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How the iPhone Led To the Sale of T-Mobile

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the there's-probably-an-app-for-that dept.

Cellphones 276

Hugh Pickens writes "Kevin O'Brien writes that Deutsche Telekom's announcement to sell its American wireless unit, T-Mobile USA, to AT&T for $39 billion ended a decade-long foray into the American market that was undermined, in part, by the advent of the iPhone (reg. may be required). Deutsche Telekom had been generating decent sales from its American operation, but after the iPhone went on sale, sold exclusively at first for AT&T in the United States, T-Mobile USA began to lose its most lucrative customers: those on fixed, monthly plans, who defected to its larger American rivals — AT&T and Verizon Wireless. 'The iPhone effect cannot be underestimated in this decision,' says analyst Theo Kitz. "Without being able to sell the iPhone, T-Mobile was in an unsustainable position and T-Mobile USA became a problem child." Ironically, AT&T's acquisition won't help T-Mobile customers get access to the iPhone anytime soon, as T-Mobile will remain independent, albeit under AT&T's stewardship, for around a year, and won't offer the iPhone to its customers during that period."

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fake weather, induced seismicity, unkindest cuts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570720)

what about media based FEAR/DEATH mongering (Score:mynutswon; not here you don't)
by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19, @09:28AM
some of us could get along without that too. fear generation(al) is much
more disastrous than disasters whether/weather natural, or MANufactured.
it (fear) does generate even more FEAR, mammon, the need for EVEN MORE
'defense' (from ourselves/unidentifiable 'enemies'?) when stuff blows up,
goes under water etc.., so that's good?

everyone is ?afraid? to discuss (0 mention anywhere) all of us disarming
ourselves? curious? not really. considering....

fortunately we have an allknowingcaretakingexpandingoverseer.biz.gov to
help us sort out our unfoundead fears?

babys rule. the more the better. they know stuff too. that's so simple. so
simple as to extract the pee out of the nazi mutant eugenatics 'math',
which quite possibly helps the rulers' gregorian 'calender' (took almost 6
months to author), abstracting (an attempt) our time itself? is that whack
or what? ascared? how would we know (anything else?)?

so, we'll then expect to see you at any one of the million babys+
play-dates, conscience arisings, georgia stone editing(s), & a host of
other life promoting/loving events. guaranteed to activate all of our
sense(s) at once. perhaps you have seen our list of pure intentions for
you /us, beginning with disarmament?

just kidding? not at all

GeorgiaStoneMasons, 'chosen ones', in cahoots? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 18, @09:12AM (#35528686)
the GSM get their tiny (ie; selfish, stingy, eugenatic, fake math) .5
billion remaining population, & the money/weapons/vaccine/deception/fake
'weather' alchemist/genetically altered nazi mutant goon exchangers, get
us? yikes

the 'fog' is lifting? more chariots will be needed?

ALL (uninfactdead) MOMMYS......

the georgia stone remains uneditable? gad zooks. are there no chisels?

previous math discardead; 1+1 extrapolated (Score:-1)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, @10:59PM (#35487476)
deepends on how you interpret it. georgia stone freemason 'math'; the
variables & totals are objective oriented; oranges: 1+1= not enough,
somebody's gotta die. people; 1+1=2, until you get to .5 billion, then
1+1=2 too many, or, unless, & this is what always happens, they breed
uncontrolled, naturally (like monkeys), then, 1+1=could easily result in
millions of non-approved, hoardsplitting spawn. see the dilemma? can
'math', or man'kind' stand even one more League of Smelly Infants being
born?

there are alternative equations being proffered. the deities (god, allah,
yahweh, buddha, & all their supporting castes) state in their manuals that
we needn't trouble ourselves with thinning the population, or being so
afraid as to need to hoard stuff/steal everything. chosen people? chosen
for what? to live instead of us? in the case of life, more is always
better. unassailable perfect math. see you at the play-dates, georgia
stone editing(s) etc... babys rule.

exploding babys; corepirate nazis to be caged (Score:-1)
by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, @10:50PM (#35476142)
there are plans to put them, (the genetically, surgically & chemically
altered coreprate nazi mutant fear/death mongerers (aka47; eugenatics,
weapons peddlers, kings/minions, adrians, freemasons etc...)) on display
in glass cages, around the world, so that we can remember not to forget...
again, what can happen, based on greed/fear/ego stoking deception.

viewing/feeding will be rationed based on how many more of the creators'
innocents are damaged, or have to be brought home (& they DO have another
one) prematurely.

