Print 21 comment(s) - last by TomZ.. on Jun 12 at 1:19 PM

Apple eyes a move to competitors like Verizon

AT&T was the first and remains the sole carrier of Apple's iPhone in the U.S.  With millions of new iPhone customers, the deal has been a win for both companies. It has defined Apple as a dominant player in the smart phone market and catapulted AT&T into second place in terms of U.S. subscribers, behind only Verizon.

However, the relationship between the pair has gone from hot to cool to downright icy.  At Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, where the new iPhone 3G S was introduced, this rift appears especially pronounced.

At one point in the keynote address, Apple showcased a large list of the telecoms internationally which supported using tethering to make the iPhone a modem.  AT&T was not on the list.  Some in the audience gasped at the glaring snub to AT&T.

Later in the keynote, the presenter matter-of-factly mentioned that AT&T won't support sending photos as SMS messages until later this summer.  Right on cue, many Apple-philes in the crowd began to loudly boo.

Such disdain has long been simmering.  Many iPhone customers have sounded off on DailyTech and other sites complaining about AT&T and longing for official alternatives (outside of unlocking).

In a way the two companies are well suited for each other.  Both have proven themselves willing to resort to extreme tactics to control user actions and what content they are allowed.  However, Apple has grown increasingly tired of being blamed for problems it feels are AT&T's fault, and AT&T is equally tired of being blamed for problems it feels are the responsibility of Apple.

Reports indicate that Verizon could pick up the iPhone in the U.S. as soon as next year.  No one knows the secret details of Apple and AT&T's contract, but it seems unlikely that the company will be able to hold onto exclusivity -- or want to.  This could be bad news for AT&T as Verizon has a larger network and better coverage (though occasionally criticized for its data network) and many users would likely switch.  Most would argue its good news for Apple, which will sell more phones, and the customers, who should see better service.

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By noirsoft on 6/10/2009 2:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm unclear. I just snapped a photo with my AT&T fuze and sent it as a text message to a friend of mine with an iPhone. What exactly is not supported?

RE: Huh?
By axeman1957 on 6/10/2009 3:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
I do not have an iPhone, but i believe you do not recieve an MMS with the picture, you recieve notification to go online with your 3g data to get the picture from an internet location

RE: Huh?
By HrilL on 6/10/2009 3:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
This is correct. But with the new OS will the US version just not have MMS enabled until At&t get around to supporting it. I'm a little confused as to why it wouldn't be supported from the start. I mean every phone has MMS now days so wheres the problem?

RE: Huh?
By Myrandex on 6/11/2009 10:58:56 AM , Rating: 2
I read that it was disabled on everyone's accounts due to the software not supporting it, and that AT&T was simply going to have to go through and turn it on someone's account manually when they have the OS 3 upgrade.


RE: Huh?
By omnicronx on 6/10/2009 5:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
The question is, is if you send a an MMS photo to someone else with a Vuze, will it work. I find it weird that you can send but not receive, makes me wonder if AT&T is really the bottleneck here, or if Apple is just shifting the blame.

RE: Huh?
By omnicronx on 6/10/2009 5:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason I bring this up, is that I remember sending my friend an MMS picture 2+ years ago on his treo and it worked fine. He didnt have to open a browser, it was merely an attachment that he had to click on.

RE: Huh?
By noirsoft on 6/10/2009 10:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know how MMS is "supposed" to work, since the Fuze is the first phone I've tried it on, but here 's what happens when I send a photo to myself.

Take picture. Then select "Send as MMS" from the photo screen (yes, it specifically says MMS)

It opens the messaging app, which organizes all my text messages into a conversation by contact. I select myself and send. Note that the message shows a max size of 600K. I don't know if that's a MMS limitation or an indication of something else.

A minute later, I receive the message. The photo is not displayed in-line, but I can click on it and the picture opens up, still within the messaging app. Maybe it uses an embedded web browser, but it doesn't launch PIE or any separate app. The message also shows a size of 93K, whcih includes the pic size.

So, it appears to me that AT&T supports MMS, but I do not claim to be an expert, and welcome one to chime in. I am also inclined to blame Apple (as a matter of habit) for spreading FUD, but I don't think the reality distortion field would be big enough to cover something like this. So, I repeat again: What exactly is Apple claiming that AT&T doesn't support? Clearly I'm still missing something.

By ChicagoLarry on 6/10/2009 8:10:10 AM , Rating: 4
Hot Diggity. Glad to hear others have had it up to here with ATT. Although I live in a posh neighborhood of Chicago, getting a signal for ATT is never, ever a sure thing—it's catch as catch can. No signal for a mile on north Lake Shore Drive, no signal on the Stephenson Expressway. No signal in my yard (and certainly not in my home). Walked around all 4 corners of an intersection near the lake (Kenmore & Glenlake), and then half way down the block—no signal. Ask anyone from Chicago, ATT SUCKS. Dropped calls are frequent & routine. Every time I hear an ATT ad say "fewer dropped calls," I wonder "than who?" And why aren't they sued for making such a bald-faced lie? I had both Sprint and Verizon before and don't recall EVER having a dropped call! iPhone in Chicago is like driving a Cadillac with a Yugo engine. What ever possessed Apple to go with them?

My contract is over this month, and I'm telling ATT to take a hike. When Apple gets a decent carrier, I'll consider buing a new iPhone.

IF ONLY I KNEW HOW TO START A CLASS ACTION SUIT.... Half our fees should be refunded.

By acase on 6/10/2009 1:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'll give ya 100 bucks for the phone then!

By eddieroolz on 6/10/2009 10:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
Congratulations for joining the rest of the advanced world. We have lots to offer other than the crappy iPhone of yours!

