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MacRumors
Jan 25, 2007, 07:10 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Jim Cramer/RealMoney.com (http://www.thestreet.com/p/_rmct/rmoney/jimcramerblog/10334565.html) has notes from AT&T regarding their plans for the iPhone. His column suggests that AT&T will be using the iPhone to aggressively target customers and implies that they will provide significant discounts in service:

Now, AT&T's all about market share, and if you read between the lines, I think you see a strategy coming where the device's $500 price point is preserved but the service contract is greatly reduced. I think that AT&T -- and not Apple -- is the key to this next leg, and CEO Stan Sigman can make it happen.

A recap of the same article (http://www.thestreet.com/_mktw/funds/realmoneyradiowrap/10334546.html) outright claims that AT&T/Cingular will be "giving away its service for a year and a half to those customers who buy the phone".

[ digg this ] (http://digg.com/apple/AT_T_Cingular_to_Give_Away_18_Months_of_iPhone_Service)



arn
Jan 25, 2007, 07:14 AM
strange that no other reports of this are out there. I would expect this was truly "implied" and not outright said. If anyone has more details on what AT&T said in their earnings call, let me know.

arn

whooleytoo
Jan 25, 2007, 07:14 AM
Now THIS is revolutionary!

Sounds too good to be true though. I was expecting very aggressive data-plan pricing, but this goes far further.

philbeeney
Jan 25, 2007, 07:15 AM
Still doesn't help anybody else outside of the US though.

I can't wait for the iPhone to come to Canada.

tkidBOSTON
Jan 25, 2007, 07:23 AM
Now THIS is revolutionary!

Sounds too good to be true though. I was expecting very aggressive data-plan pricing, but this goes far further.

Agreed!

I think this would turn many of the "price point is a deal breaker" people into "price point is a deal maker" people.

I know I wouldn't hesitate to sign up for this.

BillyShears
Jan 25, 2007, 07:26 AM
Still doesn't help anybody else outside of the US though.

I can't wait for the iPhone to come to Canada.

According to this post (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3271698&postcount=14), it is due in Canada (with Rogers) some time between September and December of this year. He also claims Apple won't let Rogers subsidize the cost of the phone (sounds like what might be happening with Cingular?), so maybe Rogers will have a similar plan with a certain number of free months.

noverflow
Jan 25, 2007, 07:27 AM
If that was the case, I would buy the phone in a heartbeat. No question about it. Personally I think this is simply false though. Even at $50/m ($900 over 18 months) you SAVE $400 by getting the phone. It would be stupid not to get the phone. (assuming you can pay the $500 up front)

arn
Jan 25, 2007, 07:30 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D052; Blazer/4.5) 16;320x320)

maybe its only basic serice

wwooden
Jan 25, 2007, 07:30 AM
I don't get cingular here, but if I did and I was going to get the iPhone, I would have been extremely happy if said that if you get the iPhone, just pay for a regular service plan and the data plan is free. I have a hard time believing that they will give free service for a year and a half, I feel it will be more of what has already be speculated: that they will have a special all inclusive plan for the iPhone at a much cheaper price than buying everything individually.

Chundles
Jan 25, 2007, 07:33 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D052; Blazer/4.5) 16;320x320)

maybe its only basic serice

Show off.

Wonder how this is going to translate down here where all our providers are GSM and the providers jump through the hoops to sell the cool phones?

dernhelm
Jan 25, 2007, 07:34 AM
If that was the case, I would buy the phone in a heartbeat. No question about it. Personally I think this is simply false though. Even at $50/m ($900 over 18 months) you SAVE $400 by getting the phone. It would be stupid not to get the phone. (assuming you can pay the $500 up front)

Yeah, it makes no sense. This guy is either off his rock, or he misinterpreted something he heard from some "insider" at the company.

If it were true. the only reason not to get the phone would either be the upfront cost, or the fact that you simply don't need a phone in the first place. AT&T can't go around handing out $400 to anyone needing cellphone service over the next 18 months.

Darkroom
Jan 25, 2007, 07:34 AM
Still doesn't help anybody else outside of the US though.

I can't wait for the iPhone to come to Canada.

tell me about it... i hope Telus Mobility will snag some deal with Apple 'cause they're for sure the best cellular company here in the east, but something tells me that the oh so evil Bell Mobility or Rogers *shiver* will be the ones with the iPhones.

MacVault
Jan 25, 2007, 07:37 AM
Now this sound 2 good 2 B true! But if it is true... YES! I TAKE BACK ALL THE COMPLAINING I DID ABOUT THE CINGULAR DEAL!

Now, where can I sign up? Cingular.. I want to give you $500 right now for the iPhone and sign that 18-free-months + 6-payed-months contract!

abrooks
Jan 25, 2007, 07:39 AM
Why don't they just go one step further and do what we do over here in the UK. Pay for the contract monthly (usually 12 months) and get the phone free. I would expect nothing else from my O2 contract, I expect the most expensive phone they have for free.

MacVault
Jan 25, 2007, 07:47 AM
Why don't they just go one step further and do what we do over here in the UK. Pay for the contract monthly (usually 12 months) and get the phone free. I would expect nothing else from my O2 contract, I expect the most expensive phone they have for free.

Yea, that's what I would rather see too. I HATE cellphone contracts! They are from HELL!

Max Payne
Jan 25, 2007, 07:48 AM
Why don't they just go one step further and do what we do over here in the UK. Pay for the contract monthly (usually 12 months) and get the phone free. I would expect nothing else from my O2 contract, I expect the most expensive phone they have for free.

I doubt it, except if you are going to take the most expensive tariff. I have been an O2 customer for more than 5 years and I only got a free mobile once.

Nokia N91 -----------------> Free
Nokia N80 -----------------> £70 with £10 discount on monthly tariff.
O2 XDA II -----------------> £130 with NO discount.
Nokia 8800 ----------------> £130 with NO discount.
Nokia 8310 ----------------> £50 with NO discount.

bokdol
Jan 25, 2007, 07:49 AM
doesn't phone companies take up alot of the cost of phones so they can make people get 2 year contracts. i mean a razer retail for 300 dollars but you get it free with like a 2 year service i think. maybe this will bring the cost of service down.

jackc
Jan 25, 2007, 07:53 AM
I figure by the time I get out of my Sprint contract, the iPhone will be a few hundred dollars cheaper, so I'm good to go.

Jerry Spoon
Jan 25, 2007, 07:57 AM
doesn't phone companies take up alot of the cost of phones so they can make people get 2 year contracts. i mean a razer retail for 300 dollars but you get it free with like a 2 year service i think. maybe this will bring the cost of service down.

Absolutely. And you know how Apple hates to discount their products, so it makes sense that the only other thing the service provider can discount is the cost of their service. That being said, I can't imagine it would be 18 months of free service. Maybe 6 months. Even with that amount, I'd definitely give the iPhone a second thought.

Americanloti
Jan 25, 2007, 08:01 AM
Yea, that's what I would rather see too. I HATE cellphone contracts! They are from HELL!

For me the best option would be to sell the phone unlocked at the Apple Store. Even at 500 euro I would buy it in a nanosecond, and use the Sim Card I already have (which is prepaid). I really hope they'll go this way in Italy since the market is completely different than US.

Max Payne
Jan 25, 2007, 08:07 AM
I prefer paying things in advance. This was I wont be worried about high monthly bills. If this is adopted in the UK, I'll take one.

Murty
Jan 25, 2007, 08:08 AM
I doubt it, except if you are going to take the most expensive tariff. I have been an O2 customer for more than 5 years and I only got a free mobile once.

Nokia N91 -----------------> Free
Nokia N80 -----------------> £70 with £10 discount on monthly tariff.
O2 XDA II -----------------> £130 with NO discount.
Nokia 8800 ----------------> £130 with NO discount.
Nokia 8310 ----------------> £50 with NO discount.

