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TS: iPhone a Cingular Exclusive at Launch


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TS: iPhone a Cingular Exclusive at Launch
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jdcfsu
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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2006-09-26, 07:47

Think Secret is reporting the much talked about iPhone will be a Cingular exclusive when it's launched in "early 2007." They are also estimating 25 million units sold in the first year. I'm not exactly sure how 25 mil phones can be sold when half the year an exclusive contract with one company with only 40 million subscribers. We'll see what happens. And on a speculatory note of my own, I still think this phone *MIGHT* see the light of day just before Christmas.

90% of statistics can be made to say anything 50% of the time.
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Yontsey
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
 
2006-09-26, 07:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu View Post
Think Secret is reporting the much talked about iPhone will be a Cingular exclusive when it's launched in "early 2007." They are also estimating 25 million units sold in the first year. I'm not exactly sure how 25 mil phones can be sold when half the year an exclusive contract with one company with only 40 million subscribers. We'll see what happens. And on a speculatory note of my own, I still think this phone *MIGHT* see the light of day just before Christmas.
Yeah, I saw this last night and was pissed/bummed since it didnt mention Verizon. I guess I'm not surprised though...
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Wyatt
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2006-09-26, 07:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yontsey View Post
Yeah, I saw this last night and was pissed/bummed since it didnt mention Verizon. I guess I'm not surprised though...
I doubt Apple would ever make a CDMA version. If they do, it'll be way down the road. Cingular, T-Mobile, and the rest of the world all use GSM. It would be foolish for Apple to make a phone that only works well in the US. They'll do GSM first so they can launch it globally on multiple carriers. (Although apparently only Cingular in the US).

Twitter: bwyatt | Xbox: @playsbadly | Instagram: @bw317
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turtle
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2006-09-26, 07:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yontsey View Post
Yeah, I saw this last night and was pissed/bummed since it didnt mention Verizon. I guess I'm not surprised though...
Yeah, if it's true it shouldn't be much of a shock. I mean, GSM is global in scale with only the America's being the only real deployment of CDMA. I'm sure a CDMA version will be out before too long after the GSM.

I personally hope it's true and that it's HSDPA. I need one and that would be awesome since I know it would work well with my Mac!

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Majost
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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2006-09-26, 08:07

How difficult is it to replace a chipset and antenna? Does it really require the *years* of re-engineering that all phone manufacturers take to release the other spec? Seriously.

Damn corporate exclusivity arrangements.
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Yontsey
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2006-09-26, 08:12

I dont know the numbers, but doesnt Verizon have a significant share of the cell phone market in the US though? If thats the case, it just doesnt make sense to not have a phone available through Verizon. I know if it came out and it was a pretty sleek phone, I would buy one right away.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey

Last edited by Yontsey : 2006-09-26 at 08:37.
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ronmexico
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2006-09-26, 08:27

This news is a shame.

If you go to consumerrepors.com and look at their reviews of cell phone service plans, they compare the major companies service in the twenty largest cities. The review is based on customer service, dropped calls, reception, ect. It is based on user surveys. In all of the cities, Verizon was the best service plan. The other compaines vied for the second and third place, and there was no consistent second place finisher. However, Cingular was either second to last to last place in each city. I had Cingular for awhile and was very disappointed with its service.

My point is this...Why should Apple ally themselves with only one company? Especially one that is not considered the best nationally.

Secondly, the iPhone must have great reception to have long term success. I returned my RAZR when calls were being consistently dropped. I go to the Verizon store and they talk people out of the phone.

I hope the iPhone wont be a phone that acts as an mp3 player, and sort of takes phone calls.
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BuonRotto
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2006-09-26, 08:44

I would bet that Apple would release their iPhone through Verizon before they released it in Europe. No offense to our friends across the pond, but look at Apple's history with stuff like iTunes and the iPod, which took a little while to get over there (IIRC). I think this has more to do with Apple's business with Cingular and Verizon's likely king-of-the-hill reticence ot make a deal with Apple on Apple's terms. I seriously doubt Apple cares much if Verizon or Cingular have the best etworks or consumer approvals. They'll release this thing through Podunk Phone if they give them the best overall terms and audience.
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Eugene
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2006-09-26, 08:58

BuonRotto, phones are different though. When's the last time you've actually heard of the US getting a handset first? The overseas markets take their phones very seriously and Apple is a brandname that could thrive in that sector if they got on the ball with an international rollout.
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Bryson
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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2006-09-26, 09:03

Indeed, with phones, the heirarchy of release goes:

Asia>(Scandinavia)>Europe>US & Canada.

It's about the only thing we do get first....
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Wyatt
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2006-09-26, 09:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yontsey View Post
I dont know the numbers, but doesnt Verizon have a significant share of the cell phone market in the US though? If thats the case, it just doesnt make sense to not have a phone available through Verizon. I know if it came out and it was a pretty sleek phone, I would buy one right away.
Actually, Cingular has more subscribers than anyone in the States. By several million, in fact.

