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MacBytes
Jan 11, 2007, 03:08 PM
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Category: News and Press Releases
Link: Carriers lukewarm on iPhone (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070111160803)
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Some_Big_Spoon
Jan 11, 2007, 03:29 PM
They're lukewarm (at best) on any product that offers the user more control, especially if it's out of their profit-centered/user-is-the-enemy framework.

My hope is that the iPhone will show corps. that people want to be able to actually use their own devices, not be forced to work around artificially manufactured limitations that serve no purpose other than the promise of slightly higher profits.

bigmc6000
Jan 11, 2007, 03:36 PM
There's an article sitting at the top of appleinsider about how cingular store employees had to field a bunch of questions from people about the iPhone - doesn't seem that lukewarm to me...

Zadillo
Jan 11, 2007, 04:10 PM
I think the article headline is a bit misleading. First, these are Australian carriers (who obviously wouldn't have much to say about a device Apple isn't even going to launch there until 2008). Secondly, they do point out that the current iPhone's EDGE nature makes it of limited interest to them.

I think that Telstra's quote though might make it sound like they are missing the point (that the iPhone's "features" are already available on their network).

Either way, I don't think it's "lukewarm" as much as that they just don't know enough about the plans for it to even have a comment.

I think most people assume that by the time it does launch in these regions, Apple will have a 3G version of the iPhone available anyway.

rozwell
Jan 11, 2007, 04:38 PM
really though... mid '07 for US and '08 for others? even for the US market, EDGE is pretty much old news and these new devices should not only push carriers to 'open up' phones, but to also improve their networks to handle 3g all over. and just because the iPhone doesn't force you into some situation to spend more money with your carrier (such as forcing you to send a picture message after taking a photo) it still seems very much tied down just in apples own control freak way. personally i would like to see a few universal operating systems emerge that carry from manufacturer to manufacturer, not another one only apple can use and develop. furthermore most people gripe about phones being so tied down... most have no idea what its like to actually have real phone freedom much more than being able to change some colors or run your phone on any carrier and if your lucky, run an unsigned java app. the ability to create a custom menu thats completely organic and no where near your typical (and stale) icon grid or maybe the option to develop a screen saver to fetch live web feeds. there is so much more out there that just isn't available in the US market and i want apple to push that, really make things happen, because what i see in the iPhone is the same old same old with a little more gloss.

Macmaniac
Jan 11, 2007, 04:43 PM
I think carriers still need more time to evaluate the phone. BTW the phone still is not out, so a lot could change especially for countries who won't get it till 2k8.

In the mean time I hope Apple releases the API's to developers so outside companies can make apps for it!

Zadillo
Jan 11, 2007, 04:43 PM
I wouldn't make too many assumptions just yet about what the iPhone is and isn't. There still seem to be a lot of conflicting reports about whether it will be as "closed" as an iPod or as "open" as a Mac in terms of third party development, etc.

Aside from that, again, Apple has already said 3G, etc. is coming to the iPhone. It's not like the current unveiled iPhone is going to remain stagnant (any more than the iPod never evolved past the original product).

shamino
Jan 11, 2007, 06:06 PM
Does anyone here from Australia know what AU carriers tend to do with respect to locking phones?

Here in the US, phones are almost always bought from the carriers, and therefore end up shipping with carrier-specific versions of firmware. This makes it difficult to activate them on other carriers' networks, often has a custom UI, and often disables important features.

This is one reason why the iPhone is so remarkable. Apple's ability to get Cingular to accept the phone with out a Cingular-proprietary UI, and to even change some of the network back-end to support the new voicemail interface is beyond belief. If Motorola tried that, they'd have been laughed out of the room by absolutely every carrier.