Sorry for the off topic comment:

That's the first time I've been on one of these popular Mac rumour forums and noticed someone actually located near me! Max, live near Broadgate park, just down the road from you.

As for the iPhone, hoping Orange will carry it here and offer some kind of discount. Knowing our luck in the UK, Apple will charge £599 for it! Also, hoping they offer a standard SMS thing, allowing one off texts, rather than always grouping by recipient into an iChat like interface.

Fingers crossed...

yg17
Jan 25, 2007, 08:09 AM
I wouldn't take Cingular's service even if the iPhone and the monthly bill were given to me....

kwajo.com
Jan 25, 2007, 08:13 AM
tell me about it... i hope Telus Mobility will snag some deal with Apple 'cause they're for sure the best cellular company here in the east, but something tells me that the oh so evil Bell Mobility or Rogers *shiver* will be the ones with the iPhones.


I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed, it's going to be Rogers. The iPhone is GSM and the only carrier of that kind in Canada is Rogers (and Fido which they now own).

Also, Quebec is not the East of Canada, we are ;)

aricher
Jan 25, 2007, 08:15 AM
I wouldn't take Cingular's service even if the iPhone and the monthly bill were given to me....

I'm not sure how Cingular's service is in St. Louis but here in Chicago it's been flawless. I've had no problems with the network anywhere I've gone in the nation and have had no problems using it in The Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany as well. I honestly can't believe there are so many Cingular haters out there.

epochblue
Jan 25, 2007, 08:21 AM
I'm not sure how Cingular's service is in St. Louis but here in Chicago it's been flawless. I've had no problems with the network anywhere I've gone in the nation and have had no problems using it in The Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany as well. I honestly can't believe there are so many Cingular haters out there.

I live in St. Louis and I haven't had any problems with Cingular's service. The only times it doesn't work have been in tunnels or *deep* inside buildings. Nothing out of the ordinary, really.

And if the monthly cost of service for the iPhone is free/cheaper, I'll be forking over for an iPhone almost immediately. The cost of the plan (not the phone) is what will keep me from buying one.

NightStorm
Jan 25, 2007, 08:22 AM
If this is even party true, I'll be a very happy switcher.

Jerry Spoon
Jan 25, 2007, 08:22 AM
I wouldn't take Cingular's service even if the iPhone and the monthly bill were given to me....

I've got Cingular in St. Louis (St. Charles actually, but it's basically just a suburb) and the biggest problem I had in the past with the service was taking the cheap LG phones that they were offering. Once I got my Razr my reception increased incredibly and the number of dropped calls dropped to almost none. I keep hearing commercials about how it's the netwok that makes the difference and I can't argue that the network is important, but the quality of the phone seems to be equally important to me as well.

Max Payne
Jan 25, 2007, 08:25 AM
Sorry for the off topic comment:

That's the first time I've been on one of these popular Mac rumour forums and noticed someone actually located near me! Max, live near Broadgate park, just down the road from you.

Another Notts Apple fan joins the club. :D
Until now there are two in Dunkirk, one in Beeston and one in Wollaton.
I will take an iPhone no matter what the contract of the initial payment is, if and only if it's not locked to a specific network.

clcnyc
Jan 25, 2007, 08:29 AM
good lord, I can't take all of this speculation, why can't I tear myself away from this??? Why aren't I working?:o

zelmo
Jan 25, 2007, 08:31 AM
I can't really believe that they'd give up 18 months of service charges, but if that was 18 months of free data, it'd be more believable. That would be the same as buying the phone for $150 or so w/regular 2yr contract, I'd guess.

does make it more attractive for us Yanks. hmmmmm...

mrthieme
Jan 25, 2007, 08:48 AM
This sounds great, but I am not expecting any provider to wow us with their packages for the iphone. It has demand built right into it, and Cingular knows that many people will sign anything to have one.

yg17
Jan 25, 2007, 08:52 AM
I've got Cingular in St. Louis (St. Charles actually, but it's basically just a suburb) and the biggest problem I had in the past with the service was taking the cheap LG phones that they were offering. Once I got my Razr my reception increased incredibly and the number of dropped calls dropped to almost none. I keep hearing commercials about how it's the netwok that makes the difference and I can't argue that the network is important, but the quality of the phone seems to be equally important to me as well.

I had nothing but trouble with them (I'm in Chesterfield). Part of the problem was the actuall cellular service, the other part was the customer service. And it wasn't the phones fault. Between me and my parents, we had 3 different brands/models phones on Cingular and had problems (and my phone wasn't a cheap one either, it was an unlocked Sony Ericsson w810i).

tk421
Jan 25, 2007, 08:54 AM
Amazing! If this is the case, I'll be buying one!

I think this is probably too good to be true. Where would Cingular/AT&T make their money? The last six months of the contract aren't much. They'd hope that most of the customers continue with them?

I hope this is true - it might be true - but it's probably not.

Flyinace2000
Jan 25, 2007, 08:56 AM
I'm not sure how Cingular's service is in St. Louis but here in Chicago it's been flawless. I've had no problems with the network anywhere I've gone in the nation and have had no problems using it in The Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany as well. I honestly can't believe there are so many Cingular haters out there.

I don't get it either. I live in Norther NJ. Cingular has actually been better than VZW and when i went sking in vermont my phone seemed to work more than my girlfrineds phone (VZW). Over all i am glad i swithced. GSM phones are much cooler anyway.

bradleyt78
Jan 25, 2007, 08:57 AM
As an employee of the new AT&T I do find it very difficult to believe that we would 'give away' one month of service let alone 18 months! We have to be profitable as a company to continue to offer expanding and reliable service. HOWEVER, due to the fact that Apple will not allow subsidies on the iPhone I think it does require the carrier to do a little unstandardized thinking. Even as an employee I was finding it hard to rationalize buying a $500 - $600 device (if I didn't get free service like I do). So, as a customer it was hard to rationalize paying all that, signing a two-year contract AND paying most likely upwards of $80 a month for current rate plans and unlimited data.

BUT, if we subsidize our service rather than the device then I think we've got a definite winner here! Makes more sense to me to subsidize is for the length of the contract so that payments are the same and there isn't sticker shock right at the 19-month mark ... but either way it turns so many people into customers. You wouldn't believe the number of people I've met as I travel around to my stores that say, "Oh my God, I am switching to Cingular once the iPhone comes out!!"

Giving away service, in my mind, could equal up to $400 in Cingular is still in the same boat as they are for selling a two-year contract with a 'FREE' RAZR, IZAR, KRZR or some other stupid MotorLZR.

ziwi
Jan 25, 2007, 08:58 AM
Just remember - there is no such thing as a free lunch. Sure some Phones are free with annual or 2 year contracts here, but the latest and greatest are not free. I have not seen the model switched the other way either where the phone is a solid price and the contract is free. I just do not see any provider doing this as it will create issues with other phone providers to show special treatment to one phone. They may model the plan to look one way, but where would they be without all of the additional monthly fee's that are attached to each bill ;)

savar
Jan 25, 2007, 08:59 AM
Now THIS is revolutionary!

Sounds too good to be true though. I was expecting very aggressive data-plan pricing, but this goes far further.

I'll believe it when I see it. Plans for smart phones are usually $80+ a month, so they're saying buy a $500 phone, get $1000 of service free?

bradleyt78
Jan 25, 2007, 08:59 AM
I had nothing but trouble with them (I'm in Chesterfield). Part of the problem was the actuall cellular service, the other part was the customer service. And it wasn't the phones fault. Between me and my parents, we had 3 different brands/models phones on Cingular and had problems (and my phone wasn't a cheap one either, it was an unlocked Sony Ericsson w810i).

