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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

“Free the iPhone!”

posted by on July 10 at 9:38 AM

Welcome to the iPhone hearings, opening today in Congress. Via OpenLeft, a video that explains the hearings and casts the iPhone’s arrangement with AT&T as bad for consumers and bad for the future of telecommunications.

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That dude's a friggin' idiot. Mobile carriers have been selling SIM-locked phones that can't be used on competitors' networks since the beginning of time. They do this because they often subsidize the cost of the device, and make up the cost on service-plan revenues.

Posted by Trey | July 10, 2007 9:49 AM

I would be even more livid if one day I have to pay 500 dollars for an iphone to have access to ANY internet at all.

Posted by Matt | July 10, 2007 9:50 AM

except that iphones aren't subsidized

Posted by and | July 10, 2007 9:57 AM

OMG, attack of the nerds. *snort*

Okay. Sorry.

I don't really have a problem with iPhone having an exclusive arrangement with AT&T. Apple spent a TON of money developing a revolutionary new product. They needed the cooperation of a cell service provider to make it work, and the service provider was also going to have to invest heavily. Both companies reasonably want to try to recoup their investment. Duh. This is also the kind of thing that the market will sort out by itself. If the iPhone flops, Verizon and other providers will be glad they didn't jump on this. If the iPhone is a big success, then the users will eventually start demanding that Apple make the iPhone available on other providers. And other providers will also start pressuring Apple to get in on it. And Apple will see the dollar signs and open it up to other networks. At&T's exclusivity will last a year, maybe two at most, without any government intervention. With any new technology, the early investors take huge financial risks, and short term exclusivity is one way of hedging their bets.

Restricting access is another issue entirely. If I were inclined to buy an iPhone, and pay for the service, I'd be pissed as hell if they were telling me what websites I can and cannot browse. I don't need AT&T or Apple to be my net nanny. Fuck that.

Posted by SDA in SEA | July 10, 2007 10:37 AM

Well, from the one I played with, any web site over about 25 KB might as well be restricted. The freakin' Slog took a minute and a half to load.

Posted by Fnarf | July 10, 2007 11:43 AM

a minute and a half sounds a little slow, but just about right for a 1.4 MB website.

Posted by josh | July 10, 2007 12:12 PM

AT&T was willing to support the iPhone and the other carriers were not. Simple as that.

Posted by Aexia | July 10, 2007 12:21 PM
At&T's exclusivity will last a year, maybe two at most, without any government intervention.

Um... no. AT&T's exclusivity is for FIVE YEARS. I really don't see anyone getting around it, unless Apple significantly changes the iPhone design and name to get around the contract.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | July 10, 2007 12:30 PM

AT&T and Apple have an exclusive deal for between two and five years. -- although I wouldn't be surprised if Apple could bail out if AT&T failed to reach certain metrics.

There are lots of reasons for AT&T and Apple to be exclusive; and consumers do have a choice to buy other phones.

Posted by A | July 10, 2007 12:44 PM

This hurts AT&T more than apple though, because they PAID for that exclusiveness in a market where they are already #1.

It's not like this will increase net subscription by a huge amount (assume that the people buying the iphone are exactly the same as the distribution of consumers over networks). They are upgrading a portion of people on their network and drawing away only a small percentage from their competitors. in essence they paid a hefty price for a marginal reward. It's not like they are making beaucoup bucks on the phone sales themselves, it's in the contracts.

furthermore, the iphone will not tap a market that shells out a lot of money on phones; business, simply because it lacks a lot of windows integration. I love using excel and word on my phone, and it's easy to do. The iphone will need to beef up it's business software integration to tap this market. and improve the data network

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 10, 2007 12:54 PM

poating from my pda...
im also sure that apple structured the deal so that att was picking up a lot of advert cost.

government regulation for this shit is stupid though. the iphone isnt a neccesity nor should the gov force open integration on a non neccesity. these are the kind of ideas that do little good and establsih precedent for bonehead moves.. i.e. florida cat loss fund.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 10, 2007 1:05 PM

Is the fact that GSM carriers routinely carrier-lock their handsets really a suprise to everyone? Suddenly a phone comes out that every wannabe pseudogeek wants to own, and it's like, ZOMG it's only AT&T! What about the bazillion other phones (ahem, Sidekick) that are locked to one carrier? Fight the fight right, please, not just because you are Apple pop-tech groupies.

Posted by K | July 10, 2007 1:36 PM

That's pretty interesting...they should free it!!!! but aside from that, u should get it for free... this site worked for my bro...its worked for others so i know its not a joke...i'm trying to do it too so should you all cause all the offer sites are real legit...its at i'm not even playing my bro got one for free!! so not fair....but its easy so yeah...well good luck!

Posted by iPhone lover | July 22, 2007 11:22 AM

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