Anyway, if carriers in Australia play the same games, then that would explain why they're not all that keen on the iPhone. On the other hand, if AU carriers tend to sell unlocked phones, then the equation changes somewhat (although they'd still have to change their voicemail server, which no carrier is going to be happy to do.)

shamino
Jan 11, 2007, 06:13 PM
Aside from that, again, Apple has already said 3G, etc. is coming to the iPhone. It's not like the current unveiled iPhone is going to remain stagnant (any more than the iPod never evolved past the original product).
This is why I'm also unconcerned about the 2-year exclusive contract with Cingular. That contract almost definitely applies only to one specific model of iPhone, not to the entire concept - Apple would never sign over that many rights.

So if the public really goes for the iPhone in June, I wouldn't be surprised to see a more advanced version (perhaps UMTS, HSDPA or CDMA/EV-DO, and maybe some other features) released soon afterwards and available with other carriers.

(Of course, Verizon will never sell it if they can't mangle it beyond all recognition :( )

Zadillo
Jan 11, 2007, 06:17 PM
This is why I'm also unconcerned about the 2-year exclusive contract with Cingular. That contract almost definitely applies only to one specific model of iPhone, not to the entire concept - Apple would never sign over that many rights.

So if the public really goes for the iPhone in June, I wouldn't be surprised to see a more advanced version (perhaps UMTS, HSDPA or CDMA/EV-DO, and maybe some other features) released soon afterwards and available with other carriers.

(Of course, Verizon will never sell it if they can't mangle it beyond all recognition :( )

Yeah. I have to think that Apple could easily do what Palm and Motorola do; make specific versions perhaps that different carriers can get as "exclusives". ..... so no matter what carrier you have, there is some form or other of Treo you can get. And I think even the Motorola Q is available now on multiple providers (with a "Q Pro" available now on Spring, for example).

Chundles
Jan 11, 2007, 06:39 PM
Does anyone here from Australia know what AU carriers tend to do with respect to locking phones?

Here in the US, phones are almost always bought from the carriers, and therefore end up shipping with carrier-specific versions of firmware. This makes it difficult to activate them on other carriers' networks, often has a custom UI, and often disables important features.

This is one reason why the iPhone is so remarkable. Apple's ability to get Cingular to accept the phone with out a Cingular-proprietary UI, and to even change some of the network back-end to support the new voicemail interface is beyond belief. If Motorola tried that, they'd have been laughed out of the room by absolutely every carrier.

Anyway, if carriers in Australia play the same games, then that would explain why they're not all that keen on the iPhone. On the other hand, if AU carriers tend to sell unlocked phones, then the equation changes somewhat (although they'd still have to change their voicemail server, which no carrier is going to be happy to do.)


Phones are locked to carriers if you buy them with a contract but it's free to have them unlocked and illegal for the carrier to charge to unlock them. Phone companies don't alter the firmware or features of the phone - they'd be run out of town for trying to do so.

We don't pay to receive calls, all mobile phones have the same two digit area code before the 8 digit number which means that call rates are the same whether you're calling across country or across a room. It also means that when you move to another state or region you don't need to change your mobile number, it's fully portable. No such thing as "long distance calls" on a mobile phone.

There are very few exclusive phone deals here, all the carriers have their own stores but there are also plenty of stores that sell phones with plans from all carriers, you simply pick out which phone you want and you have a choice of carriers and plans that you can pick from - they then apply that plan to that phone so you don't buy the phone outright but you can have pretty much any phone on any carrier. The information is in the SIM card so if I have a phone on a 2 year contract with Optus, so long as I get the phone unlocked, a mate of mine can pull my SIM card out, put his in and use it on his account from another carrier.

I'm amazed and appalled at the level of control carriers in the US have over users. Our network is basically designed around a single set of towers so carriers generally have the same level of coverage, we base our choice of carrier on cost and benefits. I'll be going back to Vodafone after I finish this Optus contract on a pre-paid system so I don't have a contract and can make use of their "free texts with credit recharges" feature. Once my contract with Optus is over I'll pick up a $2 SIM card from Vodafone and go from there, my number gets transferred over automatically and away I go.