Reply to This
excess could wreck another planet in 400 years?
black hole builders? ungrateful? misinformed. what?this planet was relatively

Re:fake weather, induced seismicity, unkindest cut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571016)

What is this, some kind of "the very best of" collection?

This just gives me the impetus to go prepaid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570732)

I really like Tmobile, been with them 8 years, but this is going to get me onto a prepaid phone for voice only and just use the phone over WiFi for data.

Re:This just gives me the impetus to go prepaid (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570856)

That may be the direction I go as well. I love my Android phone but I don't like the required data plan. Once the opportunity to break away is given I will just go prepaid and use WiFi only.

Also, I am looking into ways to use WiFi or Google Voice for some other fun and interesting tricks as I want to keep the number I have now. (It's a cool number!... wife's is too)

Re:This just gives me the impetus to go prepaid (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571258)

Same boat here. I was on a prepaid Nokia e71 before I was lured over to Verizon by the Droid 1. My wife is on the Eris. I absolutely hate paying for two data plans. I can't help but think there are so many better things we could be doing with that money. I regret signing up for the 2 year contract, and will probably jump ship as soon as that is up in November.

Re:This just gives me the impetus to go prepaid (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571416)

Why is it that so many people I talk to feel this way, and NONE of the carriers in the US get it? I do not want a data plan. I do not want to spend $400 to "rent" a device that will have support dropped in 3 years. Apparently, they do not want my business.

Re:This just gives me the impetus to go prepaid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35572070)

Because your (and your constituency) don't outweigh the amount of suckers who fall for it. They'd rather make their bottom line happy, they are a business after all.

Have been prepaid for years now (5, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571004)

I switched to prepay about two years ago, having had my share of $50 plus per month cell contracts. Watching people pay $80 or more per month for their phones both amazes me and depresses me. They are still too much status symbol than need so the price doesn't have to be justified in the minds of many. Figure nearly a thousand a year just to have a 'smart' phone, for some its more.

Once you adapt to prepaid phones; this means adapting your friends to the fact you have one too; you rack up a lot of free time. By free I mean, not stuck on the phone or jumping at every e-mail/etc notification. Then to top it off with $50 or more in savings a month you start getting into the habit of looking at other expenses (monthlies) and realizing there is money to be saved everywhere, let alone time. Take that $1000 a year and put it into an IRA. You will get more from that than your cell phone could ever return.

Re:Have been prepaid for years now (0)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571186)

I wish I have mod points for you.

Re:Have been prepaid for years now (2)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571198)

I wish I HAD an edit button.

Re:Have been prepaid for years now (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571790)

I wish I HAD an edit button.

Haven't you heard? Slashdot doesn't believe in editing OF ANY KIND.

Re:Have been prepaid for years now (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571564)

Totally agree...I'm emailing the comment immediately to my kids; probably won't change their behaviour, but will definitely make them pause to think....

cheers,

Re:Have been prepaid for years now (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571354)

I used a prepay phone for years, ~$120 a year for my use of the phone. Unfortunately work no longer wants to assign work phones and they like to block my college e-mail so a phone with an internet plan has become more necessary. So far I've only seen prepaid talk plans...

Re:This just gives me the impetus to go prepaid (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571048)

I agree. Just because a company you used to like goes bad doesn't mean you have to stick with it. Everyone isn't caring an iPhone Being an early adopter was a lot of fun back in the day, when it was about technology and not IP/marketshare gaming. There are two many ways to skin this cat, we can't be forced to do what they expect. There is not a killer app or a killer product. Marketing as though every customer is "typical" or the same won't work because most customers are not "average".

Re:This just gives me the impetus to go prepaid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571874)

I really like Tmobile, been with them 8 years, but this is going to get me onto a prepaid phone for voice only and just use the phone over WiFi for data.