For some reason, we're also not talking about the fact that the article says the exclusivity only lasts for six months. It could be that Cingular paid Apple off, and that a CDMA version is in the works. It could also just mean that Apple will go to T-mobile in 6 months. It's extremely common for one carrier or retailer to get an exclusive for a period of time. Usually it doesn't mean anything.

Either way, I get my next new Cingular phone next summer, and I'm thinking an iPhone would be a pretty sweet birthday present.

Twitter: bwyatt | Xbox: @playsbadly | Instagram: @bw317
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torifile
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2006-09-26, 09:29

Exclusive deals tend to last only 6 months in the cell phone industry. That 25 million number leads me to believe that it will be worldwide. There's no reason that it wouldn't be. Exclusive contracts are only restricted to the US, at least that's how they've gone in the past when I've paid attention to them.
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Bryson
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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2006-09-26, 09:33

They would be idiots to not release in Japan, for a start...
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Wyatt
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2006-09-26, 09:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile View Post
Exclusive deals tend to last only 6 months in the cell phone industry. That 25 million number leads me to believe that it will be worldwide. There's no reason that it wouldn't be. Exclusive contracts are only restricted to the US, at least that's how they've gone in the past when I've paid attention to them.
tori, I thought the same thing. The number would also indicate that (if true) Apple intends to release it early in the year, perhaps even at MWSF.
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HOM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Rostra
 
2006-09-26, 09:42

Color me unimpressed.

If the specs at TS are to be believed the iPhone will be a good 2005 phone, but will not hold a candle to 2006 phones.

For instance, take a look at the new Nokia N95

It has:
Quad-Band GSM/EDGE/WCDMA/HSDPA
5 megapixel camera with auto focus and optical zoom.
802.11g
GPS with free mapping software

All in a package that's about the same size as the 80GB iPod.

If Apple really wants to compete in the high end mobile phone market, they're going to need than what TS rumors.

Now, if Apple is going after the RAZR market, it's got to be sold for no less than $199 with a new 2 year contract. My guess is that it's going to sell for much more than that as Cingular is going to want to make up the loss of revenue from download sales.

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Kraetos
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-09-26, 09:52

It's funny, you know. I believe ThinkSecret less and less these days.

In any case, this is why my next phone will be an unlocked one. So I can sell it when the iPhone finally shows.

Cingular exclusive does make sense. 25 million units doesn't. Oh well.

Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.
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Yonzie
Mac Mini Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
 
2006-09-26, 10:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOM View Post
If the specs at TS are to be believed the iPhone will be a good 2005 phone, but will not hold a candle to 2006 phones.

For instance, take a look at the new Nokia N95
But the N95 is absolutely huge and decidedly NOT mainstream.
You even say it yourself:
Quote:
Originally Posted by HOM View Post
All in a package that's about the same size as the 80GB iPod.
Who exactly are buying iPod-sized phones? Serious Power users. Not mainstream customers.
Introducing an iPod-sized phone would be utter stupidity on Apples part.
We should expect something like the SE W810, or in other words, a smallish phone with built-in iPod nano.

Yes, it would be cool to have GPS and WiFi in my phone but 99% of consumers just don't care. They want small and light and cool.

Converted 07/2005.
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Wrao
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-09-26, 12:09

I have been contemplating a move to cingular for a while now. The iPhone might cinch the deal. Although, I might lose my verizon number, which I quite like, but I'd much rather have a neat phone I could actually USE(instead of verizon's neutered phone crap)
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BuonRotto
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2006-09-26, 13:35

You shouldn't have to lose your old number, I don't think, unless maybe you're moving out of the area code also.

I'll say that just last night I couldn't make a call with my Cingular phone because the network was supposedly too busy to connect. I wasn't about to try 9-1-1 to see how far it went, but something to consider. I hate Cingular's customer service and web site, but it hasn't been enough of a problem to switch services ...yet. And yeah, Verizon cripples its phones. The lack of real Bluetooth syncing with my Powerbook from Verizon's phones keeps me with Cingular for now.
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Wrao
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-09-26, 13:57

Yeah, I'm in a new area code, so I'd probably lose it. The other big reason I want to switch is because my school barely gets verizon reception but gets cingular reception pretty consistently, even though I don't live on campus and my house gets verizon just fine, it's still a nuisance.
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Maciej
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-09-26, 14:06

I have no complaints about Cingular, I think they are a good service provider and on top of that they had remarkable customer service when I went in store.
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BuonRotto
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2006-09-26, 14:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
...(instead of verizon's neutered phone crap)
Quote:
Said by me earlier:
The lack of real Bluetooth syncing with my Powerbook from Verizon's phones keeps me with Cingular for now.
Ah, I do believe we might have hit the snag (or one of the snags) in the Apple/Verizon negotiations.
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Kraetos
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-09-26, 16:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonRotto View Post
Ah, I do believe we might have hit the snag (or one of the snags) in the Apple/Verizon negotiations.
Ayup.

