom just developed a new compact chip that supports all the major 3G technologies plus other things (Bluetooth, FM Radio). I forget where I heard this from, but a quick Google has a reference here [news.com]. IMHO, the "we cant do 3G because of battery issues" is just an excuse to stall wait for the 3G market in the US to develop a bit more first.

      • by jht (5006)
        The newer generation chipsets have just started to hit the market in the last few months. It takes a while to engineer them into handsets - I think you'll start seeing them in volume devices during Q1 08. Apple never said iPhone was the one and only. It's the first handset in what will be a family of devices. It may even be that the iPhone that we know now stays on the market at a lower price point while the 3G iPhone comes out and sells for more money. Or maybe AT&T charges an extra $5 for the 3G
    • uninformed drivel (Score:3, Insightful)

      by m2943 (1140797)
      Right now, most of the 3G chipsets are still relatively bulky and draw fairly high-power

      Sorry, but that's uninformed drivel.

      3G and 3.5G handsets come in slivers that are a few millimeters thick and have excellent battery life:

      http://www.mobilegazette.com/nokia-6500-classic-07x05x31.htm [mobilegazette.com]

      http://ezinearticles.com/?Sony-Ericsson-W-880i-Black---Experience-the-Walkman-Phone&id=534534 [ezinearticles.com]

      Some of them even throw in WiFi. Those phones aren't even particularly expensive (about $15 for the Nokia with activation).

      The U
      • by kevinbr (689680)
        ".......Oh, and you can get a 3.5G iPhone-like phone: the Samsung F700; it looks superb, and squeezes a full keyboard into something with roughly the same form factor and look as the iPhone:......"

        Funny you should use the phrase uninformed drivel. Which is exactly what your comment about the F700 is. I had a team testing some applications or it, and they wanted to throw it out the windows. Everyone laughed at this piece of shit.
  • Apple's stock did not take a hit from the announcement, so the market clearly does not think that this is going to have a big impact on profits (in contrast, it fell quite sharply when Jobs announced the iPhone price cut).

    It seems more like a difference in corporate strategy between Apple and AT&T rather than an attempt to hurt Apple. Apple traditionally likes to keep things secret until they spring it on the public. But many other companies like to let investors know where they are headed. And it's not
  • So... Let's say I went and picked up a bargain 1st generation iPhone once the 3G version emerged. I don't mind slower speeds, so long as I get service. Will EDGE be going away? Will I still have that service?
  • Hero$ (Score:3, Funny)

    by GodInHell (258915) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @09:31AM (#21543769) Homepage
    Free the spectrum. . . Save the world. . . Make $$$

    -GiH
  • Steve Jobs (Score:3, Funny)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Saturday December 01, 2007 @12:32PM (#21544951) Journal
    And Jobs says, "Okay, FUCK AT&T. Pull their contract on grounds of assassination of our business model; sue them for our projected lost business; and start shipping iPhones for Verizon only. Let's see how they like their new potential customers flocking straight to the competition." Then AT&T's stock price drops.
    • by G Fab (1142219)
      Why wouldn't Apple want to do this... even if it had no beef with ATT?

      Most ATT customers who wanted an iphone have one. Some people are stuck on other networks for other reasons (family plans, etc). So now let's get all T-Mobile customers who really want an iphone signed up. A year later, move on again.

      Except that ATT is paying Apple a lot of money. I wonder if there's something else on the horizon from google or others that makes ATT think the iphone won't be a good investment in the future.
  • A few years ago, ATI's CEO hinted at an investor meeting that Apple was about to release a brand-new iMac, and that the entire line would sport ATI graphics hardware.

    Two days later, Apple did indeed release a new line iMacs... all of which contained nVidia graphics hardware.

    AT&T may just have done the same exact thing. If you're doing business with Apple, do not fuck with the NDA, or you will almost certainly find yourself out of your lucrative and exclusive contract with them.

    This is Apple's mode of b
  • People keep quoting the 1-2 million handsets sold by Apple as being a large number. I hate to bring reality into this argument but the growth in mobile handset sales this year in China alone is over 10 million units. There are startup mobile handset makers in China who within 18 months of their creation have sold over 7 million handsets so Apples numbers look rather poor too me. AT&T have realised what many within the industry have, Apples sales although generating allot of publicity are small fish in t

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