If an iphone does come out will it work with any provider?

manosaurus

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2006
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Sorry for the double post.

I am just curious. I would think that the answer to this question is that it is impossible to tell until the iphone is released but I don't much about cell phones and multi-provider compatibility. Never thought about it though I have had a cell phone for years. Anyone know more about this than me?
 

ckeck

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2005
710
60
Texas
manosaurus said:
Sorry for the double post.

I am just curious. I would think that the answer to this question is that it is impossible to tell until the iphone is released but I don't much about cell phones and multi-provider compatibility. Never thought about it though I have had a cell phone for years. Anyone know more about this than me?
I could almost guarantee it would be initially Cingular only (GSM)...which if you unlock it could work for T-Mobile too.

I worked for Cingular for nearly 3 years and through the launch of the ROKR and the SLVR. There is a good working relationship with Cingular and Apple and many of the top execs.

Thats my bet.
 

jne381

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2006
208
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Grand Rapids
I think it would be a big mistake for Apple to offer their phone with only one provider, and I think they know this. Every other major cell phone maker offers a phone for each service provider, if Apple offered it to only one, they would cut their market by 80%. That is not good business at all.

Second, if a provider refuses to accept the Apple phone for whatever reason, they will be cutting their profits because buyers of the Apple phone want the Apple phone, this includes myself.

You could make the point that the second point I raise could make the one provider model work, but many potential users may be stuck in a 2 year contract with their provider and not have the ability to switch. When their contract is up, people would jump ship, but why would Apple want to give up 2 years of sales.
 

joebells

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2005
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Another thing going against it being for any providor is technology. Cingular and T-mobile use gsm while Verizon and Sprint use other technologies so they would have to make several different phones. Also with gsm all you have to do is put your sim card in and the phone will work with your account. For verizon and sprint they require that you call in and get the phone registered essentially with them.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
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Minitrue
GSM is the future.. at least Apple would be foolish to not make it a GSM phone. Why restrict yourself to the USA when you can sell worldwide? Especially in cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong where people literally throw their phones away every 3 months to get a new one.
 

jtown

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2003
306
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jne381 said:
You could make the point that the second point I raise could make the one provider model work, but many potential users may be stuck in a 2 year contract with their provider and not have the ability to switch.
Does that penalty really make a difference to people who want to switch? Maybe if they've only got a few months left but, near the beginning of a 2 year contract, a $150-200 penalty is chump change. My monthly bill is about $65. 65*24=1560. I'm past the 30 day mark (California requires carriers to provide a 30-day "trial" period) but, if some other carrier came up with a killer app that I just had to have, I wouldn't think twice about jumping ship. $150 = 10% of my total commitment. Do I pay another $1400 for inferior service to avoid paying a $150 fee and grumble for 22 months about how I wish I had that other company's new service? That'd be pretty dumb.

Maybe somewhere around to 6 month mark, it would become a factor.
 

Silentwave

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May 26, 2006
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jtown said:
Does that penalty really make a difference to people who want to switch? Maybe if they've only got a few months left but, near the beginning of a 2 year contract, a $150-200 penalty is chump change. ...if some other carrier came up with a killer app that I just had to have, I wouldn't think twice about jumping ship.
Maybe somewhere around to 6 month mark, it would become a factor.
Definitely. The people who really want to switch, will, regardless of cost.

After a while they might have deals that would let you about break even after savings on a new contract/phone.

the minute an apple phone comes out (if it does) i'll be buying.
 

manosaurus

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Original poster
Aug 22, 2006
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jtown said:
Does that penalty really make a difference to people who want to switch? Maybe if they've only got a few months left but, near the beginning of a 2 year contract, a $150-200 penalty is chump change. My monthly bill is about $65. 65*24=1560. I'm past the 30 day mark (California requires carriers to provide a 30-day "trial" period) but, if some other carrier came up with a killer app that I just had to have, I wouldn't think twice about jumping ship. $150 = 10% of my total commitment. Do I pay another $1400 for inferior service to avoid paying a $150 fee and grumble for 22 months about how I wish I had that other company's new service? That'd be pretty dumb.

Maybe somewhere around to 6 month mark, it would become a factor.

I am pretty sure about this but I might be wrong. If one terminates one contract early then this information is reported to the credit bureaus. I am inclined to think that a bad spot one one's credit report is not worth an "iPhone."
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
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St. Louis, MO
It would be a huge mistake for Apple to market it to one provider.

