iPhone in Apple Stores

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iZac, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

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    #1
    Although I’m certain I’m treading over old ground, I couldn't find a thread specifically about it.

    I was watching the keynote again the other day and Steve mentioned that the iPhone will be available in Cingular Stores and Apple Stores.

    Now, i can't imagine an ugly ass Cingular Booth in the middle of an apple store, where an over-enthusiastic Cingular Rep. is trying to flog you X, Y, or Z type contract, taking up valuable retail space and diluting the Apple Store experience. His Steveness just wouldn’t want you spending 45 minutes setting up a phone contract with another company in his own shop.

    I'm tentatively suggesting that ... if they will be available in Apple Stores, that it would be as simple as a Mac or iPod purchase. You walk in, buy, leave. No SIMs, no contract, no Cingular. Apple surely doesn’t want its potential customers being forced to wait until their phone contracts expire, until they purchase their lusted after iPhone.

    Ultimately I’m suggesting that locked or unlocked, that Apple might sell the iPhone to the consumer free of a contract, letting you plop your current (if locked, Cingular) SIM into it without having to negotiate (haggle) with an infuriating phone salesman.

    btw, I’m a Brit, so I’m not sure exactly how our crap phone shops and contracts compare to the USA.
     
  2. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

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    #2
    They'll probably have a few members of staff trained to do mobile phone contracts, and sell the phone with a contract.

    The phone is locked to Cingular (in the US at least) so there's no way you'll walk into a shop and leave with just a phone.
     
  3. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #3
    A more likely scenario for an Apple Store purchase is that after purchase (in person or online (?)), you'd have to activate with Cingular at a Cingular store, over the phone, or via the web. It's been made patently clear that this is co-branded with Cingular exclusively.

    Whether or not activation actually takes place in an Apple Store, I'll likely get one there, because I flatly do not trust Cingular reps to cogently explain or demo the device.

    As a side note, I have a sneaking suspicion that the rate plans available now (voice and data) may not accurately reflect what we'll have when the iPhone hits the shelves. The one thing I do like about Sprint is that all I pay for is voice - data, email, etc., etc., are included and unlimited. Cingular's plans as they are now have me gagging a bit. Looking at 900 minutes PLUS unlimited data PLUS messaging basic and we're right at a C note before taxes.
     
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #4
    I have that sneaking suspicion too... mostly because by the time the iPhone hits the shelves, Cingular will be at&t wireless.
     
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #5
    maybe you can purchase one at the store and call or go to cingular to get it activated...
     
  6. Cepe Indicum macrumors regular

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    #6
    This appears the most likely answer for those in the US...

    Still holding out hope for an unlocked version in the UK (I know it's not likely, but...). Just can't imagine buying an Apple product from an Orange, O2, 3 or - dare I say it - a Carphone Warehouse :(
     
  7. iZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    iZac

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    #7
    Does this activation thing currently happen in the USA? You'll have to elaborate on that a little more for me :p

    I was thinking basically you might just be able to pop your SIM from your current Cingular contract into an iPhone that is software locked to only accept Cingular SIMs

    Maybe im thinking in this way because I always buy my phones separate to my contract which gives me a lot more freedom to chop and change my phone if I get fed up of it after a few months. Then every year when they offer you a new phone to extend your contract, I just haggle for the best phone I can (even if its not to my taste) and sell it for one that’s more suitable to me.
     
  8. spoonsy macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2007
    #8
    I only have basic understanding of how phones in the UK work, but you might want to hold off on calling your cell phone shops crap until you've checked out some of the junk we've got over here.....

    Our phones in the US are "locked" meaning that the SIM card is contained within the phone, and not accessible through the battery compartment like in the UK. So, when you switch providers in the US, you essentially need a new phone. Could you open the phone up and remove the SIM card?, probably, but it would void any warranty on the phone.

    I know that most of the companies in the US use different technologies (mostly outdated by the rest of the world's standards). I'm not sure how that would affect your ability to replace the SIM.

    Of course, the whole situation in the US is all about the money, and not about providing a high quality service that works.....
     
  9. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #9
    The keynote specifically pointed out the SIM tray on the top next to the headphone jack.

    I've only owned one other GSM phone, and its SIM was accessible under the battery. I believe that most "locked" phones are locked by frequency or firmware. The whole point - or so I understood - is that you could travel and simply rent a phone - or when buying a new one, pop in your SIM, and move along.
     
  10. spoonsy macrumors newbie

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    #10
    That could very well be, and it's very possible that I'm wrong. I'm far from a cell phone expert, and I've never used Cingular myself. My only experience with the company or GSM phones in the US is through friends and family. From what I remember of their phones, the SIMs were not accessible through the battery compartment.

    I suppose it would make a lot of sense for Apple to design their phones so that they can be used in different markets throughout the world.
     
  11. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

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    #11
    It will be similar to my experience of buying a Cingular contracted phone from Amazon. Purchased from Amazon, it came in the mail with a Cingular sim card and contract, I called Cingular and activated the phone. My guess is that they will have only a couple of plans to choose from - thus making decisions easy.
     
  12. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #12
    Yeah but there is no Cingular in the UK so how is Apple gonna sell a locked phone w/ CIngular/AT and T?
     
  13. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #13
    They've already said their agreement with Cingular/at&t is for the U.S. They will partner with some other, local GSM provider in Europe/elsewhere.