I've been a Tmobile prepaid customer since about 2005. I switched away from AT&T***, where I was paying about $70/month combined for our 2 cell phones. After the switch, I never once paid more than $25/month combined for our 2 phones, with $10-15 typically for the first several years, and $5/month is more typical now that my wife is a stay-at-home mom. I'm now terrified that AT&T is going to totally mess up the prepaid plans. I mean we see what their idea of prepaid is...$2/day. LOL. Although we typically only use our phones for a few minutes a day, we typically use them each 2-3 times per week, so we'd be looking at a minimum of $30/month, and probably more like $40-50...a 10-fold increase over the current cost.

***Humorously, the reason I originally switched from AT&T was because their capacity was so poor that on a regular basis, whenever I tried to make a call from the Livonia, MI area (which is a large suburb smack dab in the of the metro Detroit area, nowhere near the outskirts of the densely populated area, and right along one of the major expressways), they would connect me to a competitors tower and charge me roaming fees.

There Can Be Only One! (0)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570766)

Thank god for regulation and breaking monopolies! We have so much variety and competition, now. Up to as many as three cell providers in an area and up to as many as one broadband provider!

Germany: Totally different (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570782)

Interestingly, it's totally different in Germany: T-Mobile was the exclusive iPhone vendor here until the very end of 2010. Won them a lot of customers, I guess.

Re:Germany: Totally different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570912)

Yes, but Vodafone and O2 are also selling the iPhone 4 now, which will weaken DT's market position. I already cancelled my TMo contract and switched to O2...

Re:Germany: Totally different (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570984)

But, I can understand how the stratigit in Germany would think, "If it helped us so much here, it must be hurting us there. No need to wait for the numbers to organie this deal, they'd only make our market price go down.,"

this is the weirdest story ever (4, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570798)

the iphone has zero to do with tmobile being sold, which, in case people haven't noticed, still has to be approved by the government. This deal actually might not be, in which case a lot of people will be happy.

What a joke of an article. It only looks at customers lost from the iphone, and not customers gained once tmobile picked up the G1, their first android phone. Talk about spin.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (2)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570862)

Its like the article writers are so in bed with apple they just can't write about the iphone enough. Any excuse to extol it's virtues and power is a good one. Never mind the competition because they aren't apple and only apple makes the things we love.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570970)

yawn, I counted down for this sort of reply.

yawn

The point IS when the iPhone came out (before android etc) it was a very desirable object and people were prepared to switch carrier to get their hands on it. Those people were their most valuable customers that they lost.

yawn

You can stick your head in the sand and say that is not so, but please, leave out the boilerplate any apple story is written by a fanboy.

yawn

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571152)

Yes, I have always considered people who "jump ship" to the latest and greatest and have no brand loyalty to be my most valuable customers too.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571662)

Seriously. A cell company's most valuable customer is the one who sticks with them past the end of the 2 year subsidy window. I went 2.5 years with at&t before replacing a phone, and was able to get $100 credit for a new phone just by calling them up and whining.

Although, maybe that's the point. I am convinced that cell companies use the same business model as credit card companies, where the customer base is an annuity for them. You give them a phone and they pay you $60 a month for 24 months. Profit is there, but it is about cash flow.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

asto21 (1797450) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571548)

What're you? A hippopotamus?

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571592)

So your contention is that the iphone on AT&T brought T-Mobile to it's knees and made it a take over candidate?

Nothing to do with the iPhone. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570898)

According to the business sites, AT&T is going after T-Mobile for their spectrum - AT&T is hoping that T-Mobile's spectrum will help them with the connection and quality issues.

It has nothing to do with the iPhone or the Android.

Re:Nothing to do with the iPhone. (1)

grapes911 (646574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571124)

I'm sure AT&T is going after T-Mobile's spectrum and even their infrastructure to an extent. That does not explain why T-Mobile is selling though. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons. The iPhone may very well be one of them. Your comment does nothing to debunk that.

Re:Nothing to do with the iPhone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571506)

That does not explain why T-Mobile is selling though. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons. I think there are around $39 billion reasons to sell T-Mobile.

Re:Nothing to do with the iPhone. (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571718)

39 billion reasons. Why go through all the trouble of running a phone company and hoping to make a profit at the end of the year when you have some sucker willing to pay above market value for it?

