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ZDNet reports on a new feature article in the August 2010 issue of Wired discussing the relationship between Apple and AT&T and how the success of the iPhone has enabled the partnership to continue despite each company's faults. While the full article is not yet available online, ZDNet's summary provides some interesting details.
Apple and AT&T fell in love and quickly got hitched. Then after the honeymoon was over they started noticing each other's faults. Apple was staunch and unwilling to restrict the iPhone's Internet access, AT&T couldn't build its network out fast enough to accomodate them. Then came the finger pointing. But the two couldn't divorce, for the the sake of the kids. So they ended up tolerating each other, for the time being.
The report points to Apple's choice of Infineon for the cellular communication hardware in the original iPhone as an example of the tensions between the two companies. Infineon had traditionally been focused on the European market where cellular towers are located more closely together than they typically are in the U.S. But when AT&T asked Apple to work together on making Infineon's hardware in the iPhone work better with AT&T's U.S.-style cell site configurations, Apple reportedly declined, saying "No, you resolve them. They're not our problem. They're your problem."

An Apple source also indicated to Wired that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has suggested at a least half a dozen times that the company consider dropping AT&T for another carrier. Apple's team went as far as visiting Qualcomm's facilities in late 2007 to investigate the possibility of switching the iPhone over to Verizon's network, but size difference between the chips used for the different carrier technologies would have meant a significant redesign for the iPhone, something the company was unwilling to undertake given other possible issues with the move.
Apple also heavily considered switching to Verizon numerous times. Around the end of 2007, at Jobs' behest, Apple engineers (including Scott Forstall) visited the headquarters of Qualcomm - the primary supplier of the chips in Verizon's phones. It concluded that switching to Verizon would be too complicated and expensive because the chips were different sizes and would necessitate rebuilding the iPhone from scratch. Apple also wasn't convinced that Verizon's network would fare much better and let's not forget the nasty lawsuit that voiding its exclusive pact with AT&T would invite.
Interestingly, the Wired article also suggests that a hybrid chip from Qualcomm capable of running on both Verizon's CDMA2000 network and the UMTS network of existing iPhone carrier partners previously rumored for the iPhone is the result of a partnership seeing Qualcomm working with Apple on the chip.

The most recent rumor regarding a Verizon iPhone comes from Bloomberg, which late last month cited sources claiming a January 2011 launch for the device.

Article Link: Behind the Scenes of the Apple-AT&T Relationship
 

Tyre

macrumors regular
May 23, 2010
143
0
Baltimore, MD
Let's just get it over with and sell unlocked iPhones in every carrier-variety. Less time complaining about white iPhones not being white enough and more time doing what engineers do (make stuff work?)
 

Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
So the truth comes out. AT&T (though terrible) did goto Apple and express concerns with Apple pulling the good ole "Not our problem/fault" answer. The plot is really thickening with the iPhone. I sure hope Apple can get things together. I love my new i7 iMac and Macbook Pro to death!
 

vincenz

macrumors 601
Oct 20, 2008
4,271
155
I thought the Verizon iPhone was a legend told to children during storytime.
 

butterfly0fdoom

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2007
847
0
Camp Snoopy
Let's just get it over with and sell unlocked iPhones in every carrier-variety. Less time complaining about white iPhones not being white enough and more time doing what engineers do (make stuff work?)

Given that the iPhone 4 has a pentaband 3G chip, it does support every GSM/UMTS carrier in the world now. It just doesn't support the CDMA ones.
 

NinjaHERO

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2008
944
1,142
U S of A
The dual chip sounds awesome. Hopefully something like that will come out in a future Iphone and allow carrier switching.
 

megatrick

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2002
6
0
Strong Island
Kinda lame

I found the whole article kind of lame, and trying desperately to paint a negative light on the Apple/At&T relationship, before asking "will the billions and billions that both companies have made onf the relationship be worth the cost to their brands?"

Give me a break...
 

skellener

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2003
1,768
507
So. Cal.
Apple and AT&T fell in love and quickly got hitched.
I thought that was Cingular back in 2007. AT&T swooped in and bought them...remember?

OH, AND NO IPHONE ON VERIZON, UNTIL STEVE SAYS SO!!
 

liavman

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2009
462
0
Juicy story. Don't take it too seriously... Whenever someone quotes 'unnamed sources', we have to be careful. But I do not doubt what Apple and AT&T had a lot of squabbles and I do not doubt that Apple engineers visited Qualcomm.

But the statement about Apple not even hearing AT&T's suggestion for the redesign of the cellular chip is a bit troubling.

Jobs said on Friday that there is a two year lead time to get approval to put up new towers in some parts of the country. And he said he loves, loves, loves his users... Why then he would not do something to help out the users when AT&T's hands are tried to some extent with increasing network capacity.

Come on Steve, love us some more!!
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
17,209
2,281
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Juicy story. Don't take it too seriously... Whenever someone quotes 'unnamed sources', we have to be careful. But I do not doubt what Apple and AT&T had a lot of squabbles and I do not doubt that Apple engineers visited Qualcomm.

