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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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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.

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