Unlocked phones are bound to have more issues because they aren't 'locked' to the Cingular network and calibrated to work the best. There's a reason Cingular spend so much money and the most time of any wireless network testing their phones. Buy an unlocked phone and you'll have more issues.

Sprung
Jan 25, 2007, 09:00 AM
We live in a remote rural area where SBC (now AT&T) is the provider.

SBC offered a 'one bill' package (long distance, satellite TV, cellular) for a reduced rate and we signed up for that service, but have not placed our order for the cellular phone, yet.

Because of politics we lost our satellite 'distant channels' and I called around to see if there was anything that could be done to get them restored; without having to break the above mentioned package.

During the calling, cell phones and Apple came up, and somebody mentioned "holding off until this summer to order the 'package cell phone'," because I, "might be in for a 'sweet' surprise."

When I asked if it was "iPhone related", they responed with the 'sweet surprise' again.

(fwiw) I have still not determined if I trust cell phones, assume the arguments will go on for years, believe in '(most) everything in moderation', and feel this is something that should be considered:

http://www.flyingsnail.com/CASHCPR/cellular.html

There are no ads,etc. on the above page, just information.

aussie_geek
Jan 25, 2007, 09:00 AM
I prefer paying things in advance. This was I wont be worried about high monthly bills. If this is adopted in the UK, I'll take one.

Yep - that'd make me interested as well - just like a .mac subscription or something.

aussie_geek

nbs2
Jan 25, 2007, 09:01 AM
I wouldn't take Cingular's service even if the iPhone and the monthly bill were given to me....

I'm glad to see someone isn't changing their tune once they get something for free/cheap. I'm surprised so many stateside folks were ripping Cingular/AT&T when the deal was announced and are suddenly now pleased with their service. Maybe I shouldn't be.:rolleyes: Materialism at its worst.

I feel the same way as you, only my feelings are directed towards Verizon Wireless and DSL, neither of which I would take for free. Of course, that is neither here nor there at this juncture since Verizon is a whole other beast.

Anyway, the concept is intriguing. I'm under the impression that the phone is normally subsidized by the carrier, making this no different - it's the lock in for the last six months and the data plan where they will make their money. After all, how many people actually use up all their minutes (the demographics would make an interesting study)?

If the phone is being targeted towards consumers, how would this work with a family plan? Would it cover the cost of the basic plan and leave you to pay the $10/line or cover the secondary, leaving you to pay for the primary line? The idea is sound, but the customer service end of the billnig department is going to have to be on its toes.

Also, could this spawn a shift in contract tactics across the board? Will mfrs. demand equal treatment, resulting in a higher up front cost for phones and boosting contract participation numbers?

peharri
Jan 25, 2007, 09:02 AM
If true, this will turn everything on its head.

In Britain, my first phone cost me 200GBP, but it came with a year's worth of service (and that was the contract length.) I just had to pay for overages. That type of package was phased out when PAYG started to become the rage, but it certainly wasn't a bad model and it dealt with most people's major concerns about cellphone service, the contracts and obligations of those contracts.

Now, admittedly, the plans offered were terrible. One offered free local calls at weekends only, the other 30 minutes of calls a month. And the risk was lower for the carrier because incoming calls were charged to the caller and cost a small fortune, but were collected by the company servicing the caller.

If there's something scary about US tariffs, it's the (absurdly long) contracts and their obligations and the PAYG tariffs aren't generally that great.

Offering the ability to pay completely up front, facing nothing but overages in the future, would certainly go a long way towards making mobile phone service more user friendly. It would also help undermine the current bias towards forcing people to pay, directly or indirectly, for crippled phones, regardless of whether they want one or have bought their own uncrippled equipment.

I'm not sure I believe it yet, but it's certainly an exciting possibility.

chandlerkent
Jan 25, 2007, 09:03 AM
I actually wrote about this (http://www.chandlerkent.com/stories/2007/1/19.php) a little bit ago and everybody scoffed at me! I am glad to see other people are thinking differently.

notjustjay
Jan 25, 2007, 09:07 AM
I'll believe it when I see it. Plans for smart phones are usually $80+ a month, so they're saying buy a $500 phone, get $1000 of service free?

If there's any kind of "unstandardized thinking" (to use the terms from a previous post) it should be that wireless carriers need to stop charging ridiculous prices for data. I'm sure Steve would like nothing less than to change the world with the iPhone -- all those neat services, internet access, web access, Google maps, etc. in the pockets of "everyman" -- but the carrier data packages are the weakest link here so far. A lot of plans still charge per kilobyte (stifling the urge to bring up a rather infamous phone recording...) or offer piddling amounts like 256 KB a month.

I hope this device ushers in an age of unlimited data packages at reasonable prices. Remember when dialup internet was $25/month for 50 hours? Look how far we've come.

cherrypop
Jan 25, 2007, 09:07 AM
No matter how much Cingular/ATT discounts their plans, I would rather have the option of buying an carrier-free (unlocked) iPhone.

The only way I can see ATT discounting the plan is if they are serious about getting as much attention and benefit from the Apple partnership as ATT "relaunches" their service after the Cingular buyout.

They'll offer some tolken number of minutes, like 250/month, with the option of paying full boat for more realistic plans.

Apple, unlock the iPhone.

lookmark
Jan 25, 2007, 09:10 AM
No. Way. In. Hell.

I don't believe this for one second. Someone must have misunderstood something, or got their wires crossed.

Maybe they'll offer free data for a certain period, or a surprisingly OK deal, but no way will it be completely free.

L3X
Jan 25, 2007, 09:10 AM
I think Cingular might be onto something with free service for 18 months. They are thinking long term here.

First of all, A LOT of people are going to have to break contracts to switch to Cingular. I have Verizon and i don't even know how much it is but it could be $100 or more, not sure. So, add that to the $500 iPhone and the service, and it's really A LOT of money up front to get the iPhone.

If they give 18 months of free service, then the cancellation fee for your other service doesn't seem bad at all, you buy the iPhone, and pay for 6 months of service at the end of your contract, and then if you like your service for those 2 years, your more likely to stick around with Cingular, because there's no reason to switch back to your other provider. If Apple keeps making products for Cingular then it's even better.

Big companies like this can afford to offer deals like this because in the long run it will pay big for them.

yg17
Jan 25, 2007, 09:11 AM
Unlocked phones are bound to have more issues because they aren't 'locked' to the Cingular network and calibrated to work the best. There's a reason Cingular spend so much money and the most time of any wireless network testing their phones. Buy an unlocked phone and you'll have more issues.

That's not true. That's the whole point of GSM being a standard, so, assuming a phone is unlocked and works on the correct frequency (which my w810i did, it was quad band), it will work without problems. The only things that an unlocked phone may have difficulty with are data and things such as Cingular's medianet. If Cingular built their network so only specially calibrated phones would work on their towers, then the group in charge of the GSM standard would not allow Cingular to call themselves a GSM provider.

And FWIW, I also had a Cingular branded, locked Moto v551 that was just as bad.

icerabbit
Jan 25, 2007, 09:13 AM
Well, those of us who rolled over from ATT into Cingular on prepaid are not happy. We've seen a drastic increase in prices and a drop in customer service.

Because of our location in Maine with only average coverage to none in certain areas we dropped from unlimited anytime nationwide (flat rate do anything you want) to ATT prepaid and use it when it is really needed. With Cingular there was a big price hike and expiration times were cut in half or a third.

Now in the past months Cingular has forced / is forcing everybody to switch over to a GSM phone ($$). And, we found out the hard way that the new Cingular prepaid quietly removed roaming. So, in essence you shoot yourself in the foot big time. a) You lose every tdma tower which is pretty much what is around here in maine. b) cingular has maybe two dozen towers ... and doesn't let your roam on the other GSM carrier Unicell.