Re:Nothing to do with the iPhone. (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571820)

DT is selling because it is having money issues and $39 billion goes a long way to helping that.

Re:Nothing to do with the iPhone. (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571386)

From AT&T's side, yes. But why should T-Mobile sell it to AT&T in the first place, if it is so wonderful?

You are only looking at the AT&T side of the deal, while the article was looking at the side of T-Mobile.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570988)

"It only looks at customers lost from the iphone, and not customers gained once tmobile picked up the G1"

What do you think, which sales figure is significantly higher of these two?

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571336)

Remember, Apple went to all the major cell carriers in the US, selling the iPhone concept. (I googled for a link, but didn't find one right off.) Why aren't we hearing about the management at T-Mobile? The ones who looked at the phone and said, "meh, no thanks."

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570998)

What a joke of an article. It only looks at customers lost from the iphone, and not customers gained once tmobile picked up the G1, their first android phone. Talk about spin.

Maybe because the sales of the iPhone are so much larger than the G1. Overall, Android phones outsell iPhone however those sales are spread across different manufacturers and carriers. Until recently iPhone was only on AT&T which was GSM.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571182)

What a joke of an article. It only looks at customers lost from the iphone, and not customers gained once tmobile picked up the G1, their first android phone. Talk about spin.

Spin? This is common sense. The G1 sold maybe a million or thereabouts. Meanwhile, AT&T alone sold about 16 million iPhones last year alone.

On a related note, this is the first time I've felt the need to "hate" the iPhone, as it will directly affect me as a T-Mobile customer.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571536)

Somewhat ironically, the iPhone got me to switch from ATT to T-Mobile - I had a first gen iPhone on ATT, but the service sucked so abysmally in my area that I jailbroke my phone and used it on T-Mobile, the only other compatible network in my area.

I'm on Sprint now, however - they made me an offer I couldn't refuse (hi, 4 lines for 4 HTC evos, unlimited everything including data/"4g" for under $180 USD/month!). I wish Sprint and T-Mobile had merged - Sprint's massive bandwidth that often goes unused + T-Mobile's excellent customer support would have made for a very competitive 3rd major network.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571976)

Are you moronic? If the G1 sold a million (which it has sold far more, but that's besides the point), the question is, what is the ACTUAL loss from iphone versus the gain from the G1?

If Tmobile lost a million people form the iphone and gained a million from the G1, guess what? The iphone had no significance at all.

The "16million iphones" doesn't mean all 16 million people are from Tmobile, dumbass.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571376)

What are the sales figures for the i-phone and G1?

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571724)

Supposedly 1.5 million, but that took nearly a year to achieve. Even before the Euro launch of the iPhone, Apple and AT&T had sold 1.5 million iPhones in under 6 months. Let's not even get into the fact that the iPhone 2G, 3G, 3GS and 4Gs all sold more than a million within like 3 days of launch.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571622)

What a joke of an article. It only looks at customers lost from the iphone, and not customers gained once tmobile picked up the G1, their first android phone.

And how many did they gain from the G1? Do you have any figures or are you just assuming that a bunch of people will just agree with you without asking for evidence? Anyway, it took 6 months for the G1 to even reach 1 million sales for T-Mobile. The original iPhone, on the other hand, had sold 1 million units in 74 days for Apple and AT&T in the US. So sorry, I don't buy your claims of the G1 being some huge customer gainer when it had anemic sales in comparison to the iPhone. But if you have some actual evidence to the contrary, like a quarterly report from T-Mobile that says something to back you up, please present it rather than your speculation.

ATT infrastructure (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571816)

Actually, I think the deal had to do with the iPhone, just not how the article presented it. When AT&T's infrastructure struggled with the high demand of usage for bandwidth since the release of the iPhone, AT&T had to scale up in a hurry. TMobile has a large 4G infrastructure rolled out already, AT&T is working on it. I think that was probably the most important factor in deciding to purchase them.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571892)

I would have liked to see comparable data on Verizon and Sprint defections after AT&T released the iPhone. I don't find this argument at all convincing. It sounds more like either a post-hoc rationalization for dumping an unprofitable investment, or a way to convince Telekom investors that their US problems were all Apple/AT&T's fault.

As an AT&T customer who was recently considering switching to T-Mobile, I'm not very happy about the proposed merger. Now we'll have only one GSM provider in the US.

