USA Today: Buying strategies for the iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Tattoo, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Tattoo macrumors 6502

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    #1
    By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
    LOS ANGELES — Christopher Parr won't go so far as to bring his sleeping bag to his local AT&T store to be first in line for Apple's coveted iPhone when it goes on sale next week.
    But he will be there opening night to plunk down $599 for the combination iPod, cellphone and wireless Internet device within hours of its debut.

    "Cellphones have under-delivered," says Parr, 40, of Madison, Wis. "This fills a real void. Most Internet over the phone is a terrible user experience. I love the idea of having the real Internet in my pocket."


    June 29 is the day many gear-heads have marked on their calendars as iDay, the release of what independent analyst Richard Doherty calls "the most eagerly awaited consumer technology device of the last 20 years."

    Since January, when it was first announced, the iPhone has captivated consumers, Wall Street investors and the media as the right product at the right time.

    TALKING TECH: Buying strategies for the iPhone
    http://usatoday.feedroom.com/index.jsp?fr_story=f994f2f90829edb3ef4ba227168d87da26ea4498


    Some more info I found on an online blog:
    Facts about the launch have been spread across a good dozen threads. This isn't very convenient for easy look up, so I've tapped out virtually all the facts I know and do not know as of right now. Feel free to ask questions, as I'm here to provide information. Updates and edits are highlighted in italics and blue.


    Requirements


    iPhone will require a 2 year commitment. This is for both voice and data. You can pick the voice plan, but the data plan is required. This isn't going to be "I'll try it out until the rebate gets back," the device needs it. If you don't have these features on account, the phone won't even fully power on. Your account must be provisioned with these features, or popping your SIM into the tray on top of the phone will not work. Why? Several phone functions will be deeply integrated with the internet and data services. The visual voice mail is one of them. This means you cannot just buy it to use as a widescreen iPod, or just use the wifi connection.

    For those not familiar with how AT&T handles data, a data plan is similar to a text messaging package, but gives you either a bucket of data to use or unlimited data access. It's a monthly charge in addition to your voice services, and you wouldn't want it if you don't want to pay for it. For most devices this isn't a problem, but the iPhone is a revolution, as we all know, and part of that revolution requires an always on data link. Thus you need the data services on your line.
    Activation: Where and how


    Second is where and how you activate it. You'll have 3 options. 1) In a AT&T corp. store, and activation will be almost standard. 2) Online, you click and buy, and they ship it. Activation can be handled either over the phone, or in a store. Again, same as today. Devices bought in Apple stores will be activated by Apple reps.

    The iPhone will not be able to be ordered over the phone or from att.com for at least 30 days after launch. All devices from launch day to Day 31 will be sold and activated in-store, or from apple.com.

    The number delivered to AT&T stores will vary from 12 (if any) to 36. Most phones will arrive on the 28th, but reps may not be allowed to tell you if they're stocked for the 29th. Waiting lists are strictly prohibited, any rep saying he'll hold one is either lying or risking his job. It is first come, first serve.

    Apple and AT&T will be the only providers of iPhones in the world at launch. Because you will be required to sign a contract and have a feature on your account, purchasing an iPhone from alternative sources like eBay will be neither cheaper or easier. This is because any iPhone on the site had to have been purchased with a contract, the contract then had to be terminated. Throw in activation fees, an eBay phone will be over $200 more than retail and you'll still need the data for it to work.

    Those wishing to use the iPhone with other carriers will not have a fully functional iPhone in most cases. First, the phone must be unlocked, which it will not be out of the box. Second, iPhone requires a specialized Apple server for some features. This is exactly how Blackberry and the Sidekick are set up. You can unlock both Blackberries and Sidekicks, but unless the carrier you're using them on has the server too (not a problem for BB's, but since the SD is T-Mo exclusive, it's a T-Mo exclusive) it will not fully work. Basic stuff like calling and SMS should work fine, however visual voice mail and data features are not likely to work correctly if at all.