Near the capitol here we went from in-house usable signal to none. Outside our tdma phone gets pretty consistently 2 bars more than the GSM, because they don't have enough towers to service the area.

Truth is that for our common travel area we went from coverage throughout Maine - wherever there was a tower we could use it - to a paperweight.

Cingular will not do anything about it. No refunds. Nor will the local store. They cross refer to each other.

I have written a letter to Cingular. Going on 4 weeks now, I have yet to receive a response by mail, email or phone. That is real-world how Cingular is raising the bar is for some people.

From a brief look at the Cingular user forum, under the new plan, there is be $1 charge when you make/receive a call or send a text message (which is how it was explained to me in the store). According to what I read in the forum, they actually charge $1 access fee as well for incoming erroneous text messages + 5c a message. Voice mail alerts, ah, you're on the network $1. ...

What do I do? I leave my cellphone OFF altogether, will use up my minutes when I travel next time and in the mean time will switch to a carrier with nationwide roaming rights on tdma. Bye bye Cingular.

imikem
Jan 25, 2007, 09:16 AM
It also sounds like it will only be available to users currently on Verizon. Those of us who've been on AT&T nee Cingular nee AT&T for years will get screwed. Unless of course we maybe discuss moving to Verizon with our friendly customer service critter.

stormsweeper
Jan 25, 2007, 09:20 AM
Unlocked phones are bound to have more issues because they aren't 'locked' to the Cingular network and calibrated to work the best. There's a reason Cingular spend so much money and the most time of any wireless network testing their phones. Buy an unlocked phone and you'll have more issues.

They do nothing of the kind. Locking and unlocking GSM phones is part of the GSM spec itself, and all it does is restrict which SIM cards will work in the phone. So any phone you get from Cingular will be locked to them, as will any from T-Mobile. The manufacturers just provide the phones pre-locked for them, and in special packaging.

The biggest issue you could have with Cingular-specific reception is if your phone doesn't support the 850 band, which many phones don't since it's relatively new.

SiliconAddict
Jan 25, 2007, 09:20 AM
Now THIS is revolutionary!

Sounds too good to be true though. I was expecting very aggressive data-plan pricing, but this goes far further.

Which prob means it is. I wonder if they are going to pull an AOL. Get you signed up and make it hard as heck to leave after your 2 years is up. Read: Give you the run around when you call, don't process your paperwork, upgrade your service instead, etc. I know several people who had to threaten to bring in the lawyers to get AOL to drop them....I wonder.

icerabbit
Jan 25, 2007, 09:23 AM
I can see where Cingular would give some 'free' service given that there is no precedent for price reductions with Apple.

In my opinion however, 18 months of free service is wishful thinking. 18x $40 - $50 for the average plan? $720 - $900?! I don't think so.

MAYBE you will get a basic rate cut / rebate for 6 months of service and thus pay 18 months out of your two year contract. Like, $240 of loyalty bonus credit which would come out of the iPhone retail cost and the net profit for a number of months.

synth3tik
Jan 25, 2007, 09:26 AM
I've been seeing a lot of internet banners "Get your free iPhone, HURRY!!! only a few have been released", well at least if they give away 1 1/2 years of serbice, leaving a person with only 6 months of bills, thats cool and I guess realistic, maybe

cherrypop
Jan 25, 2007, 09:27 AM
That is utter BS.

Do you own an unlocked phone? Have you ever used an unlocked phone? Can you support your statement in any way?

Carrier-free phones have nothing to do with the quality of service.

I've owned five, and I've never had a single issue related to the fact that it's carrier free. Zero.

Unlocked phones are bound to have more issues because they aren't 'locked' to the Cingular network and calibrated to work the best. .

Rocketman
Jan 25, 2007, 09:27 AM
This is consistent with what I posted in the original iPhone (ATN) thread.

Rocketman

yg17
Jan 25, 2007, 09:28 AM
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8100/4.2.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

As far as the unlocked thing goes, my brother is now using the w810 on Tmobile and gets the same good signal strength and call quality that I do on my tmo locked blackberry or my parents tmo locked Samsung phones. Its not the phone that's the problem, its Cingular.

iVoid
Jan 25, 2007, 09:29 AM
Well, considering I pay almost $600 for 18 months on my current phone (a SonyErricson T610 from TMobile), 18 months free for a $600 phone would be a great deal. Almost too good to be true.


I imagine the 6 months left on the 2 year plan would be $1000 a month though... :) :)

Rot'nApple
Jan 25, 2007, 09:30 AM
Now this sound 2 good 2 B true! But if it is true... YES! I TAKE BACK ALL THE COMPLAINING I DID ABOUT THE CINGULAR DEAL!

Now, where can I sign up? Cingular.. I want to give you $500 right now for the iPhone and sign that 18-free-months + 6-payed-months contract!

18-free-months + 6 paid months... I wonder what the monthly rate will be for those six paid months... :rolleyes:

averyash
Jan 25, 2007, 09:33 AM
I can't really believe that they'd give up 18 months of service charges, but if that was 18 months of free data, it'd be more believable. That would be the same as buying the phone for $150 or so w/regular 2yr contract, I'd guess.

does make it more attractive for us Yanks. hmmmmm...

There we are... I think that what most people have been missing is what Cingular might be giving away for free.

Giving 18 months of free full cellphone service would make VERY little business sense, however providing 18 months of free data makes decidedly more sense, and is not unprecedented. Cable companies already offer periods (sometimes lengthy) of free premium service, they get you hooked, the trial expires, and you now are rationalizing paying for their premium service. Satellite radio companies offer free subscriptions for several months, get you hooked, and then start charging you. Why shouldn’t the new AT&T work the same way: Create hype, get Verizon customers to switch, demonstrate what a great product this is, and keep these customers.

Cingular/AT&T would be very savvy to do this.
-customers would be locked into a two year contract, so the final 6 month would be paid at full price
-during the first 18 month, while the data service could be free, customers would still be paying for regular service ($50/mon +/-)
-Cingular will NOT be able to subsidize the cost of purchasing the phone (as a stipulation to the exclusive carrier contract), so subsidizing the plan is the next best option
-creates “product hype” and a direct incentive for people to purchase an iPhone and start service.
-once you have an iPhone, you have paid a major entry fee, and Cingular would be wise to realize that once you have the phone you have two choices: maintain your contract or be stuck with a $500 video iPod/PDA. Once a customer is in (Cingular is the exclusive carrier) they have no choice but to continue with the plan, but now paying for it.

Thoughts?

Multimedia
Jan 25, 2007, 09:34 AM
If this is true, I would accept such an offer right before its window ends as I am currently in a contract with Verizon that won't end until Spring 2008 and would prefer to have free or reduced fee service as long as I can get it past my contract with Verizon. :)

Sounds like a great way to get us to switch. I know it would get me to. Now how are we going to keep those iPhone screens from getting significantly scratched soon after we start using them? :eek: :confused: ;)

twoodcc
Jan 25, 2007, 09:38 AM
Now THIS is revolutionary!

Sounds too good to be true though. I was expecting very aggressive data-plan pricing, but this goes far further.

i'm thinking the same thing! i sure hope it's true though!

justflie
Jan 25, 2007, 09:42 AM
I could see them offering a basic plan free and allowing us to upgrade the plan (both data and voice) for a lower-than-usual fee. Boy, that would make my summer.

whooleytoo
Jan 25, 2007, 09:53 AM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4G/OSX 10.5/Safari 3.0/Black helicopters, snipers and sniffer dogs are chasing me, in hiding..)

I saw quoted elsewhere (from a more indirect quote) that Cingular were planning cheaper-than-normal, but not free, data pricing.

