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(PCWorld)   AT&T celebrates 130 years of stifling innovation by hobbling your iPhone   (pcworld.com) divider line 46
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4698 clicks; posted to Business » on 11 Jun 2009 at 11:48 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-06-11 08:45:39 PM
I wasn't charged a different rate for MMS by Cingular/ATT in the 4 years before I bought an iPhone. Why would they change the SMS/MMS packages now?
 
2009-06-11 09:12:28 PM
AT&T is nearing the end of its exclusive agreement. if they do gouge for MMS and/or tethering, they'll see a mass exodus once the iPhone becomes available to other carriers.

now - so far, i have had no problem with them. their service has actually been a lot better than i expected.
 
2009-06-11 09:48:50 PM
If you think AT&T is gouging, just wait until the iPhone is available through Verizon.
 
2009-06-11 11:33:59 PM
I was able to get both mms and tethering working on 3.0 GM with a little trickery. Happy I won't have to wait until the end of summer.
 
2009-06-12 12:15:36 AM
I'm typing this on my jailbroken iPhone which has done tethering via PDAnet and MMS via multiple programs for a long time now so Im getting a kick out of these replies.
ATT and other wireless carriers can suck it I buy all my phones unlocked and online because I refuse to be stuck to them for 2 years. ATT mobility had a hugly profitable year and it won't surprise me if tethering is 60-70 bucks when introduced. They are known to.Their rates have always been really high and Idont see them letting up with this
 
2009-06-12 12:26:32 AM
Or just go to the InfoWorld site and read it instead...
 
2009-06-12 12:42:02 AM
If you think AT&T is gouging, just wait until the iPhone is available through Verizon Sprint.
 
2009-06-12 12:43:07 AM
They've been stifling innovation for 130 years by hobbling the iPhone... I didn't think the iPhone had been around that long, subby
 
2009-06-12 12:54:21 AM
discount sushi: I wasn't charged a different rate for MMS by Cingular/ATT in the 4 years before I bought an iPhone. Why would they change the SMS/MMS packages now?

Just because they can.
 
2009-06-12 12:58:45 AM
discount sushi: I wasn't charged a different rate for MMS by Cingular/ATT in the 4 years before I bought an iPhone. Why would they change the SMS/MMS packages now?

Because it continues the long tradition of screwing consumers.
 
2009-06-12 01:22:22 AM
HempHead: If you think AT&T is gouging, just wait until the iPhone is available through Verizon Sprint.

Verizon + Sprint use CDMA cell technology.

The iPhone uses GSM.

So no worries. You wont get raped if you are using Verizon/Sprint.
 
2009-06-12 02:04:33 AM
Siskabush: HempHead: If you think AT&T is gouging, just wait until the iPhone is available through Verizon Sprint.

Verizon + Sprint use CDMA cell technology.

The iPhone uses GSM.

So no worries. You wont get raped if you are using Verizon/Sprint.


Maybe you didn't get the memo on up and coming wireless protocols/technologies but Verizon and ATT and many others are moving to LTE. WHich is a quasi GSM/CDMA hybrid of sorts(to explain it very basically) so rumor is that Apple is trying to hit up Verizon for an LTE iphone since their network will be up a lot sooner than ATT. The new LTE should take cell tech to a new level so it should be interesting to see who Apple partners with or if they just sell LTE phones that you can use on anybody.
 
2009-06-12 02:14:36 AM

Maybe you didn't get the memo on up and coming wireless protocols/technologies but Verizon and ATT and many others are moving to LTE. WHich is a quasi GSM/CDMA hybrid of sorts(to explain it very basically) so rumor is that Apple is trying to hit up Verizon for an LTE iphone since their network will be up a lot sooner than ATT. The new LTE should take cell tech to a new level so it should be interesting to see who Apple partners with or if they just sell LTE phones that you can use on anybody.


No. LTE is OFDMA, not CDMA. WCDMA (a.k.a UMTS) is the current 3g technology for the GSM world; EV-DO is the corresponding 3g technology for Sprint, Verizon and those that used circuit-switched CDMA. They are all moving from some CDMA technology to the same OFDMA technology (well Sprint still says its going for WiMax instead, but Verizon and the GSM world are all linking hands and going together). Will this mean you can use your Verizon phone on a GSM carrier? No, as they will likely keep the baseline circuit switched methods on each (GSM +LTE or
CDMA 1xRTT +LTE). Also, the spectrum used will be different for each carrier, just like now.

So, don't expect a multi-carrier LTE iPhone any time soon, kids.