    Eligibility: The Can Haves and Have-Nots


    Third, who can and cannot have the iPhone. Good news is that almost anyone can use it. Unfortunately, people on corporate accounts (accounts actually in the name of a large enterprise, also know as CRU accounts) cannot have the iPhone. This is due to contract issues, these lines don't have contracts on them individually, instead the entire collection of lines has one contract. People working for a corporation may purchase the iPhone if they sign up for a personal line. These are called IRU's and retain the same discount as a work line. Those looking for their job to pay for their new toy should look into submitting their bill to accounting every month for payment. AT&T doesn't really care about who is paying the bill, only that it is paid, and it's paid for the full 2 years.

    Small business owners which have lines under the business name and Tax ID do not (generally) have CRU's. CRU's are only for very large corporations (e.g. Motorola) that have a large number of wireless lines that are all managed under one agreement and contract. Basically, if you have to sign a new 2 year agreement for each line (like a consumer) you can get and use this device.

    Non AT&T subscribers can get a iPhone with a 2 year agreement, but there is no discount. It's $500, $600, or the door. Current subscribers that are out of contract have the same option.Customers currently in contract (based on current consensus) will be able to purchase the iPhone with a contract extension and data subscription. You may or may not be asked for an upgrade processing fee.

    Current AT&T employees will not be able to get the iPhone until 2 weeks have passed since launch. As employees, you should know this, as it's the same policy that's enforced with all handset launches. Once the 2 weeks are up, you will NOT receive the standard employee discount of 30% off retail price. It will be full price.

    VS

    Current AT&T subscribers still using legacy former AT&T Wireless equipment and plans will be required to pick a new plan, just as if they wanted any new phone. This is due to the fact that the old AT&T used a different billing system that cannot be integrated with the Cingular/new AT&T system. Current Cingular subscribers will not need to change their voice plan, even though we're AT&T, we're using the same systems as before so we don't need to migrate anyone.


    Features


    Email
    The iPhone will ship with full POP3 and IMAP functionality. Several email sites have been mentioned specifically, including gmail. It will not be, at least at first, capable of enterprise email. No Goodlink or Exchange for you, then again, if you're using either you probably have an CRU and are thusly disqualified in the first place.

    Web browsing:
    Those dreading EDGE will be happy to know that AT&T is right now busy upgrading the EDGE network to double the current speeds. While remote access to iTunes is not currently planned, you will have the ability to check your AT&T account remotely.

    Touchscreen
    The touchscreen technology is based on electrical capacitance, basically how your fingers have a static charge to them and it is this charge that actually interacts with the screen. Wearing gloves will disable your ability to interact with the device.
    Apps and Widgets
    3rd party apps will be available in due course, but because 3rd party apps were discussed so late in the development, there will be a multi-month delay in new apps. Several widgets will be included at launch with more available as time goes on. These will probably have to be certified by Apple, prior to being put on the site.


    Items for follow up, or alternatively titled:
    s### I don't know yet.

    )Data plan pricing. This will come out very soon.
    )Waiving of activation or upgrade fees under certain circumstances.
    )How good the Apple phone reps will be on Day 1 (they'll be well trained, but I worked retail, the training is nothing compared to real life experience).
    )iChat will also not be available at launch, so IM service is in the air.
    __________________
    Yes, I am an AT&T employee. I have seen an actual iPhone.
     
  2. applehero macrumors 6502

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    #2
    This is interesting, I would like to know the source of some of these facts...
     
  3. Tattoo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3

    I found all of that on a AT&T Corporate Forums Blog....

    I nominate this for post of the year. Finally someone has some definitive pricing for people that are currently in contract with At&t and not up for a renewal.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for sharing!


    [​IMG]
     
  4. applehero macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Thanks for sharing. Good info to have.
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #6
    nice, this seems very definitive. And a good calming post for all of the "little questions"
     
  6. elg23 macrumors regular

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    #7
    This doesnt make much sense... Say I am in an area that has phone coverage but no Edge coverage... That means my phone wont turn on? It doesnt seem logical that if I cannot connect to edge that the phone wont power up... This does seem legit though, which worries me.. I had planned on buying it without the data plan because I have wifi everywhere.. My house, my work, and my entire campus where i go to school has wifi, so i figured i wouldnt need a data plan, but this worries me.. i wish apple would release some info already...
     