I'm guessing someone somewhere has their wires crossed. Perhaps there's no monthly 'subscription' charge, just call & data charges? Or the voice calls are free for the 18 months, data you have to pay for.

The duration is strange too, you get 18 months free of a 24 month contract. Do the prices go through the roof for the last 6 months for them to make their money back?

ed233
Jan 25, 2007, 09:53 AM
BUT, if we subsidize our service rather than the device then I think we've got a definite winner here! Makes more sense to me to subsidize is for the length of the contract so that payments are the same and there isn't sticker shock right at the 19-month mark ... but either way it turns so many people into customers. You wouldn't believe the number of people I've met as I travel around to my stores that say, "Oh my God, I am switching to Cingular once the iPhone comes out!!"

I was thinking the exact same thing- take the $250 or so dollars that they usually subsidize a handset for and discount the monthly bill over the life of the contract. If you tiered the discount, with more upfront, you could take advantage of inflation.

Giving service away for 18 months would make little sense unless they gave you 300 minutes, no mobile-to-mobile, and then kill them on overage charges. But that would probably leave a bad taste in people's mouths.

kalisphoenix
Jan 25, 2007, 09:56 AM
This is the only way my wife and I could (and would) get iPhones.

justflie
Jan 25, 2007, 10:01 AM
I think, regardless of whether or not AT&T was going to move in this direction originally, if this story gets enough media attention, it might push them to either actually do a free 18-month plan, or at least have a super cheap plan to make the expensive ATN (Go Rocketman) more palatable for the market.

Bonte
Jan 25, 2007, 10:43 AM
On the keynote i clearly heard the Singular guy say this price included a 2 year contract and not required, i guess its a basic plan with a fee per minute or per MB but its a good start. I would buy one just for the PDA features and occasionally use it as a GSM, perfect for me and Singular can claim a bigger market share. I digg.

Bonte
Jan 25, 2007, 10:57 AM
This is consistent with what I posted in the original iPhone (ATN) thread.

Rocketman

Me too, me too :cool:

Component costs are about 50% from the retail price (just like the iPod and other hardware from Apple so it doesn't do in subsidized hardware, Singular will have to promote it with a subsidized service instead.

stagi
Jan 25, 2007, 11:00 AM
I doubt cingular will ever give away 18 months of service, no way that is going to happen. I think some people here just have way too much wishful thinking.

googolplex
Jan 25, 2007, 11:12 AM
tell me about it... i hope Telus Mobility will snag some deal with Apple 'cause they're for sure the best cellular company here in the east, but something tells me that the oh so evil Bell Mobility or Rogers *shiver* will be the ones with the iPhones.

I'm not sure how many times this will have to be said, but the iPhone is GSM. Telus and Bell are CDMA, so they're not going to get it. Rogers will get it as basically they are the only GSM game in town (after buying Fido). I don't know why people like Telus anyways... cool ads? Telus locks down their phones like crazy. On their mobile web browsers they restrict what sites you can go to.

Stridder44
Jan 25, 2007, 11:14 AM
I wouldn't take Cingular's service even if the iPhone and the monthly bill were given to me....

You're such a rebel. You're so cool, isn't that what I'm supposed to think?

Get over it, you know you would take it if they gave it to you. This is a really good deal if it's true. I will be sure to have $500 stashed away come June.

j33pd0g
Jan 25, 2007, 11:16 AM
18 months and 6 months of bills would be great, although, if the deal was 1 year free and 1 year of bills (more realistic) I would be fine with that too.

However, IMHO, this "situation" offers a chance at a turning point. AT&T/Cingular could pioneer a better "mobile communication service" model.

All this service/discount discussion makes me question the revolutionary premiss of the iPhone. Here you have new creative technology relying on the services that "may, or may not" be available for use. This stunts the capability of technology. My future prediction (for a carriers survival) will be that a "mobile communication service" needs to be flexible enough to adapt to the user... not the user to the service. Carriers need to think different - think "more simple." It won't be long before someone with a cool device wants it to reach more of the masses, and decides to invest in satellites and towers for that "out-of-the-box, ready-to-go" experience.

Concepts that I feel would accomplish this:

1. Provide use of all services, no matter what price point plan you choose.
Example: Monthly, Annually, Bi-Annually.

2. Unlimited use. No fear of going over with calls, text messaging, internet access.

IMHO, this type of "mobile communication services" model would open the flood-gates for mobile technologies.

Stridder44
Jan 25, 2007, 11:19 AM
Wired posted (TRS-80 0G/location unknown)
Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4G/OSX 10.5/Safari 3.0/Black helicopters, snipers and sniffer dogs are chasing me, in hiding..)

I saw quoted elsewhere (from a more indirect quote) that Cingular were planning cheaper-than-normal, but not free, data pricing.

I'm guessing someone somewhere has their wires crossed. Perhaps there's no monthly 'subscription' charge, just call & data charges? Or the voice calls are free for the 18 months, data you have to pay for.

The duration is strange too, you get 18 months free of a 24 month contract. Do the prices go through the roof for the last 6 months for them to make their money back?


This makes sense. I doubt Cingular (at&t now) would do this but hey, here's to hoping *cheers*

Master Atrus
Jan 25, 2007, 11:22 AM
So I read the article and skimmed most of the replies, and here is my two cents.

AT&T / Cingular will offer discounted service. They will probably give away a $29.99 a month plan ... but a lot of people talk more than that (so you'll pay the difference) and then with that plan there is no internet time, so you'll have to pay for that. By the time everything comes, you are basically just getting a $30 (or whatever) discount on your bill.

So yes, "free service" is possible (but I still find that to be unlikely, they may offer a discount per month at best ...)

Master Atrus

Cooknn
Jan 25, 2007, 11:25 AM
If there's any kind of "unstandardized thinking" (to use the terms from a previous post) it should be that wireless carriers need to stop charging ridiculous prices for data.My data plan with T-Mobile is only $19.99/month (unlimited) and combined with my BlackBerry Pearl includes instant notification for every type of incomming communication including imap, pop3, sms, mms, IM - you name it. It's a pretty good deal, IMHO.

IIRC, Cingular's comparable plan was around $35/month. I think I'll hang with T-Mobile and wait for an unlocked iPhone. I may have a bit of a problem with the wider form factor though...

debrey
Jan 25, 2007, 12:03 PM
I think there are a couple of things being smooshed together in the discussion here.

One is an incentive to get people to switch to the iPhone. I know that if I got at least $175 back some way or other, I would be much more likely to break my verizon contract. I think AT&T absolutely should do something here. They are only guranteed to have the iPhone exclusively for two years -- they should milk it for whatever they can.

Another thing is the idea that since Cingular isn't subsidizing their phones, they should subsidize their service. This, I think, is backwards. When phones are subsidized, subscribers are paying for the phones indirectly through higher rates on their service contract -- the money is coming from somewhere. Instead of subsidizing the service, Cingular should just offer cheaper service. That should be the true advantage to paying the cost of the phone up front: you are only paying for your service after that, not for your or someone else's phone. If they subsidize the service for 18 months (or whatever), it'll be cheaper than it should be for a while and then more expensive than it should be thereafter. Cut through this nonsense and just charge for the service.

brepublican
Jan 25, 2007, 12:11 PM
Exciting news. Hope its true. I'm already getting 'Free iPhone' junk emails in my inbox :rolleyes:

Oh, and love the new 'con :apple:

alansky
Jan 25, 2007, 12:15 PM
At MacWorld Expo, the exact phrasing used in relation to the price of the iPhone was "$599 including a two-year contract," not "...with a two-year contract." There's a big difference! I asked the official iPhone answer man, but got a blank stare in reply.

iPodAddict
Jan 25, 2007, 12:48 PM
Jeez, that's the best news I've heard since the introduction of the phone itself!

