Who gives a damn about AT&T's entitlement to iPhone exclusivity?


Do cellular carriers have fanboys? The very thought makes my skin crawl. As AT&T's brass appeals to Apple to extend its iPhone exclusivity period past 2010, however, there appears to be debate over the matter. Lonnie Lazar at Cult of Mac lays out the somewhat obvious arguments against it:

As the Apple spokeswoman in the WSJ article was quoted, "We have a great relationship with AT&T." But how about the consumer? ... Even if technical issues cannot be overcome that prevent iPhones, as they are currently manufactured, from working with Sprint and Verizon's CDMA-based services -- and surely they could be overcome in this day and age -- having a choice between AT&T and T-Mobile is better than having a choice between AT&T and not using an iPhone at all.

If nothing else, if there were a Sprint or Verizon iPhone that operated on Evdo rev. A., the name "iPhone 3G" would be a technical joke rather than an actual one.

Why Apple Should Not Extend AT&T's Exclusive iPhone Service Deal [Cult of Mac]

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11 Responses to Who gives a damn about AT&T's entitlement to iPhone exclusivity?

  1. eliterrell says:

    It’s called Stockholm Syndrome. People who get locked into these long contracts and are abused have a tendency to sympathize with their captors. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

  2. Drew Blood says:

    Dear Apple, I would have bought an iPhone by now if it wasn’t for my loathing of AT&T. I loathe my current carrier as well but I have unlimited data and text for $35/mo which I’m not willing to give up for shiny toys.

  3. TravisW says:

    Cellular carriers definitely have fanboys. I’m a huge fan of T-mobile. Every time I have called their customer service I hung up in a good mood. I don’t have to wait on hold. The automated system verifies the number I’m calling from, and tells me they’ll call me back as soon as an operator is available. That’s not to say I’ve never felt hosed. I went over on texts one month, and decided to upgrade my plan so it wouldn’t happen again. I was told it would retroactively affect my bill, but it didn’t. Nobody’s perfect, but they’re pretty awesome.

  4. guy_jin says:

    Yes, there are network fanboys. I’m one of ’em. I spend some time out in the boonies; AT&T didn’t seem to work outside city limits, And Sprint one-uped them by working along interstates. Verizon works almost everywhere I go; I basically have to be several feet underground before I lose a signal.

    I, for one, would love a Verizon Iphone.

  5. aTanguay says:

    I would say it’s a not a question of ‘fan’ but ‘which do I dislike least’.

    It makes me sick that I’m on AT&T for the iPhone after hearing how they handled warrantless wiretapping during the Bush years…and at the time I was happy to be on T-Mobile who was reported to have told them ‘go get a warrant’.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, in some places one carier or another seems to have better coverage too. At my in-laws AT&T got nothing but Verizon has full bars, for example.

  7. Anonymous says:

    AT&T is technically quantifiably than T-Mobile because they’ve got 3G on 850MHz in addition to 1900MHz. 850MHz is a better frequency for urban areas. T-Mobile, unfortunately, only has it on 1700MHz.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Also: Fuck Sprint and Verizon so hard. CDMA is a joke. At least if my AT&T or T-Mobile phone breaks I can pop the SIM card in a cheapo $30 GSM phone I got off eBay instead of having to pay full-price for a piece of crap from the carrier.

  9. north says:

    This is moot, Apple will never produce a CDMA iPhone because “4G” will not be a CDMA technology. Verizon’s 4G network will be LTE-based which is essentially a GSM technology (yes, I’m oversimplifying), which they will start rolling out in 2010.
    We’ll most likely see a Verizon 4G iPhone released around then, when the exclusivity runs out and their LTE network is up.

  10. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    I would like an iPhone and will buy one as soon as it is T-Mobile compatible.

    T-Mobile is not perfect but they are nice, and you can talk to people who have actually power. One AT&T operator once tried to convert me to Jesus and then wouldn’t let me pay my bill because I had forgotten my password. I was only trying to *give* them money but they said that it was a security risk if I didn’t remember my password. This was after the warrantless wiretapping thing. I told her that I didn’t give a shit if Saddam Hussein wanted to pay my bill and she hung up on me. I have been happy with T-Mobile ever since.

  11. wrybread says:

    I too can confirm that cellphone companies have fanboys. I had a super bad experience with Sprint customer service so I dropped them. I found out there was a loophole that lets you break your Sprint contract for free (now sadly expired), so I took my revenge by posting it all over the internet, on every cellphone forum I could find. There are many cellphone forums out there…

    Anyway, instead of people saying “hey thanks, that’s a good idea” or simply “I’m happy with Sprint, so no thanks” I got chorus after chorus of people defending Sprint, saying whatever happened must have been my own fault. It was super surreal. These people loved Sprint. Like really really loved them.

    So I’d watch the forums for a little while and other people would post their problems with Sprint and then wham, same thing would happen, they’d get buried under an avalanche of Sprint fanboyism. Even figuring that a good 30% of it must have been astroturing, it was still a lot.

    And, incidentally, I learned that Sprint fanboys almost universally cannot spell for shit.

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