/Cue "the more you know", thanks
 
2009-06-12 02:27:42 AM
skippy.fluff: Maybe you didn't get the memo on up and coming wireless protocols/technologies but Verizon and ATT and many others are moving to LTE. WHich is a quasi GSM/CDMA hybrid of sorts(to explain it very basically) so rumor is that Apple is trying to hit up Verizon for an LTE iphone since their network will be up a lot sooner than ATT. The new LTE should take cell tech to a new level so it should be interesting to see who Apple partners with or if they just sell LTE phones that you can use on anybody.

No. LTE is OFDMA, not CDMA. WCDMA (a.k.a UMTS) is the current 3g technology for the GSM world; EV-DO is the corresponding 3g technology for Sprint, Verizon and those that used circuit-switched CDMA. They are all moving from some CDMA technology to the same OFDMA technology (well Sprint still says its going for WiMax instead, but Verizon and the GSM world are all linking hands and going together). Will this mean you can use your Verizon phone on a GSM carrier? No, as they will likely keep the baseline circuit switched methods on each (GSM +LTE or
CDMA 1xRTT +LTE). Also, the spectrum used will be different for each carrier, just like now.

So, don't expect a multi-carrier LTE iPhone any time soon, kids.

/Cue "the more you know", thanks


I am aware of all of that I just tried to make it easy for everyone to understand since hardly anybody knows EVDO or CDMA or hell even GSM and what they stand for or even what they do.

Sometimes making it easier for people instead of sounding like a Wikipedia article helps make it simpler for everyone involved.

And I never said anytime soon.
 
2009-06-12 04:04:21 AM
skippy.fluff: Whaaarrgarbbbl.
 
2009-06-12 05:58:33 AM
While unfortunate, the "hey your two years isn't up suck it up" is not surprising. I mean really-I signed a 2 year long contract. I wish it was a 1 year contract, but it isn't.

Fortunately I have a teenage son who is more then happy to receive a 1 yr old phone every time I upgrade, but if he hadn't I'd know the only way I could get a new iphone was with a extra charge, or by waiting a year.

If AT&T changes their decision it will be for one reason only-there's an advantage to them to do so.

The only real complaint I have-and I think its reasonable, is MMS at the end of summer? WTH? I know it adds to the traffic burden, but come on...its a degraded low res picture versus me and my wife e-mailing 2-3 megapixel pictures etc. Is the mms ran on a separate network? I don't get the delay, and AT&T made a serious mistake in leaving this open going into the WWDC. Basically everyone and their dog gets to see at&t not serve their customer base well.
 
2009-06-12 07:47:51 AM
LesserEvil: They've been stifling innovation for 130 years by hobbling the iPhone... I didn't think the iPhone had been around that long, subby

Add to that this is actually SBC. They bought AT&T and the name.
 
2009-06-12 08:39:16 AM
Just Say No to an iPhone Rate Hike

There.
 
2009-06-12 08:53:05 AM
I cants waits to gets mines on cricket. Respekt.
 
2009-06-12 09:06:30 AM
I have a simple pay-as-you-go plan through T-Mobile, so I'm saving about $50 with a payback on new phones and getting out of the old plan of three months. So I'm REALLY getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2009-06-12 09:39:27 AM
FTFA "I doubt it will take long for smart develoeprs (sic) to "jailbreak" the iPhone"

Ah - this was done a long time ago.

/worthless article
//however - AT&T is handling this poorly
///no surprise
 
2009-06-12 09:58:07 AM
Some of you know WAY too much about cell phones.
 
2009-06-12 09:58:32 AM
AT&T SUCKS!

Right now, I'm in the middle of Burbank CA, In Los Angeles, One of the Largest population centers in the world. I'm surrounded by cell towers, and my iphone has 2 of 4 bars showing for signal strength.

FARK YOU AT&T!

The minute I can jump ship back to T-Mobile, I will. I hate AT&T and everything they stand for. Your corporate policy should not be punish the customer and stifle innovation. I'll never understand why a smart guy like Steve Jobs got into bed with a shiatty company like AT&T.

However, I love my iphone. It's by far the coolest phone I've ever had. I only use about 10% of what it can do, but that 10% is flawless.
 
2009-06-12 10:34:26 AM
johnsmith99: The minute I can jump ship back to T-Mobile, I will. I hate AT&T and everything they stand for. Your corporate policy should not be punish the customer and stifle innovation. I'll never understand why a smart guy like Steve Jobs got into bed with a shiatty company like AT&T.