Every time I look at the thing I keep telling myself I'd pay just about any pricetag for it and then this comes along. I really hope it happens.

babyj
Jan 25, 2007, 12:52 PM
I don't know why everyone in the US seems to think its impossible for them give 18 months for free on a 24 month contract. They will make plenty of profit on the phone itself and other services, to cover the free months. You get the same, but the other way round, in the UK and have done for a long time.

My last three phones have been Sony P800, P900 and P910. I had to pay £50 for one of them whilst the other two were free - all with 12 month contracts of about £40 a month. At present I can get a P990 for free with a £35 x 18 month contract.

If Apple are going to insist on a £200-£300 price point with no discount in the UK, the carrier will have to give plenty of months tariff free to get anyone to buy it.

Maybe the US is just catching up with the UK mobile market?

debrey
Jan 25, 2007, 01:43 PM
I don't know why everyone in the US seems to think its impossible for them give 18 months for free on a 24 month contract. They will make plenty of profit on the phone itself and other services, to cover the free months. You get the same, but the other way round, in the UK and have done for a long time.

My last three phones have been Sony P800, P900 and P910. I had to pay £50 for one of them whilst the other two were free - all with 12 month contracts of about £40 a month. At present I can get a P990 for free with a £35 x 18 month contract.

If Apple are going to insist on a £200-£300 price point with no discount in the UK, the carrier will have to give plenty of months tariff free to get anyone to buy it.

Maybe the US is just catching up with the UK mobile market?

No, this is how it works in the US. But, more normally, you get a $200-300 dollar phone for free and pay $40 x 24, $960, to your cell phone carrier -- you are getting a lot less free than you are paying. This [rumor] sounds like paying $500 but getting at least $40 x 18, $720, back. That is very different than the way things work in the US or the UK.

chubad
Jan 25, 2007, 01:44 PM
Wow! This would be fantastic if true. It makes sense for AT&T to leverage the hottest, most talked about phone ever to put a HUGE gouge in it's competitor Verizon. Even if you had to pay to get out of your Verizon contract, they will have droves of people doing just that. Most people, due to the cell phone contracts, are very unlikley to switch unless given a big incentive. This would be it!:D

atszyman
Jan 25, 2007, 02:02 PM
I don't buy it. A rumor that's too good to be true. If by some miracle the 18 free months is true watch it not count towards your 2 year contract. Effectively locking you into Cingular for 3.5 years and 24 months of paying for what will probably be ~$80/month for voice and data services....

Romanesq
Jan 25, 2007, 02:22 PM
This is the stupidest thread I've seen here in a long time.
This thread is dead to me.

Thread Closed.

iKwick7
Jan 25, 2007, 03:02 PM
This is the stupidest thread I've seen here in a long time.
This thread is dead to me.

Thread Closed.

......Okay.

Anywho.. I just noticed that Engadget is now linking to this article. Very nice! While I personally doubt 18 months free, it now seems very likely that we will be at least getting some kind of discount. Most excellent!

dmbream
Jan 25, 2007, 03:16 PM
HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY LISTENED TO THE CONFERENCE CALL???

I just skimmed through it, and maybe I missed it, but I heard no mention of such an arrangement. Anyone else like to have a listen to double check?

It is available here:

Cingular 4Q06 Earnings Call (http://podcasting.thomson.com.edgesuite.net/16265/2007/Jan/Cingular%20Wireless/Cingular_s_4Q06_Earnings_Conference_Call_1.24.2007.mp3)

Maybe Cramer's people had a separate meeting? If anyone does find where it is mentioned, please respond with the time in the call.

This would be an amazing development, but it could just be Cramer thinking out loud for the moment.

Let's look into this...

3rdEYE
Jan 25, 2007, 03:23 PM
N0 way wil they be giving away 18months of totally free service. It will be free data (limited amount) at the most. As a Cingular customer, I'm use to them nickleing and dime'in me for all they can. For them to give away free service is beyond anything I can imagine.

WildCowboy
Jan 25, 2007, 03:23 PM
HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY LISTENED TO THE CONFERENCE CALL???

I goofed and spent an hour listening to AT&T's conference call...that was a waste of time. I'm currently listening to the Cingular call...I'm only eight minutes in right now.

GregA
Jan 25, 2007, 03:26 PM
Why don't they just go one step further and do what we do over here in the UK. Pay for the contract monthly (usually 12 months) and get the phone free.6 months back, one of the iPhone rumours was that Apple was worried about undercutting itself. A "free" phone isn't really free (it's paid for by the contract), but people would choose the "free" phone over an iPod... bad for the iPods. Also, some people pay nothing for their phones and don't care too much if they're wrecked, then complain that they can't get another free phone to replace it. Apple wants to have people realise the value they're getting.

Where would Cingular/AT&T make their money? The last six months of the contract aren't much. They'd hope that most of the customers continue with them?Cell phone providers present contracts that integrate (hide) the payments which pay off the phone, at present. If you have your own phone, the cell companies can afford to give you a better deal (though they often do not do this!!). There is plenty of money making still.

I think Telstra here tried something similar - pay full price for any phone, but have great voice/data rates. People left in droves... why pay $400 for a phone on Telstra when it's "free" on Vodafone. Apple needs tight control to avoid this.

When phones are subsidized, subscribers are paying for the phones indirectly through higher rates on their service contract -- the money is coming from somewhere. Instead of subsidizing the service, Cingular should just offer cheaper service. That should be the true advantage to paying the cost of the phone up front: you are only paying for your service after that, not for your or someone else's phone. If they subsidize the service for 18 months (or whatever), it'll be cheaper than it should be for a while and then more expensive than it should be thereafter. Cut through this nonsense and just charge for the service.
Agreed.. pay high for the phone, then have real prices for the calls/data for as long as you have it. However... if they did this, customers could buy from Cingular then go straight to a competitor. If it truly is subsidised then it makes the plan more appealing.

If there's any kind of "unstandardized thinking" (to use the terms from a previous post) it should be that wireless carriers need to stop charging ridiculous prices for data.
Yes, this is another area where the carriers charge too much. Having a realistic charge would be great! (not free data, which is VERY hard once 3G phones are released, but paying an amount that makes a profit for cingular but doesn't charge us too much)

We pay 25c/sms in Australia.. not much good for frequent use of the nice iChat/SMS thing the phone has. How about bringing that down to 1c/sms?

Makes more sense to me to subsidize is for the length of the contract so that payments are the same and there isn't sticker shock right at the 19-month mark ... but either way it turns so many people into customers. Better to have a sticker shock at 19months, than a sticker shock the moment people are off contract.

That said... if the phone is paid for upfront, and Cingular weren't losing money on the deal, why would they start charging more at 18months? This only makes sense if the $599 subsidises the plan (rather than the plan just being cheaper because it's not subsidising the phone). Hopefully a combination of subsidising the contract, and then moving to a contract that is based on the real cost (not subsidising the phone).

Rodimus Prime
Jan 25, 2007, 03:29 PM
No, this is how it works in the US. But, more normally, you get a $200-300 dollar phone for free and pay $40 x 24, $960, to your cell phone carrier -- you are getting a lot less free than you are paying. This [rumor] sounds like paying $500 but getting at least $40 x 18, $720, back. That is very different than the way things work in the US or the UK.

yeah I do not think that is the case either. I think it the most likely thing is they will give you for free is the phone line from a family talk plan. That is 9.99 per line and I think they would give that part away for free. That would give you back about 180 which is about the amount they subsidize there phone for any how.

So you still wind up paying 50+ a month for the phone any how. There is no way in hell cingular would do it for free like that. Just not worth the money.