Apple: "Hey, we've designed a phone, Cingular is on board, you guys in?"
Verizon: "Sure. We're going to put our own UI on it, though."
Apple: "Are you serious? UI design is one of the best things we do. The UI is one of the best features of the phone."
Verizon: "Nope. We put our own UI on so it works with V-Cast and has a Media player, and all those other things you clearly do better than us."
Apple: "Laterz."

Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2006-09-26, 17:07

I think Verizon puts the same UI on all their phones to make tech support easier, since so many people don't even know the model (or even make) of their phone.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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MacGregor
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Stumptown, Puddlecity, many names
 
2006-09-26, 17:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
Yeah, I'm in a new area code, so I'd probably lose it. The other big reason I want to switch is because my school barely gets verizon reception but gets cingular reception pretty consistently, even though I don't live on campus and my house gets verizon just fine, it's still a nuisance.
Oh man, another Californian in the Northwest!?!?!

Nothing personal, I hope you realize.
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Messiahtosh
Apple Historian
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-09-26, 17:11

If it has an awesome, Apple-designed interface, then it will be a hit.
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Wrao
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2006-09-26, 17:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post
Oh man, another Californian in the Northwest!?!?!

Nothing personal, I hope you realize.
Grow up. I did.
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HOM
The Elder™
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Rostra
 
2006-09-26, 18:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiahtosh View Post
If it has an awesome, Apple-designed interface, then it will be a hit.


Phone interfaces are perhaps the one area where Apple's UI team can't really make that much of a difference.

We can look at the ROKR and make some guesses why it was a failure.

First and most importantly it wasn't an iPod replacement. People don't want to buy a phone that plays music unless it can replace their iPod.

Second, it was outdated technology for a premium price. If Think Secret's rumored specs are true, this shouldn't be as big a problem with the iPhone, but it should be a concern. Apple has a tenancy to intentionally leave out some feature to keep artificial product differential. And with Apple's lethargic upgrade cycle the iPhone could look very old very quickly.

Yonzie,

If the iPhone is going to have 1+GB of storage and a 3MP camera, it's not a mainstream cheap phone and it will be compared unfavorably to other high end phones. Here is a comparison of sizes between some phones and some iPods:

Nokia N95 99mm x 20mm x 53mm 120g
SE W810i 100mm x 19.5mm x 46mm 99g
Samsung D900 103mm x 12.9mm x 51mm 93g (Closest to rumored iPhone specs)
iPod 30GB 100mm x 11mm x 61mm 136g
iPod 80GB 100mm x 14mm x 61mm 157g
iPod nano 90mm x 6mm x 40mm 40g

The fact is that the N95 is not significantly larger than the other phones while it has a significantly better feature set.

Apple's 'magic' these days is finding an emerging market and solving some of the big outstanding issues that keep the products from reaching mass market. I don't see what problem with mobile phones Apple is going to solve.

CARTHAGO DELENDA EST

¡Viva La Revolucion!
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Hobbes
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2006-09-26, 18:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOM View Post
Phone interfaces are perhaps the one area where Apple's UI team can't really make that much of a difference.

We can look at the ROKR and make some guesses why it was a failure.
Man, I think you're dead wrong.

Apple had very little to do with the ROKR's design, either UI-wise or form factor-wise. All they provided was iTunes Mobile. It hard not to notice the barely hidden contempt on Jobs' face when he presented it.

Every cell phone I've ever used has been a UI *disaster*. Some more painful than others, but all have been strange, confusing, and annoying. And no phone I've used has ever sync'd up to my Mac in a way that's been easy or enjoyable. There's a *huge* problem out there for Apple to solve, and it can't come along soon enough.
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Wrao
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2006-09-26, 18:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOM View Post
Apple's 'magic' these days is finding an emerging market and solving some of the big outstanding issues that keep the products from reaching mass market. I don't see what problem with mobile phones Apple is going to solve.
This is a very good point. I would say that the one issue with phones is that phone companies make so many of them and they are released so often, different phones from the same company often compete with one another, or have nearly identical features and both get outdated in a few months. On top of that, some phones are clearly designed to be replaced to maximize the companies profit. They give you a fancy looking phone for free to get you on the contract but they know that you'll be lucky to get a year of use out of the phone despite all it's features and capabilities, it is cheaply made, so you end up having to buy a new one.

Of course, this is largely a problem with the mainstream phone market, more expensive, business class phones are often built to last, and the clientele usually gets upgrades with their company or through some other venue anyway.

So, what Apple can do is produce a phone that is cheap enough for 'the rest of us' but quality enough for the high end market.

If the rumors are true about 25 million units, then despite what 'class' of phone this might be, Apple is probably shooting for RAZR territory, i.e. mainstream full tilt.

So, If Apple makes a phone that is business/high-end caliber and markets/sells it to the justin timberlake fan club, they will probably be in a very good position to secure the portion of the market they are looking for.

The other thing to consider is that a move into making a phone might not be entirely profit driven, and Apple might have some other 'ace' as it were that will require a leg on the phone market to fully function, similar to the iTunes/iPod phenomenon. I don't know what that might be though, haven't really thought about it.
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