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Has Apple Sold Its Soul...

by abyrd2000 / May 10, 2007 / 4:36 PM UTC

I'm a HUGE Apple fan and have been for many years. But lately, I'm a bit disheartened by Apple's choice of iPhone partners. AT&T has been scandal-plagued for a while, but the whole NSA thing is probably the scariest.

As a political podcaster, I did a story in May of 2006 about the fact the AT&T allows the NSA to monitor and archive ALL of the internet and voice traffic on its network. http://web.mac.com/thewarondemocracy/iWeb/TheWarOnDemocracy.com/MP3%20Version/39702760-2C93-4530-AA75-344D52DD1E74.html

And recently ABC News did a story highlighted the AT&T technician who blew the whistle on the whole story and brought it to light. http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2930944

So why, being such a great company, would Apple choose to team with a corporate demon like AT&T?

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(NT) Eh...Money?
by scorcher409 / May 10, 2007 / 5:00 PM UTC
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Oooh, good for investors....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 10, 2007 / 5:05 PM UTC

See stock go up and up.

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Well...
by rtemp / May 10, 2007 / 7:34 PM UTC

1) Apple was originally looking to partner with Verizon, but they didn't want to play by Apple's rules, so Apple went elsewhere.

2) Apple didn't really partner with AT&T per se, but rather Cingular, who just got absorbed into the new AT&T conglomerate.

-Ryan

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Re: Well...
by abyrd2000 / May 10, 2007 / 8:14 PM UTC
In reply to: Well...

You make some valid points, but on your #2 point, Cingular used to be AT&T Wireless and is now AT&T once again. 'Cingular' has always been under the AT&T corporate umbrella.

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not quite...historical clarrifications...
by shawnlin / May 11, 2007 / 4:03 AM UTC
In reply to: Re: Well...

cingular and AT&T wireless used to be competitors.

Then Cingular and AT&T wireless merged to under the Cingular name (note that AT&T wireless was NOT under the AT&T umbrella...they used to be, but broke off and kept the name).

And then, "GIGANTOR" AT&T (SBC+AT&T) bought Cingular. Cingular and AT&T wireless had a hard time merging and was a good deal for the newly merged SBC/AT&T="The New AT&T" company.

At some point, Apple released the (flop) Motorola RCKR iTunes phone under Cingular. So there is some history between the Apple that those mobile telephony folks.

more info:
http://www.engadget.com/2005/02/02/the-engadget-guide-to-at-t-wireless-cingular-sbc-at-t-merger/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT&T
http://www.corp.att.com/history/history5.html

Best,
Shalin

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(NT) Thanks for shedding light, Shalin.
by Alegoo92 / May 11, 2007 / 5:37 AM UTC
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sure thing!
by shawnlin / May 11, 2007 / 6:11 AM UTC

my dad was an engineer w/Western Bell/AT&T/Lucent...so I had an introduction to the whole telecommunications world early on and I keep up with the business a bit...

Best,
Shalin

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The Youtube version of this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 11, 2007 / 6:17 AM UTC
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(NT) haha! love it!
by shawnlin / May 11, 2007 / 6:28 AM UTC
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more historical clarrifications
by rkb33 / May 13, 2007 / 8:35 PM UTC

It was not called the Motorola Rckr, it was the rokr. I know, i am an ***, lol.


-Ryan from chicago (since there seem to be more than one ryan)

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Cingular vs. ATT Wireless
by mjeffryes / June 14, 2007 / 6:17 AM UTC
In reply to: Re: Well...

To set the record straight, having working in telecom for some while now.

Cingular was a partnership between 2 major "baby bells", SBC and Bell South. ATT wireless was owned by "Ma Bell". ATT sold it's wireless division to Cingular. SBC purchased ATT, but kept the ATT name because it has more market recognition. ATT (SBC) purchased Bell South and now owns all the original partners in Cingular. They renamed, are branding everything ATT for uniformity across all product lines.

All that being said. When choosing a wireless partner you only have 4 choices:

ATT (Cingular)
Verizon
Sprint
T-Mobile
Everything else is a switch-less reseller (or VNO) of some sort.