Now the 9.99 seems pretty likely because it still free service just the basic service fee is all they are covering.

abrooks
Jan 25, 2007, 03:30 PM
I doubt it, except if you are going to take the most expensive tariff. I have been an O2 customer for more than 5 years and I only got a free mobile once.

Nokia N91 -----------------> Free
Nokia N80 -----------------> £70 with £10 discount on monthly tariff.
O2 XDA II -----------------> £130 with NO discount.
Nokia 8800 ----------------> £130 with NO discount.
Nokia 8310 ----------------> £50 with NO discount.

I'm on a £25 tariff, everytime it comes up for renewal I demand a free phone, no matter how much they think they're going to charge me.

ncook06
Jan 25, 2007, 03:35 PM
I've got Cingular in St. Louis (St. Charles actually, but it's basically just a suburb) and the biggest problem I had in the past with the service was taking the cheap LG phones that they were offering. Once I got my Razr my reception increased incredibly and the number of dropped calls dropped to almost none. I keep hearing commercials about how it's the netwok that makes the difference and I can't argue that the network is important, but the quality of the phone seems to be equally important to me as well.


Exactly. I use Sprint, and thought it was awful for over a year. I lost my phone, and went out and bought a Sanyo Katana. All of the sudden, I had great service. If the iPhone gets good reception, being on Cingular doesn't matter.

mrthieme
Jan 25, 2007, 03:46 PM
How can anyone believe this? Our cellular service providers in the U.S. are the most distilled form of evil. It's always the same nickel and dime, surcharge, hidden cost BS. Cingular is not in the business of giving away anything, generousity is not in their DNA. If anything this will be a chance for them to screw over a whole new batch of customers.

GregA
Jan 25, 2007, 03:52 PM
It's always the same nickel and dime, surcharge, hidden cost BS. Cingular is not in the business of giving away anything, generousity is not in their DNA.
Who's talking about generosity. It's just a different charging model.

mrthieme
Jan 25, 2007, 04:09 PM
Who's talking about generosity. It's just a different charging model.
Exactly my point, if they discount one part, they will raise the cost of the other, nothing is free. I don't care if they charge it all up front or spread it out, what counts is the net result. This thread panders to all of us, myself included, who are locked into contracts with someone else, but want a cheap, magical way to get the phone. Cingular will give away free service for this phone when Universal gives away free ipods.

WildCowboy
Jan 25, 2007, 04:20 PM
Just finished listening to the conference call, and didn't hear anything about this. There was a brief mention of their excitement over the iPhone about halfway through, but unless I missed something, I don't know where Cramer got his info from.

WillGonz
Jan 25, 2007, 04:27 PM
I think the iPhone is going to cost an additional monthly fee to use, on top of your existing plan. I think there could be a $10.99 monthly charge for example. So I think, that is the 18 months free offer.

TomSmithMacEd
Jan 25, 2007, 04:32 PM
In my guess this would mean free data plan for a year and a half.. not free phone service.. This makes sense on both fronts.

xDANx
Jan 25, 2007, 05:02 PM
tell me about it... i hope Telus Mobility will snag some deal with Apple 'cause they're for sure the best cellular company here in the east, but something tells me that the oh so evil Bell Mobility or Rogers *shiver* will be the ones with the iPhones.

the only GSM providers in canada are rogers and fido...so those are really the only two options at the moment. i guess it's possible that apple could release a CDMA version of the iphone...but it would complicate production and increase costs for them and only be useful in north america (where cell phone penetration is far less advanced compared to europe and asia). so...what i'm saying is that a telus branded iphone is not outside the realm of possibility, but not soon, and possibly never.

GregA
Jan 25, 2007, 05:16 PM
Exactly my point, if they discount one part, they will raise the cost of the other, nothing is free. I don't care if they charge it all up front or spread it out, what counts is the net result. This thread panders to all of us, myself included, who are locked into contracts with someone else, but want a cheap, magical way to get the phone. Cingular will give away free service for this phone when Universal gives away free ipods.Sure, everyone wants cheaper or free iPods (or anything).

What this thread (or rumour) does is not pandering to that. It's saying that when Palm says "our device costs $400 + $40/mth for (whatever service level)", Apple MAY be saying "our iPhone costs $500 + $30/mth for (same service level as Palm)".

This is not about whether it's free, cheap, or magic. This is about whether Apple's up-front price and Palms and Nokias are directly comparable since they use the same ongoing plans.

edit:
Lets face it.. many people (myself included) are not going to pay $599 and go onto an expensive contract if they could get a top end LG/Nokia/whatever and spend
a) $599 and go onto a great/cheap contract, or
b) $250 and go onto an expensive contract
We just don't know what the contract component costs are with the iPhone, yet.

zap2
Jan 25, 2007, 05:16 PM
Holy Crap...if that true I'd be SO happy.


Or a low price deal for Umlimited Internet, Texting and Calls

Kwill
Jan 25, 2007, 05:39 PM
you buy the iPhone, and pay for 6 months of service at the end of your contract

Who said you pay for the six months at the end of the contract? Couldn't it be pay for the phone and six months of service up front and then enjoy the phone for two years?

mrthieme
Jan 25, 2007, 05:40 PM
Sure, everyone wants cheaper or free iPods (or anything).

What this thread (or rumour) does is not pandering to that. It's saying that when Palm says "our device costs $400 + $40/mth for (whatever service level)", Apple MAY be saying "our iPhone costs $500 + $30/mth for (same service level as Palm)".

This is not about whether it's free, cheap, or magic. This is about whether Apple's up-front price and Palms and Nokias are directly comparable since they use the same ongoing plans.

edit:
Lets face it.. many people (myself included) are not going to pay $599 and go onto an expensive contract if they could get a top end LG/Nokia/whatever and spend
a) $599 and go onto a great/cheap contract, or
b) $250 and go onto an expensive contract
We just don't know what the contract component costs are with the iPhone, yet.
Here's my point, you will pay for your service and you will pay for your hardware, even if it's spread out. Apple hardware costs more, we know this.

Rocketman
Jan 25, 2007, 05:57 PM
If this is true, I would accept such an offer right before its window ends as I am currently in a contract with Verizon that won't end until Spring 2008 and would prefer to have free or reduced fee service as long as I can get it past my contract with Verizon. :)

Sounds like a great way to get us to switch. I know it would get me to. Now how are we going to keep those iPhone screens from getting significantly scratched soon after we start using them? :eek: :confused: ;)

People are going to sell special iPhone (ATN) t-shirts (formerly cigarette or cell phone or iPod t-shirts).

Rocketman

GregA
Jan 25, 2007, 06:07 PM
Here's my point, you will pay for your service and you will pay for your hardware, even if it's spread out.

Got your point. No problem. Never disagreed. Just wondering whether the overall spread of cost will be any more than the Palms overall.

Apple hardware costs more, we know this.
Mostly true, and I'm pleased the difference is dropping. Apparently the MacPros are quite a bit cheaper than comparable machines - other than that you're probably right.

Rocketman
Jan 25, 2007, 06:07 PM
HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY LISTENED TO THE CONFERENCE CALL???

I just skimmed through it, and maybe I missed it, but I heard no mention of such an arrangement. Anyone else like to have a listen to double check?

It is available here:

Cingular 4Q06 Earnings Call (http://podcasting.thomson.com.edgesuite.net/16265/2007/Jan/Cingular%20Wireless/Cingular_s_4Q06_Earnings_Conference_Call_1.24.2007.mp3)

Maybe Cramer's people had a separate meeting? If anyone does find where it is mentioned, please respond with the time in the call.

This would be an amazing development, but it could just be Cramer thinking out loud for the moment.

Let's look into this...