There is a lot wrong with AT&T but this is just a stupid comment. All cell service providers suck. They will continue to suck. And going with AT&T was a smart move at the time. The next logical step is to wait for the exclusive agreement with AT&T to expire in a year and allow any cell service provider to carry the phone. Which I believe is Apple's plan
 
2009-06-12 10:43:33 AM
LesserEvil: They've been stifling innovation for 130 years by hobbling the iPhone... I didn't think the iPhone had been around that long, subby

Now they're stifling your reading comprehension!

/not subby
 
2009-06-12 11:42:42 AM
Im paying $63/mo with Sprint for unlimited data, mms, and in a week or so, tethering (Palm Pre will be hacked soon enough). Comparable plans on AT&T/Verizon are $90 / $100+ respectively. Once Apple gets out of their AT&T exclusive deal, and the 3G rush of customers start looking for new contracts, AT&T is going to be in a world of hurt.
 
2009-06-12 11:53:15 AM
Dumped AT&T, switched to Sprint, got a Palm Pre. Loving it so far. The service where I live is light years better than AT&T's and the one time I called customer service they were so effing friendly I almost puked.

AT&T can DIAF. Apple needs to drop them like a bad habit, or at least end exclusivity.

Come to think of it, all cell phone exclusivity sucks. The best cell service I ever had by FAR was with US Cellular but they have sh*t for phones.
 
2009-06-12 11:56:09 AM
stuhayes2010: Some of you know WAY too much about make your living developing and supporting cell phones.

FTFY

I don't, but I reckon the jargon fellers above do.
 
2009-06-12 11:57:44 AM
stuhayes2010: Some of you know WAY too much about cell phones.

Yeah, and thank jebus for them, too. Everyone has their areas of over-expertise. It's a good thing.
 
2009-06-12 12:02:55 PM
Once the exclusivity of the iphone on at&t is over, expect at&t to take some serious drop in customers. If they were smart they would try to fix problems like customer service, and high price points. But they won't until their market share starts dropping, and by then its kinda late ya know?

Good customer service, NOT pissing off apple so much that you get singled out at the WWDC shouldn't have been too hard either. What idiot decided that was a good idea? The iPhone is probably responsible for a significant percentage of their customers.
 
2009-06-12 12:05:15 PM
The area I live in is best covered by AT&T. I currently have an AT&T contract for another 9 months. I've been an AT&T customer for 2 years since they bought my local carrier out. I'm sick and tired of my WM6 phone (the HTC Tilt SUCKS, Windows Mobile sucks).

My complaint is: if I wanted to go into the AT&T store right now and get an iPhone, I don't get any discounts. I have to pay $600 AND sign up for another 2 years!

Where's the respect and discount for existing customers? "Ha, you signed your life away for 2 years! We don't give a shiat about you now! Just keep paying us your monthly bills now, sucker!"

If by the end of my current contract, Sprint or T-Mobile establish a presence up here in Northern Minnesota, I'm going to the Pre or G1/G2! Maybe by then some miracle will happen and AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity, but I doubt that will happen next year (or even in 2011).
 
2009-06-12 12:18:09 PM
Greywar: The iPhone is probably responsible for a significant percentage of their customers.

I present the frontrunner for the Fark Understatement of the Year award.
 
2009-06-12 12:22:20 PM
The iPhone is pretty good, with a few nitpicks, I really like mine
AT&T and their network farking blows chunks. I can't recommend getting an iphone through them for this reason. Try one of the clones or get a cracked one on Verizon or something.
 
2009-06-12 12:22:21 PM
Jness: If by the end of my current contract, Sprint or T-Mobile establish a presence up here in Northern Minnesota, I'm going to the Pre or G1/G2! Maybe by then some miracle will happen and AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity, but I doubt that will happen next year (or even in 2011).

The G2 looks like some sweetness, and before long there will be additional phones beyond the Pre with the WebOS (one is already slated for this year called the Eos, sort of a "Pre-light"). Apple needs to GTFO of that AT&T situation, because the competition is heating up really f*cking quickly all of a sudden.
 
2009-06-12 12:54:51 PM
Jness: The area I live in is best covered by AT&T. I currently have an AT&T contract for another 9 months. I've been an AT&T customer for 2 years since they bought my local carrier out. I'm sick and tired of my WM6 phone (the HTC Tilt SUCKS, Windows Mobile sucks).

My complaint is: if I wanted to go into the AT&T store right now and get an iPhone, I don't get any discounts. I have to pay $600 AND sign up for another 2 years!

Where's the respect and discount for existing customers? "Ha, you signed your life away for 2 years! We don't give a shiat about you now! Just keep paying us your monthly bills now, sucker!"

If by the end of my current contract, Sprint or T-Mobile establish a presence up here in Northern Minnesota, I'm going to the Pre or G1/G2! Maybe by then some miracle will happen and AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity, but I doubt that will happen next year (or even in 2011).