Re:this is the weirdest story ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35572076)

So because you don't like the iPhone you deny the entire premise of the article like a child. Nobody bought the G1 by the way.

I hate the iphone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570806)

Not only does it have a stupid name, it creates monopolies. Besides sucking in general.

Re:I hate the iphone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570840)

Good! Slashdot is the perfect place for your impotent sobbing about it.

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571070)

plenty of reasons to hate if you have to. But the iphone doesn't "suck in general". It just doesn't. Get over it.

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571166)

> But the iphone doesn't "suck in general".

Imagine you have been handed an iPhone with no instruction manual and no prior experience of it.

The UI is completely unintuitive and non-discoverable. That sucks.

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

mab (17941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571370)

Bollocks, My nieces and nephews all under 10 picked it up within minutes.

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

roachdabug (1198259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571378)

Usually my internet irony detector works pretty well, but you actually sound serious?

Re:I hate the iphone. (0)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571604)

then you should get it checked. Because I also said was "plenty of reasons to hate it if you have to". The iphone does not suck "in general" it just doesn't. Get over it.

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

roachdabug (1198259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571762)

Remain calm, I replied to the anonymous coward, not you.

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571528)

Imagine you have been handed an iPhone with no instruction manual and no prior experience of it.

The UI is completely unintuitive and non-discoverable. That sucks.

I don't have to imagine. I got mine and started using it without reading any instructions. Oh, except my sister in law had to show me how to open the SIM tray, but that's tricky on just about all phones if you don't know how.

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571666)

oh, you mean the day I got mine. I absolutely hate itunes, But the UI on the iphone is completely and totally intuitive. You are looking for reasons that you don't need to hate if you don't think so.

Re:I hate the iphone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571562)

well they are kind of bad
first iphone was stuck on edge, mono bluetooth, required silly adapter to use 3.5 mm TRS jack, dropped calls when from moving from tower to tower when samsung flip phones didn't on same network
second iphone was vastly underpowered, safari locked up constantly, less sturdy build quality than the first one, dropped calls moving from tower to tower
third iphone had much better power; we had lots of cases of frozen up and needing restoring in itunes, same plasticy build quality - though my store actually has more glass replacements on its logs for the 3GS than 3G, whether that is evidence of a cheaper part or higher usage i couldn't say; dropped calls moving from tower to tower
fourth iphone appropriately fast, redubbed iOS finally close to stable it seems (still some lock ups, have not had any customers needing restoring yet); our in-house tests show it doesn't drop calls when moving from tower to tower anymore! but instead drops calls when moving from one hand to the other.

all have unfortunate audio quality over 3.5mm and bluetoothh

iphone is, and has been, kind of a bad phone. giving the phone its due, it was groundbreaking in that it was the first phone to get touchscreen right (the secret: high quality touchscreen and finger-sized menu items WHO KNEW). other than that, features have always been behind the curve (3G, stereo bluetooth) or otherwise unwanted (facetimelol). the only innovation apple has pulled off in the last four years is lowering production costs and improving profit margins.

dear saved up karma, it was nice knowing you.

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

sudden.zero (981475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35572008)

"But the iphone doesn't suck in general".

I disagree! The IPhone does suck in general. Any phone that you have to get a case for, to "Jimmy Rig" a fix for the antenna, because the company doesn't want to lose millions fixing every phone they produced most definitely does "SUCK IN GENERAL"! Not to mention as stated below the unintuitive interface, total lack of consideration for users, proprietary OS that they brick if you jail break, and last but not least a market place that takes your arm if you want to develop applications for it and then limits the type of apps you can develop. APPLE CAN TAKE A FLYING LEAP OFF THE GRAND CANION WITHOUT A PARACHUTE! To me it sounds like you probably own an IPhone and were offended by the fact that you made a poor decision in your purchase of said device. Thanks for your opinion though. ;)

Re:I hate the iphone. (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571518)

Yes, blame the "sucking" technology that put mobile internet in the hands of millions of Americans, but not the business that capitalized on the strategic use of said technology to create an oligopoly.

AT&T paid too much (1)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570814)

If this is really what led to the sale, and the T-Mobile franchise will really be run as a separate business unit, then watch as that continues to shrink into nothing.