In reality Sprint is the 3rd wheel and while it may have been a decent choice they just don't have the influence of ATT or VZ. Rumors are out there about their status on the auction block, they are probably out of the running.

T-Mobile is a Dutch subsidiary that has a limited footprint, not in the running.

So you are down to ATT and VZ, pick your poison. Remember VZ bought MCI, formally known as Worldcom, remember the largest accounting fraud in US history? Yeah, that's in VZs house now. So Apple has to get in bed with one of these guys, they chose ATT.

This is part of the reason I think the iPhone is a bad move for Apple. You are bringing a high dollar product to market that has limited capabilities (no 3G) and you have to partner with someone who is bigger an much meaner than you. Apple has never competed in this space, I'm not sure everyone understands what a dirty world telecom is.

Matt formally in Deep Ellum

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Apple vs ATT who is mean
by nutjob / June 14, 2007 / 10:47 AM UTC

Why do you think Apple is less mean than ATT wireless?

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I have been happy with cingular
by rockinphotognyc / May 11, 2007 / 7:15 AM UTC

I've been their customer for 3 years in NYC and am very satisfied with their service, locally and nationwide.

I think apple made a great choice. GSM is the standard worldwide. It makes perfect sense.

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I use cingular
by ellis feigenbaum / May 11, 2007 / 12:31 PM UTC

in the states and im very happy with call quality,I have never had a reason to get any other type of service from them, so I have no idea if the customer service is good or bad.

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Why
by ellis feigenbaum / May 12, 2007 / 2:27 AM UTC

Why do you assume that Apple had a soul to start with.Apple is no different to any other corporation , it chooses to make money.

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Hippies
by Nicholas Buenk / May 12, 2007 / 7:02 AM UTC
In reply to: Why

"I wish him [Bill Gates] the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger." - Steve Jobs

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yeah, but...
by shawnlin / May 12, 2007 / 7:33 AM UTC
In reply to: Hippies

that doesn't entirely rule out their having a primary interest in making money for their shareholders or shareholder-fanboys/fangirls and having fun while doing it by making great stuff they themselves enjoy using.
--Shalin

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Companies have a culture
by Nicholas Buenk / May 12, 2007 / 8:00 AM UTC
In reply to: yeah, but...

People need more than money as motivation a lot of the time.

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Sure they do
by ellis feigenbaum / May 12, 2007 / 4:33 PM UTC

And they are very happy to adhere to that culture as long as its good for business, the second it isnt the culture goes out the door.
Sure Apple may be prepared to take small hits in the name of corporate culture, but with the advent of ipod they are very much a mainstream corporation, with both feet in the mainstream world. Although it may be nice to think they can continue catering to their loyal client base, the vast majority of ipod owners never used mac hardware before ipod and still dont use any other apple hardware.
When it comes to the iphone, they really need to be super mainstream, the competition is vast and they dont have a particular new hook such as itunes to push it, or even a hitherto unknown need.So they must rely on quality performance and customer service.
I hope they do well, but I fear they may price themselves out of the market.

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re: iPhone...
by shawnlin / May 13, 2007 / 9:56 AM UTC
In reply to: Sure they do

I think there's a good change that the iPhone, for all it's coolness, will be to Apple what Vista is to Microsoft... a bit of a flop because consumers may be impressed with the functionality, but won't think it's truly worth the price tag.
--S

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(NT) the words of genius
by rkb33 / May 13, 2007 / 8:40 PM UTC
In reply to: re: iPhone...
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Vista will not be a bit of a flop
by ellis feigenbaum / May 14, 2007 / 1:03 PM UTC
In reply to: re: iPhone...

At some point in the future- exactly the same as w98 and xp , vista will be the main o/s in the pc market.
w98 wasnt fit till second edition xp wasnt main choice till sp1 and wasnt really fit till sp2
vista probably at sp1 or fuji or whatever they are calling the update will be fit enough with enough drivers for almost everyone.
The iphone , however good it is, may end up as a bit of a flop becaue it wont gain marketshar from the low end, I fear that this is goingto be a great peice of harware/ software that will end up in the hands of a few afficianodo`s.
there is no private sector hook, business`s will seriously shy away from a phone that is more of an entertainment machine than a work machine and the price will drive away the casual buyer.
this could be one of the best peices of harware to end up never leaving the storerooms.