So you want to buy a subsidized phone before your contract covers the subsidized phone that you bought previously. During the initial release period of a hotly anticipated new phone that will bring in additional subscribers.

Good luck with that.
 
2009-06-12 12:57:25 PM
AT&T is better than Sprint, no matter how much you hate AT&T.....search your feelings, you know it to be true.
 
2009-06-12 01:02:17 PM
UnspokenVoice: Or just go to the InfoWorld site and read it instead...

Who still reads InfoWorld?
 
2009-06-12 01:05:45 PM
Jness: The area I live in is best covered by AT&T. I currently have an AT&T contract for another 9 months. I've been an AT&T customer for 2 years since they bought my local carrier out. I'm sick and tired of my WM6 phone (the HTC Tilt SUCKS, Windows Mobile sucks).

My complaint is: if I wanted to go into the AT&T store right now and get an iPhone, I don't get any discounts. I have to pay $600 AND sign up for another 2 years!

Where's the respect and discount for existing customers? "Ha, you signed your life away for 2 years! We don't give a shiat about you now! Just keep paying us your monthly bills now, sucker!"

If by the end of my current contract, Sprint or T-Mobile establish a presence up here in Northern Minnesota, I'm going to the Pre or G1/G2! Maybe by then some miracle will happen and AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity, but I doubt that will happen next year (or even in 2011).


Why not be smart about it and just go to Ebay and spend $400-450 for a 3G iphone and then sell your WiMo phone for like $200 maybe more or less depending on the condition of it?

Then just toss in your sim card in the Iphone and be done with it. No 2 year contract, no being stuck on thei $30 a month Iphone data plan (you can just add the $15 a month MediaNet unlimited since you are bringing your own equipment to ATT), and no having to spend $600 on an iphone.

Sure the iphone won't be the new 3GS but you can upgrade to that by the time the end of your contract comes due.

See problem solved and you actually made out better by doing it the way I told you to.
 
2009-06-12 01:19:59 PM
crab66: AT&T is better than Sprint, no matter how much you hate AT&T.....search your feelings, you know it to be true.

I've never had Sprint, but I had AT&T from 2001-2005, and it was the worst piece of shiat in the entire history of shiat. It didn't matter where I was, my elevation, or my direction, that phone wasn't getting shiat for coverage. Two other phones also sucked the cancer right out of Farrah Fawcett's arsehole. AT&T is just the worst thing ever. It's worse than a million Hitler's (yeah, I went there).

Fark you, AT&T.
 
2009-06-12 01:28:51 PM
I don't think it's really an issue of their network, as my 2 1/2 year old Cingular 8525 has always worked just fine with AT&T's MMS and tethering, with little extra cost to me (just per MMS sent).

I think they're just dragging their feet as they attempt to calculate the IQ to wallet ratio of iPhone users on how to best financially rape people who are willing blindly follow minor product upgrades from Apple.
 
2009-06-12 02:04:50 PM
crab66: AT&T is better than Sprint, no matter how much you hate AT&T.....search your feelings, you know it to be true.

I've had both, recently, and you're so very horribly wrong.
 
2009-06-12 02:23:52 PM
BornfromPain: Why not be smart about it and just go to Ebay and spend $400-450 for a 3G iphone and then sell your WiMo phone for like $200 maybe more or less depending on the condition of it?

Then just toss in your sim card in the Iphone and be done with it. No 2 year contract, no being stuck on thei $30 a month Iphone data plan (you can just add the $15 a month MediaNet unlimited since you are bringing your own equipment to ATT), and no having to spend $600 on an iphone.

Sure the iphone won't be the new 3GS but you can upgrade to that by the time the end of your contract comes due.

See problem solved and you actually made out better by doing it the way I told you to.


I'm going to stop by the office after work and see just how my billing would change. I already pay about $150/mo. for everything unlimited (work subsidizes most of that) but I think I could get by with less minutes (based on my last year's usage I'm sure I can find a cheaper plan). However, if I'm already paying for unlimited data usage, is that a different thing than the MediaNet plan you mention? Perhaps I should look into this option, I just haven't given it much thought yet.
 
2009-06-12 04:18:11 PM
MrSteve007: I don't think it's really an issue of their network, as my 2 1/2 year old Cingular 8525 has always worked just fine with AT&T's MMS and tethering, with little extra cost to me (just per MMS sent).

I think they're just dragging their feet as they attempt to calculate the IQ to wallet ratio of iPhone users on how to best financially rape people who are willing blindly follow minor product upgrades from Apple.