  7. AirmanPika macrumors 6502

    AirmanPika

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    #8
    Uh...I haven't fully read the whole thing yet but the part about REQUIRING a data plan is wrong. The phone only requires internet access for setup (probably meaning the whole iTunes Account issue). AT&T or Apple said they strongly RECOMMEND a data plan though for constant connectivity. I have every intention of walking away at the most with a 2 year extension on my current $40 voice plan only and I'm fairly certain thats not going to change next friday.
     
  8. elg23 macrumors regular

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    #9
    i hope ur right, because i have those same intentions
     
  9. Eric1285 macrumors 6502

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  10. MacDryCleaner macrumors regular

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    #11
    bummer news though

    12 to 36 phones per store?

    Well, the lines won't be very long then cause there won't be any units to sell.

    Bummer.
     
  11. darwen macrumors 6502a

    darwen

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    #12
    Have you been to the console launch lines? People dont care... they keep waiting even if there are only 36.
     
  12. cjandnw macrumors 6502

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    #13
    sometimes knowledge is bad. Now I'm nervous with at most 36 iphones available. :mad: :(
     
  13. loudestnoise macrumors 6502

    loudestnoise

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    #14
    I still dont know how we can believe this guy. I mean showing us a screenshot of an email is a nice step, but it looks more to me a customer emailing AT&T about iPhone. Nothing in the email leads me to believe the person is employed by AT&T. And who is to say corporate AT&T forums have any more info than anyone else. I suppose they can be operated by the company, but forums in general are usually not the place where brand new information known by no one is shared for the first time. I won't believe it until it comes out of Steve's mouth or an extension of his brain (aka apple.com)
     
  14. elg23 macrumors regular

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    #15
    the email says that this guy is a customer, not an employee
     
  15. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #16
    Thats very interesting...but I won't believe it until AT&T/Apple post...until then this is just another thread.

    Another thread with lots of information, that could be true, but nothing offical yet.

    I hardly see an "Definitive" pricing, other then 499/599...but we've know that for a while.

    Also way to pat yourself on the back for this thread....really before many people had commented on it. And even more so, before its proven true.

    Edit-Look at the email you post, it doesn't say or prove anything
     
  16. applehero macrumors 6502

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    #17
    The email edit doesn't give us anything definitive. Some people have been told this exact same thing by other reps, others have been told something completely different. I agree with zap2, until an official PR from Apple/at&t, this is just your experience. It is still good information to share as it's nice to know what's being said, but I can't claim it as gospel until it's an official PR, and even then, things change daily, so until I'm at the store on the 29th, 6pm getting my phone placed every so delicately in my hands, I'm not believing anything is etched in stone.
     
  17. darwen macrumors 6502a

    darwen

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    #18
    Wow, someone has trust issues...

    Seems a bit extreme... you dont even trust Apple.com?
     
  18. Tattoo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    First let me make something clear here:
    Nothing I posted was written by myslef. I never claimed to be the Author of said postings. I am just a normal dude that found some info on the Corporate ATT&T Forums - Copied and pasted it for everyone to have some more info about the iPhone.
    That includes the email and the statement about: "definitive pricing" was all copied from that forum.
    Thats it - nothing more than trying to put out info I found to try and help others.
    I dont work for Apple or AT&T. I have nothing to do with the industry.

    Just passing along info I found on the web. :)
     
  19. applehero macrumors 6502

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    #20
    My distrust comes from the telephony side of this. Anything posted on Apple.com is most likely going to hold true, but PR from at&t...things change too often.
     
  20. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #21
    OMG a screen shot of IE7 in Vista.

    I feel sick:(


    really though, thanks for posting this, it's a very great tid-bit
     
  21. elg23 macrumors regular

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    #22
    1) Where is the screen shot from the forums? You posted a screen shop of an email from ATT telling us nothing...
    2) How did you get into the forums if you dont work for ATT?
     
  22. applehero macrumors 6502

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    #23
    LOL!!!!!
     
  23. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #24

    Oh..all the things I said, still apply, just to the writer of those things, which was not you
     
  24. Photography macrumors 65816

    Photography

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