By Myrandex on 6/11/2009 10:59:54 AM , Rating: 2 Vzn locking out bluetooth features, GPS features, and removing memory from their phone (HTC Touch Pro for Vzn compared to everyone else's Touch Pro).

Why AT&T? Why?
By HrilL on 6/10/2009 10:32:37 AM , Rating: 2
How can they not support MMS? Its supported on every other phone they sell. I've been paying for MMS for the past year since it comes with unlimited text in a family plan. I got one more year on my contract and I think it will be my last with AT&T. Verizon should have the iphone by next year hopefully and maybe it will be LTE and CDMA compatible since it will need to be able to fall back onto older network tech where LTE won't be offered.

AT&T's network is just crap. Edge in Europe goes around its max 384Kb/s after looking at speed test. On AT&T you'll be lucky to get 170kb/s Their 3G is crap as well. I get full bars at home and it goes about as fast as edge in Europe. 3G talk = dropped calls almost every time still and this was supposed to be fixed long ago. And then we don't even get to use applications over the network that other phones have been using all along. We pay more for data but we get to use less of it go figure AT&T.

Wheres the class action on AT&T over selling capacity they don't have?

I was happy with AT&T up until I got the first iPhone and when I got the 3G with more cost and less support that was my breaking point. Bye bye AT&T I'll be taking my 210 a month elsewhere as soon as I'm free! All my contracts end around the same date so they don't have anything to keep me locked to them =)

RE: Why AT&T? Why?
By Myrandex on 6/11/2009 10:57:08 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why it is so bad for you. In the North Eastern Ohio region (about an hour south of Cleveland), I get wonderful 3G reception. I constantly have better reception than friends of mine on Verizon and Sprint, especially in rooms insides of offices or basements. My AT&T signal is amazing and I have recommended them to plenty of people.

I just did an internet speed test on my AT&T Tilt, and I received more than 1M / s (1073kbit/s) which I am completely satisfied with. I have great pricing, and the best phone selection without locked out features.

My fiance has an iPhone and yes she doesn't get MMS, but that isn't a big deal for her. She is part of the modern world and uses Email. But she will get MMS with the OS3 update (when AT&T activates that feature). I can understand it being disabled...CrApple didn't support it in software for the longest time, and still refuse to support it for the original iPhone after it is updated to OS 3.


RE: Why AT&T? Why?
By TomZ on 6/12/2009 1:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, I had a couple of good laughs at your comments. If you look at the spectrum of comments from people around the country, AT&T's 3G network sucks to say the least.

And I liked the comment about people using e-mail instead of MMS. Are you really that clueless?

And don't even get me started about AT&T customer support. I am forced due to monopoly to use them for my home and business land lines. Calling their customer service "incompetent" is being nice compared to what their service is really like. They behave like the big, stodgy, monopolist that they are.

By yacoub on 6/10/2009 7:34:44 AM , Rating: 2
What annoys me is that they show T-Mobile as a partner in the partner list slide at the WWDC launch announcement, yet in reality it's only T-Mo in Europe/ elsewhere, not T-Mobile in the US. That's an insult to injury for US customers, considering T-Mobile has better customer service and plan pricing than AT&T and so even though they're a smaller network, I'd much rather sign up with them than with AT&T.

"AT&T only" is ANNOYING. Just like Apple's frequent behavior in many areas, like its draconian policies, but it takes the cake when they force users into AT&T contracts if they want the new iPhone even though Apple knows full well AT&T is poorly received these days.

RE: .
By Myrandex on 6/11/2009 10:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe by you, but I can't think of a cell company that I'd rather be with...although I refuse ever to get a keyboard with a stupid only virtual keyboard...

AT&T Sucks
By TomZ on 6/10/2009 7:36:39 AM , Rating: 2
...and Apple is realizing it, too. Their network sucks and they are a big, bureaucratic company that abhors change. They are a poor partner for Apple who is trying to innovate in that market.

RE: AT&T Sucks
By Myrandex on 6/11/2009 11:00:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yea they are awful...wonderful service, good customer support, great 3G speed, no dropped calls, all in my home area and places I travel too...I can't stand them.

By Doormat on 6/10/2009 4:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
I can remember five or so years ago, Verizon was disabling all sorts of bluetooth features on their phones. For no good reason other than to disable them. Sometimes even after you had bought the phone. At my company we had purchased about $100,000 in land surveying equipment dependent on a link to the internet through a BT phone. We used it for a while then it stopped working. Verizon had turned it off, and they didn't (initially) want to turn it on. They eventually caved but its not like they're perfect.

I'm fairly happy with AT&T (except for the MMS thing, tethering is less of a deal, I'd just want them to offer it at $1.99 for a 24-hr period).

The iPhone is still good enough to stick with AT&T for a while yet. I dont think Apple would switch exclusivity to Verizon even after the contract is done - by then they'll just sell LTE phones that work on both carriers. This would be the best option for consumers - make it so that AT&T and Verizon have to compete for the more lucrative iPhone subscribers. Then they might have an incentive to provide good customer service, fast wireless speeds, etc.

By toyotabedzrock on 6/10/2009 5:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
I really don't understand why AT&T is being blamed for the MMS problem. Every other phone is able to use MMS so there is obviously a defined protocol the phone OS has to use to send MMS messages. It is Apple who has been lazy in not implementing it. There is several open source programs that utilize the MMS protocol, look on sourceforge.

Somewhere sometime...
By FITCamaro on 6/10/2009 11:04:52 AM , Rating: 3
I am sitting in a dark room sitting like Mr. Burns saying "excellent..."

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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