But the statement about Apple not even hearing AT&T's suggestion for the redesign of the cellular chip is a bit troubling.

Jobs said on Friday that there is a two year lead time to get approval to put up new towers in some parts of the country. And he said he loves, loves, loves his users... Why then he would not do something to help out the users when AT&T's hands are tried to some extent with increasing network capacity.

Come on Steve, love us some more!!

Which is why Apple ditched Infineon for this new baseband chip.
 

reckless2k2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2008
525
0
The dual chip sounds awesome. Hopefully something like that will come out in a future Iphone and allow carrier switching.

That would be cool if Apple could advertise something like take your hardware with you kind of thing. You don't like AT&T, go to Verizon. And if the Verizon prices then got you down, take your phone to T-Mobile.

Too bad a silly thing like contracts could get in the way.
 

tempusfugit

macrumors 65816
May 21, 2009
1,112
1
Chicago
I'm glad they stuck with ATT.

Where I have lived and traveled over the past 3 years (length of iphone ownership) in the midwest, ATT has always been good.

I lived in minneapolis, ALWAYS 5 bars.

I live in Chicago, great coverage and much faster data than verizon.

Traveling to cleveland, orlando, lansing, milwaukee, coverage has always been good.


I can't speak for the coasts but I'm glad I have ATT. Verizon's 3g coverage in chicago is crap and their speeds are much lower. A very good friend who has an incredible routinely participates in speed test comparisons with me while we're out and about. ATT is the clear winner in Chicago, and its not even close.

Just the other night I hit 572 kilobytes/second down. Thats about 4.5 Megabit. And with a constant 1.5 MBit uplink, I'm uber-happy.

A fandroid with an EVO recently did a speed test comparison with me while we were at the same place, and he had "4G" coverage. He got 2.5 megabit and I got about 3.

"4G" is a ridiculous marketing technique. Its hardly in ANY major cities, but chicago happens to be one of them and it can't even keep up with ATT 3G.

Nuff said.



I can't find the exact test result I was talking about but heres a similar one so everyone knows I'm not just full of hot air: http://www.speedtest.net/iphone/42835179.png
 

ravensfan55

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2009
413
0
The last thing Apple wants to see in the US is an unlocked iPhone. Apple makes more money per user when they're locked into a contract. The second the iPhone is unlocked, carriers will be less willing to cut Apple a slice of the monthly service charges because they know the subscribers can jump ship whenever they want to.
 

NoExpectations

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2008
671
2
Can't live with them, can't live without them.

And both of them are making a ton of money. I'd say that the risk has paid off for both of them....as well as the Apple Shareholders.
 

reckless2k2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2008
525
0
Jobs said on Friday that there is a two year lead time to get approval to put up new towers in some parts of the country.

This was probably the most interesting omission at the Press Conference that few people are even talking about. This is a subject that I would think people should be all over.
 

Brien

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2008
3,437
1,063
Hybrid CDMA/GSM chips? I wonder if it'll support LTE, too, as that would only make sense with Verizon and AT&T both rolling out 4G networks next year.

Perhaps we'll see the iPhone 4G next June after all. I could see the keynote...

iPhone 4 is best selling iPhone yet, etc. etc. Today we're making it even better:
- 1080p video capture
- wifi syncing (if not added in September)
- 1.3MP front-facing camera, FaceTime over 3G
- 4G internet, for faster internet (also helps w/ higher resolution FaceTime)
- One more thing: Verizon.
 

tempusfugit

macrumors 65816
May 21, 2009
1,112
1
Chicago
This was probably the most interesting omission at the Press Conference that few people are even talking about. This is a subject that I would think people should be all over.

People have been. In fact, the amount of red tape and time it takes for approval and zoning for cell towers is one of the most commonly cited reasons for network congestion in the SF/Bay area.
 

Brien

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2008
3,437
1,063
Given that the iPhone 4 has a pentaband 3G chip, it does support every GSM/UMTS carrier in the world now. It just doesn't support the CDMA ones.

Not true, you'd need an octo-band phone to be able to operate on all (current) GSM/UMTS bands currently deployed, and a 14-band phone to be completely future-proof.
 

Becordial

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2009
422
0
The last thing Apple wants to see in the US is an unlocked iPhone. Apple makes more money per user when they're locked into a contract. The second the iPhone is unlocked, carriers will be less willing to cut Apple a slice of the monthly service charges because they know the subscribers can jump ship whenever they want to.

I still don't know whether I completely accept that per user/contract charge that it's claimed that Apple make from AT&T. I mean in my country, Apple directly sell unlocked phones by the truckload, sell them unlocked via carriers or locked if you want them that way instead. They're not doing it for a carrier revenue share as far as I can tell as they wouldn't be aggressively selling them unlocked for cash inside Apple stores if a carrier would pay them for new user contracts.
 
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