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ahh, yes; I should have said that the launches would flop...
by shawnlin / May 14, 2007 / 1:22 PM UTC

but I think the features that the "wow" features iPhone will be copied into future mobile solutions.

Best,
Shalin

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yup your probably right

eventually the features, will find their way in to the mainstream of phones and companies will pick off what they need.
the chinese will find a way to mass produce, and you will be able to buy a similar featured phone for 50% or less in 18 months.
Apart from the really cool voicemail on the iphone most of the features seem to be pretty standard stuff( albeit with a sexy apple slant).
When I can buy a smartphone that is half the weight of treo with the same size screen , has wifi , supports roaming 3g networks and quad band gsm has 4-8gb internal memory and an expansion slot for another 4, then I might be in the market for a 700 buck phone again.

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Cool WoW features on the iPhone!
by jimgleeson / May 15, 2007 / 10:52 AM UTC

This is awesome, I didn't know this was going to happen, but now I can play WoW on my iPhone as well...wow!

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Apple's target
by Nicholas Buenk / May 15, 2007 / 11:55 PM UTC
In reply to: re: iPhone...

Is a 1% market share. Jobs said this last macworld. 1% is what Apple will consider success. The mobile phone market is huge, 1% is 10 million units over a year, that sales number looks impressive next to the far smaller mp3 player market. That's what you have to remember, it's a huge market and Apple has set humble goals.

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1% of US cell phone market would be great
by nutjob / May 16, 2007 / 2:33 PM UTC
In reply to: Apple's target

I estimate that within 3 years the iPhone will have .1% (yes 1/10 of 1%) of all the phones is service. Today most phone cost people $125 or less so going to $500 plus is a big jump plus it will take companies 3-5 years before they purchase them. Palm & Blackberry have high market share because companies buy them for their people.

Actually having that market share would be great. Any takers on a bet.

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Iphone is certainly going to be managed by itunes
by Nicholas Buenk / May 15, 2007 / 11:53 PM UTC
In reply to: Sure they do

Don't forget, it's the 6 gen ipod really as well as a phone. Touch screen ipod and phone with safari. I really don't think apple will have trouble hitting their target, which is 10 million units, or 1% market share.

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really
by ellis feigenbaum / May 16, 2007 / 1:53 AM UTC

world wide cell phone shipping is something like half a billion units a year. that would give Apple 5 million units per year , year after year.
do you really think that that target is attainable? even if they could sell 2.5 million in the US market which i doubt, they would need to sell a further 2.5 million units world wide and they would need to do it year on year.
Most people that are prepared to pay over the odds for a peice of equipment, are paying for particular functionality( taking out early adopters and gadget freaks), these people strangely enough also keep the product for far longer than others.
I think apple will be lucky to hit 0.2 percent market share and maybe if the product is really good 0.5 percent over a 2 year period from release. This is still a huge number of phones, and will no doubt be very profitable.
But given the market and the fact that the pace of change within the market is so great I think 1% for a product that is expensive to start with and will blow the minds of everyone that buys it when it gets changed out 6 months down the line is veiwing the world through the itunes anomoly.
I have yet to meet anyone that will tell me that the ipod is the best mp3 player in the market, yet it has market share way above that status for various and varying reasons. To do that in the phone market which saturated with manufacturers and resellers, is tripping over itself to give away the product in order to gain subscriptions is
a pretty large leap of faith.

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You underestimate
by Nicholas Buenk / May 16, 2007 / 5:51 AM UTC
In reply to: really

Marketing, iPod has a great brand name, so does itunes. iPhone has had a really good demo. Many people already want it. There's 2 factors that will make the iPhone do very well I think.
1. It's innovative, with a new interface for phones, this is a greatly understated aspect of the phone, people concentrate on just a list of features, but what it really is an attempt to redefine the usability of phones.
2. iPod owners, millions of them. iPhone will be a far easier sell to them. After all, it's really the 6 gen iPod.

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