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The iPhone's Role In Crippling T-Mobile 325

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

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  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @03:44PM (#37298106) Journal

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

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

    What exactly is our current regime, anyway?

  • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Saturday September 03, 2011 @03:45PM (#37298116) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

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

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @04:23PM (#37298346)

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

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

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

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

  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @05:01PM (#37298634) Journal

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

  • Re:Insane premise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rabtech (223758) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @05:46PM (#37298888) Homepage

    Don't forget that one customer is not equivalent to another. The iPhone carries with it a premium data plan, resulting in higher revenue for the network operator.

    Both T-Mobile and Sprint have admitted publicly (via their CEO's statements) that they are losing these high-value *profitable* customers due to the iPhone. There is little to dispute here. If their CEO admits that publicly I'd wager he/she is far better informed than any slashdot commenters.

    I'd also point out that iPhone customers buy more apps and the iPad is literally 90%+ of the tablet market right now. The iOS platforms are also far more standardized than Android so hardware support is easier *and* Apple handles a lot more of the billing aspect so no need to handle refunds or deal with installation headaches (or store fragmentation). So as a developer the choice is easy: develop for iOS first, then port to other platforms if you get around to it. That is the same self-reinforcing cycle we saw leading Windows to market dominance (then illegal activity to leverage that into a monopoly).

    Apple is leveraging their domination of component markets (like flash) and vast cash hordes to buy manufacturing capacity, supply guarantees, etc. Whether that will turn into a monopoly or not is TBD but it certainly means you'd have a difficult time competing with them as everyone who tried to build a tablet found out the hard way.

    On a personal note, I left Sprint after being a customer for almost 10 years to get an iPhone, and I'm one of those high-dollar plan customers with multiple lines. I'd rather be a Sprint customer and I hope they get the iPhone 5.... but as long as they don't, I will be forced to stick with ATT or Verizon.

    A second personal note: I hope Android keeps improving and moving forward because it will keep Apple honest and innovating. And to those who love their Android devices, great. I'm glad you are happy and feel free to keep on trucking... but I love my iOS devices and I love not having to install a virus scanner on my phone and I'm willing to give up some control to have that one less hassle.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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