    On a related note, I cannot believe that almost four months after the event, people are still asking questions that are CLEARLY ANSWERED IN THE KEYNOTE.
     
  14. darkwing macrumors 65816

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    #14
    The iPhone will only be GSM and not use cingular's EDGE or UMTS? To think I was waiting for one. :(
     
  15. Turkish macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Apple isn't the kind of organization that will charge you $600 for a phone and then have you do all the activation. I can guarantee that everything will be taken care of in the store.
     
  16. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #16

    It's both GSM and EDGE, but no G3
     
  17. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #17
    Then there will have to be a Cingular rep or Apple Store/Cingular-trained folks to provision the phone. Contracts, number transfer, plan options, etc. I really don't want to turn the Apple Store experience into a cell hell. Even exchanging phones these days is at least a 30-minute process, and somehow I don't think Apple wants that balling up the existing Store processes.

    I just don't see it happening in-Store. The cell phone provisioning process is just too specific and time-consuming as it is in the dedicated cell phone stores.
     
  18. darkwing macrumors 65816

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    #18
    So much for me getting one, then. :(

    Leave it to Apple to overcharge for yesterday's tech.
     
  19. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #19
    It was a deliberate technological and usage decision. US deployment of EDGE covers over 13,000 cities and 40,000 miles of highway. 3G services are limited to 160 metro areas. I can also get Wi-Fi in more places than 3G services, so from an availability standpoint, I'm ahead. If you travel, 3G is a luxury, but EDGE will always be there as long as you have a signal. Wi-Fi, too is available in the crappiest hotels in the tiniest towns. Given a choice to implement a coverage for the broadest possible audience, they did the right thing.

    Also, looking at the power consumption, component configuration needs, etc, etc., losing 3G makes the best sense for an initial rollout. Trust me, 3G WAS discussed, argued over, and factored into the build, but it was deliberately dropped, and I'm positive for substantially defensible reasons. If we could get our grubby little paws on Apple's FRS for the iPhone, we'd see the sense.

    As far as "overcharging", c'mon, it's fairly priced, just not subsidized. Every other device in its competitive arena would cost the same and more, if not for subsidization by the telcos.

    Yesterday's tech? Sure. So's the TV, car, cell phone, microwave, and every gadget and appliance you use. 3G is so yesterday it's not funny. It was introduced in 2001, and is already being superseded by 3.5G in Asian & European deployments. 4G is in active development and live testing.

    Look at Apple's history - all lines over 30 years - and then tell yourself that the iPhone is not going to be a major influence and fundamental basis for comparison over its lifespan. They have a habit of leapfrogging everyone, in ways large & small. Whether they invent it, improve it, develop it, or embrace it, they are still a technology thought and adaptation leader.

    Now, what it REALLY needs is a Tricorder! :D
     
  20. TimV macrumors member

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    #20
    The OP is correct.

    I just spoke with a Cingular CSR on the phone about the Apple iPhone. She said that the iPhone is only going to be sold at it's retail price ($499/$599), therefore no contract will be required. Contracts are only required for phones you get for free (or really cheap).

    The reason I called is because my wife needs a new phone now. She can't wait until June but she still wants to get an iPhone when they come out. The CSR said it won't be a problem because since the iPhone will only sell for retail, it won't affect our contract.
     
  21. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #21
    Have them fax or email you a copy of the Cingular/ATTWS policy statements to document that. Store employees/CSR's are notoriously unreliable.
     
  22. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    #22
    i don't see why you would have to have it activated. you only have to activate your account with cingular. i can take my sim card and put it in any cingular phone, and it's mine phone as long as it's in there. you just need to have your contacts on the sim, or a copy of them on the sim unless you have your numbers memorized. it still shows that you're calling on other people's phones.

    the price is what makes me think twice about buying it. GEEZ $500!!
     
  23. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

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    #23
    I think that's what he meant. The purchase in the Apple store is no hassle...but you'll hassle with Cingular on your own time to activate it. I presume this also means you can drop in a Cingular SIM and use it on your existing line.

    It goes along with the "no subsidy" rumors we heard before...that is $600 is the retail price, not the subsidized price. So there's no reason you can't buy it without signing a contract?
     
  24. WillJS macrumors 65816

    WillJS

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    #24
    I'd purchase one in a heartbeat if it was Verizon.

    Stupid of them to pass up that offer. :mad: :mad:
     
  25. deasine macrumors member

    deasine

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    #25
    The definition of "locked" in the GSM world is when the operator, Cingular in this case, gets the production company, Apple in this case, to program their phones so that it can only be used with Cingular. In other words, if you put a SIM Card that is under a different operator and you turn on the phone, the phone will pop up a message saying something like "Invalid SIM Card."

    Now different operators unlock their phones differently. I'm not sure about Apple in this case, but Sony Ericsson phones you must 'hack' into with firmware in order to unlock their phones. Nokia phones enter some code to get in (it was like that with Q1 2006 phones I think). Etc. Etc.

    And for sure Apple will do the setup for you (i.e. activate it with Cingular) and do it on the spot.

    Why would you purchase from Verizon out of curiosity? It's CDMA network. Verizon phones limit their users with phone fuctions. For instance, they program their phones to not be able to connect with other phones via bluetooth. And they have that red menu that is gross. Apple would never let any operator change their OS style (unless of course, Verizon makes an exception, like Windows Mobiles and Palms).
     

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