I did, It is vague. BUT Apple typically targets a 30% markup and the iPhone (ATN) has a 50% markup. That 20% of retail is the service offset. It is hard to tell now if the "free ride" is 18 months or not, but even if it is for a year of a 2 year contract and there is an "upcharge option" for special services, it will be far more competitive than existing Cingular or AT&T offerings. I have used both brands when they were discreet and they are not the "low cost suppliers".

Then neither is Apple.

As for Cramer, he has contacts and is sufficiently accurate most of the time I would take what he says as about 80% gospel.

Keep in mind Apple has already stated there will be other devices besides the ATN. There will be an ATNN (true tablet) and yet another device, probably an ATN with limited service fees (wifi, wimax, simplephone).

Rocketman

GregA
Jan 25, 2007, 06:10 PM
People are going to sell special iPhone (ATN) t-shirts (formerly cigarette or cell phone or iPod t-shirts).
What... things like
"I talk, therefore iPhone"
??

mrthieme
Jan 25, 2007, 06:12 PM
I did, It is vague. BUT Apple typically targets a 30% markup and the iPhone (ATN) has a 50% markup. That 20% of retail is the service offset. It is hard to tell now if the "free ride" is 18 months or not, but even if it is for a year of a 2 year contract and there is an "upcharge option" for special services, it will be far more competitive than existing Cingular or AT&T offerings. I have used both brands when they were discreet and they are not the "low cost suppliers".

Then neither is Apple.

As for Cramer, he has contacts and is sufficiently accurate most of the time I would take what he says as about 80% gospel.

Keep in mind Apple has already stated there will be other devices besides the ATN. There will be an ATNN (true tablet) and yet another device, probably an ATN with limited service fees (wifi, wimax, simplephone).

Rocketman
Could you please provide a link to these devices Apple announced?

Rocketman
Jan 25, 2007, 06:16 PM
Could you please provide a link to these devices Apple announced?

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/mwsf07/

Rocketman

mrthieme
Jan 25, 2007, 06:19 PM
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/mwsf07/

Rocketman
I guess I missed that part of the keynote.

Stridder44
Jan 25, 2007, 06:54 PM
This is the stupidest thread I've seen here in a long time.
This thread is dead to me.

Thread Closed.


Get laid already.

mdntcallr
Jan 25, 2007, 07:08 PM
well i was thinking this phone is damned expensive....

but now with this news, it may become more affordable. ie with a plan which reduces usage costs.

We may become very happy very soon. ie with 40-50 credit a month for a full year towards heavily discounted service... i would be happy.

I just hope that AT&T (Cingular) doesnt expect a one size fits all service plan. ie we may be able to arrange other plans than the basic one at a discount.

mrthieme
Jan 25, 2007, 07:15 PM
Got your point. No problem. Never disagreed. Just wondering whether the overall spread of cost will be any more than the Palms overall.


Mostly true, and I'm pleased the difference is dropping. Apparently the MacPros are quite a bit cheaper than comparable machines - other than that you're probably right.

Sorry if I seem argumentative, I am just frustrated with service providers in the US ( internet, cable tv, cell phone) and always feel I'm in a strangle hold. I hope the iphone service package is a revolution in this market, I'm just setting myself up for the disappointment in advance I guess.

SilvorX
Jan 25, 2007, 07:16 PM
According to this post (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3271698&postcount=14), it is due in Canada (with Rogers) some time between September and December of this year. He also claims Apple won't let Rogers subsidize the cost of the phone (sounds like what might be happening with Cingular?), so maybe Rogers will have a similar plan with a certain number of free months.

It's Rogers, they would never do that, possibly 50% off certain services for a few months, but not full bills for a year and half. I heard that Rogers is planning a 50% off campaign soon.

However, we will start seeing some changes with the Canadian cellphone industry starting next week because that's when all the major carriers are prepping up their plans to attempt to get people to switch to their carrier since porting of phone numbers will be made legal (for most carriers) as of late March.

tell me about it... i hope Telus Mobility will snag some deal with Apple 'cause they're for sure the best cellular company here in the east, but something tells me that the oh so evil Bell Mobility or Rogers *shiver* will be the ones with the iPhones.

The only way that Telus or Bell would EVER be able to even dream of getting the iPhone is if they changed their complete network infrastructure to GSM over night, which wouldn't happen, so it's going to be with Rogers. It obviously won't be with Rogers' Fido division since Rogers is Rogers.

Rocketman
Jan 25, 2007, 07:48 PM
Sooo . . .

Since this is an Apple / AT&T / Rogers long term contract . . .

I wonder how many Apple x-serves are being deployed in their network hubs and cell towers? I wonder if Apple is helping with Edge 2.0 HARDWARE deployments in their effort to enter the enterprise market starting with the "back room"?

Hmmmm?

I posted it first.

Rocketman

Grakkle
Jan 25, 2007, 07:56 PM
maybe its only basic service

I'd tend to guess that's just what it is - they'd want to offer enough to be an enticement, but withhold enough more that people will pay the extra $10 or $20 a month or whatever for extra services.

generationxwing
Jan 25, 2007, 08:38 PM
tell me about it... i hope Telus Mobility will snag some deal with Apple 'cause they're for sure the best cellular company here in the east, but something tells me that the oh so evil Bell Mobility or Rogers *shiver* will be the ones with the iPhones.

Telus Mobility = CDMA mobile phone technology
iPhone = GSM

CDMA and GSM are incompatible and competing technologies. Telus will NOT be getting the iPhone, and Apple isn't going to produce a different version of the iPhone for a market as tiny as ours.

technicolor
Jan 25, 2007, 10:33 PM
Cingular rep says this is not true:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphones/rumor-smashed-iphone-will-not-come-with-15-years-of-free-service-231636.php

gugy
Jan 25, 2007, 11:09 PM
Cingular rep says this is not true:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphones/rumor-smashed-iphone-will-not-come-with-15-years-of-free-service-231636.php

humm... I guess I won't be buying the iPhone then. Too bad.:(

SilvorX
Jan 26, 2007, 12:25 AM
The thing is.. if the people at that website just called some Customer Service rep over the phone, they might have close to no information over that sort of stuff, I worked as a Customer Service Rep for another American carrier for half a year, we were literally given info about new services/products the day they are released, I say take it with a grain of salt, but then again 18 months of free service is pretty fishy, but for a 2 year contract with nothing subsidized/free seems not worth it to the regular Joe, they want a FREE phone or SOMETHING for free.

e28
Jan 26, 2007, 11:14 AM
So, it's sounds like the rep confirmed the iPhone would have a Cingular rate plan - how does this refute the rumor that 18 months of the plan will be free?

It certainly seems logical that they would have a specific rate plan(s) for the iPhone - and that it would probably be less than the traditional offerings as they are not subsidizing the cost of the iPhone. My bet is that they would have a few offerings - all of them voice/text/data bundles at different included minutes/messages/data amounts.

However, 18 months of free service was an entirely different rumor that spun off of Cramer's opinion - and I would be surprised if the discount was that big.

GregA
Jan 26, 2007, 02:17 PM
So, it's sounds like the rep confirmed the iPhone would have a Cingular rate plan - how does this refute the rumor that 18 months of the plan will be free?
I highly doubt that your standard sales rep is going to have any clear answers on the iPhone. If they did, all sales reps would know, and we'd know what they know by now.

btw: The article doesn't say how they contacted the rep, I've just assumed it was a standard sales rep.

macbookprouser
Jan 26, 2007, 11:59 PM
i cant believe i cant even get service for a iphone where i live.

powerbook911
Jan 27, 2007, 12:04 AM
I think it makes sense to do like 1/2 off service for 6 months to a year. Anything to get back some of the costs of the phone will make me more likely to buy! :)

megfilmworks
Jul 24, 2007, 10:01 AM
I wouldn't hold my breath.