iPhone – not quite yet

Even though I was very excited about the iPhone when it came out, I always believed the business decisions around the phone were plain silly. The decision to lock to AT&T is stupid.

And only because of that, I won’t be getting an iPhone quite yet –

  • T-Mobile has better coverage in NYC
  • T-Mobile’s plans are significantly cheaper
  • I don’t need visual voicemail (the only feature that requires carrier integration)
  • I travel interationally and refuse to be trapped by a plan that will charge me $5/minute from India when I can just as easily pop in a local SIM card
  • Ensuring that even the iPod won’t work without an AT&T SIM is beyond the pale

Finally, here’s a question – what if I get the iPhone with the egregious contract from AT&T. I wait two years. The contract ends. Would I THEN be able to put any SIM I want into the phone?? If the answer is no, that is a first for any carrier, any phone. And would only exacerbate an already stupid decision by Apple.

I wonder how they will do this internationally. If you buy the phone in India it will only work with the Indian carrier? Huh – talk about moving backwards on international travel and international convenience…

  • I imagine Apple’s decision to work with AT&T exclusively (for 5 years, I believe) is related to the economics of the deal. Not only is Apple getting a high price per iPhone from AT&T, they are probably getting some nice revenue share from the monthly, data and text messaging fees. If AT&T was willing to share revenue to secure the iPhone, they would need to gain something sizeable in return. It will be interesting to see the results in the upcoming quarters especially if Apple breaks out the recurring revenue in their earnings.

  • Krishna

    Or you could wait for the enterprising hacker community to break the ridiculous limitations and buy it on e-bay in 6 months :-). On the other hand, given the lack of even basic SMS capabilities, I really question at whom this phone is targeted. Not likely to succeed in India (or Europe?) with these ridiculous limitations IMHO

  • Krishna

    Correction-they do have SMS. They’ve blocked IM. Still, sound like Apple is milking this cow dry…

  • August

    More Info on what Apple is demanding from carriers and the international expansion:
    http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2191928/european-operators-grumble

  • Completely agree with you. Infact I was so keen to get the Iphone for myself but for the fact that it ties up to AT&T. I mean they could have used Verizon or T-mobile, CDMA or GSM is not the point of contention as long as the phone is to be used in USA> But network coverage definately is. And as far as statistics show, AT&T is pretty dismal compared to the rest.

    So as i assume, Apple will make more money from AT&T than from sales of their product for the 5 years of the contract. Eventually, they will open the phone to both CDMA and GSM technolgies , use the other service providers, and then rake in the money from consumers.

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