Could it be since every iPhone will suddenly have MMS, there might be a huge load on the existing network? I have the original iPhone and felt the plan was very reasonable as compared to other web-enabled phones. And why the preoccupation with rape?
 
2009-06-12 04:27:09 PM
Jness: BornfromPain: Why not be smart about it and just go to Ebay and spend $400-450 for a 3G iphone and then sell your WiMo phone for like $200 maybe more or less depending on the condition of it?

Then just toss in your sim card in the Iphone and be done with it. No 2 year contract, no being stuck on thei $30 a month Iphone data plan (you can just add the $15 a month MediaNet unlimited since you are bringing your own equipment to ATT), and no having to spend $600 on an iphone.

Sure the iphone won't be the new 3GS but you can upgrade to that by the time the end of your contract comes due.

See problem solved and you actually made out better by doing it the way I told you to.

I'm going to stop by the office after work and see just how my billing would change. I already pay about $150/mo. for everything unlimited (work subsidizes most of that) but I think I could get by with less minutes (based on my last year's usage I'm sure I can find a cheaper plan). However, if I'm already paying for unlimited data usage, is that a different thing than the MediaNet plan you mention? Perhaps I should look into this option, I just haven't given it much thought yet.


It depends if you have a WiMo device I have a feeling you are getting charged the PDA connect fee which is like $30 a month. If you do my little trick don't take the phone into ATT and make sure you change your IMEI to a non PDA phone so you can knock the price down. Meaning if you have an old GSM phone, bought the cheap Pay as you go Phone and use that phones IMEI or whatever tell them you want to change that to.. Once changed go online and change your plan to MediaNet which will be $15. It's unlimited internet and should work perfectly.

Once you do get the iphone if you hook it up to itunes and you do a restore or upgrade to either the latest 2.2.1 or 3.0 which comes out in a week don't go through the activation process if the phone asks you to. Download QuickPwn which is literally the easiest hacking tool around. Just download it, plug your phone in, and click through the menus. It will activate the phone and if you want jailbreak it so you can put on all the cool side apps that Apple refuses to allow. Don't be scared it is not hard and it is actually very very easy.

So the process isn't hard at all to do so you can save money, avoid 2 year contract, and have the phone you want.
 
2009-06-12 06:49:28 PM
They can't even provide decent land line service and internet let alone cellphone service. I never seen such an incompetent company before. It a good job they were able to be deregulated and do whatever they wanted while no competition was let in.
 
2009-06-12 11:58:00 PM
Alright. Can we clear a couple things up for the illiterate and/or easily duped on these internets?

For MMS: According to BGR and (I think) engadget, the problem is removing all the "mms block" codes from your account. So, in theory - if you know a guy, or go to a store, or call in to customer service now or anytime this summer, they should be able to manually remove the mms blocked code from your account. Thereby (in theory) making you able to send mms messages come 6/17. It isn't that AT&T isn't allowing it, it's that it's logistically impossible to auto-remove that feature code from every iphone account ever. The software allows it. The network has to be properly set up.

Also, if you think you have to sign up for a 2 year contract with a $600 iphone, you're an idiot. Let me break it down for you. Eligible to upgrade? $99, $199, $299. 2 year contract. Not? $299, $399, $499. 2 year contract. No contract? $499, $599, $699. The $200 discount you get if you aren't eligible to upgrade and still renew a contract is $200 more than you get off ANY phone in AT&T's portfolio. Hell, it's $50 more than you get off most phones if you ARE eligible to upgrade. Why does everyone think they're entitled to something for nothing?

Let's try an experiment. Go to an AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint store or call customer service, and tell them you want $200 off the retail price of a blackberry if you sign a new contract. Oh, and then tell them you've only got 16 months left in your existing contract. Set a timer for how long they laugh before they tell you no.

Look, AT&T isn't perfect. No wireless company is. Does anyone seriously think Verizon's gonna let early adopters of the Storm update to the Storm 2 out of the goodness of their hearts? Any other exclusive phone? Is T-Mobile gonna let anyone upgrade the G1 to the G2? When the Pre 2 comes out, what are the odds of everyone who bought a Pre getting a pass into a new one?

The last time around, the original iphone was not subsidized. Everyone who thinks they got something awesome when they could get a 3G missed the fact that they could have bought ANYTHING discounted at any point after buying the original.

Oh, and regardless of the company you have for your wireless service, the bars on your phone aren't really an accurate rendering of what your service is at any given time. Call your tech support and ask them. The wireless industry has built this myth of "bars" as though it means something, and it doesn't. Oh, and different carriers work well in different parts of the company. Just because Sprint sucks in NE Ohio where I am, doesn't mean Sprint sucks across the country. Get a grip.
 
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