Plus, any provider who offers it will either put their logo all over it, or completely bastardize it *cough*verizon*cough* and I don't see Apple going along with either. I think it'll be a GSM phone, available for purchase on Apple's website, or at an Apple store, just like any other Apple product.
 

manosaurus

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2006
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yg17 said:
It would be a huge mistake for Apple to market it to one provider.

Plus, any provider who offers it will either put their logo all over it, or completely bastardize it *cough*verizon*cough* and I don't see Apple going along with either. I think it'll be a GSM phone, available for purchase on Apple's website, or at an Apple store, just like any other Apple product.
This makes sense. I have thought the "iPhone" has been so long in surfacing for at least two reasons: negotiations between several different parties to insure that each provider can offer this device, or some variation thereof. And the fact that an "iPhone" could concievably, to some significant extent, cannabalize nano and shuffle sales. Apple is between a rock and a hard place, so to speak, on this one. The execution will be complicated, the timing must be superb.

Does anyone agree?
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,255
1,333
manosaurus said:
I am pretty sure about this but I might be wrong. If one terminates one contract early then this information is reported to the credit bureaus. I am inclined to think that a bad spot one one's credit report is not worth an "iPhone."
The penalty for early termination is that you have to pay an early termination fee (which varies by carrier). The only time the credit folks are brought in is if you don't pay the ETF (or any other part of your final bill with the carrier that you terminated from).
 

manosaurus

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Original poster
Aug 22, 2006
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aristobrat said:
The penalty for early termination is that you have to pay an early termination fee (which varies by carrier). The only time the credit folks are brought in is if you don't pay the ETF (or any other part of your final bill with the carrier that you terminated from).
You are sure of this? Experience?
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
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jne381 said:
I think it would be a big mistake for Apple to offer their phone with only one provider, and I think they know this. Every other major cell phone maker offers a phone for each service provider, if Apple offered it to only one, they would cut their market by 80%. That is not good business at all.

Second, if a provider refuses to accept the Apple phone for whatever reason, they will be cutting their profits because buyers of the Apple phone want the Apple phone, this includes myself.
Exactly.

Think BlackBerry.

RIM typically makes 3 models of each BlackBerry -- GSM, CDMA and iDen (gotta love the old Nextel network). The GSM ones are typically the first ones available, which makes sence seeing as how the vast majority of the world uses GSM. CDMA and iDen eventually follow (with the benefit being that those BlackBerrys usually don't have the odd issues that the GSM users inevitably find).

In the US, it seems to go back and forth between T-Mobile and Cingular as to who gets to lauch a new BlackBerry model. T-Mobile got to launch the 7100t a few years ago, Cingular got the 8700 earlier this year, and next week T-Mobile gets the 8100. Whoever launches it seems to get 90 days of exclusivity with the device, after which the other GSM carrier can start to sell it.

The crazy thing is that each carrier can dork around with the fuctionality and look -- a little bit, anyway. BlackBerrys have themes and each carrier can ship their own and set it as default, but when you buy it, you can easily set it back to BlackBerry's default.

I'm curious to see how Apple handles their phone, but I bet it'll be somewhere along the lines of how RIM does their BlackBerrys.
 

Sweetfeld28

macrumors 65816
Feb 10, 2003
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Buckeye Country, O-H
i ended my contract with an early termination one, then switched carriers, then switched back. They never made me pay for it when i came back to verizon luckily, cause that would of really sucked.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,255
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manosaurus said:
You are sure of this? Experience?
Yup, quite sure and as for experience, I have over 3000 posts at HowardForums.com, have personally ETF'ed from T-Mobile to Verizon, and as one of the BlackBerry admins where I work, I've helped countless people ETF their Sprint or Cingular personal lines over to Verizon or T-Mobile as those are the only two carriers that the company I work for will reimburse them for.
 

manosaurus

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2006
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aristobrat said:
Yup, quite sure and as for experience, I have over 3000 posts at HowardForums.com, have personally ETF'ed from T-Mobile to Verizon, and as one of the BlackBerry admins where I work, I've helped countless people ETF their Sprint or Cingular personal lines over to Verizon or T-Mobile as those are the only two carriers that the company I work for will reimburse them for.

Thank you for the reply. I am glad to know that such is true.