I was getting close to jumping ship from T-Mobile anyway – not because of the iPhone (or lack of it), and not to AT&T or Verizon – they're all too expensive.

Re:AT&T paid too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570874)

I am paying $85/mo including taxes and fees for 1000 min, unlimited text and data but no 3G coverage at my home or work with T-Mobile. I really don't see the value in paying that much. I would be much happier with $40 and even that seems too high.

Re:AT&T paid too much (3, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571424)

I wonder why the prices are so high in the U.S. when it comes to mobile phones. Currently I am on a plan for 12 €/month incl. taxes (~US$17) with 2000 minutes free.

Re:AT&T paid too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571676)

It's just the difference in countries. My family plan has 3 phones, 2 data plans ($30/month each), 1000 texts, 1400 minutes. Now in the US it varies in one way, if I understand correctly in Europe, you pay for both incoming and outgoing calls? That basically cuts you down to 1000 minutes. Now if you consider the fact that I get free VerizonVerizon calls and texts any time, and if you consider that I in reality use 4500 minutes and about 2500 texts a month, almost 10,000 minutes, 5000 texts between the three phones, the total price of $125 doesn't sound so bad. I'm basically paying (after you knock the $60 off from data plans) $65/month for voice/text service for three phones, or $22 each for roughly 3 times as much minutes, Per Phone.

It all just depends what kind of spin you put on it. Now if I used only 100 minutes a month on each phone, I would be much, much more annoyed at having to pay that much.

Bodes well for gentrification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570818)

I live in a crappy neighborhood, and now all the ghetto T-mobile shops will turn into upstanding AT&T stores. Crossing my fingers that Verizon buys Metro next.

Re:Bodes well for gentrification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570938)

Do you have any Virgins in your neighborhood? they are supposed to be okay.

Re:Bodes well for gentrification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571312)

Don't we all love Virgins?

Re:Bodes well for gentrification (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571750)

Virgin is just a way to rebrand Sprint's network.

Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570824)

I just knew this was Apple's fault! Thanks Steve, for the exclusivity deal that helps AT&T on its way to regain its monopoly status to the detriment of American consumers. But what do you care, you dyin' bitch! Har.

Re:Typical (1)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570886)

Look who's on AT&T's Board of Directors (http://www.att.com/gen/investor-relations?pid=5629)

Why, it's good ol' Gil Amelio – former Apple CEO for those who don't remember their Apple history.

Now it's all clear why AT&T had its lock on the iPhone.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570978)

Didn't Verizon reject Apple's iPhone initially? Only then, did Apple approach AT&T.

Re:Typical (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571044)

The question is who was responsible for the exclusivity. Remember all carriers before and after the iPhone had exclusive phones. Even phones like the the Motorola RAZR were not exactly cross carrier as the Verizon version was a different model than the AT&T version as they worked on different frequencies. When Apple first came onto the market, they were not a guaranteed success. AT&T had to change their network for visual voicemail and Apple was new. Exclusivity was a way to help mitigate some risk. AT&T may have pushed for it, not Apple. From what I remember, iPhone was exclusive to AT&T until 2012 unless Apple paid to end the contract. It appears Apple did so as Verizon now has it.

Unlocked? (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570850)

So why couldn't people buy the iPhone unlocked? As I understand it T-Mobile is the only network in the US that doesn't penalise you for using your own phone.

Re:Unlocked? (1)

todrules (882424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570992)

That's true. You can actually even get cheaper monthly plans and no contract if they don't subsidize your phone. There's quite a few iPhones on TMO's network.

Re:Unlocked? (1)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571502)

That's true. You can actually even get cheaper monthly plans and no contract if they don't subsidize your phone. There's quite a few iPhones on TMO's network.

If you already own your own phone, this is true. A while back I did a side-by-side with comparable plans* from within T-Mobile and with comparable plans from Verizon. For the total cost over a 24-month period, it was cheaper to get a subsidized phone and pay the higher monthly fee than it was to lay out the unlocked phone cost and pay the slightly lower monthly fee.

* Family plan with shared minimum amount of minutes, 2 smart phones, both with data packages, no texting or other add-ons.

Re:Unlocked? (3, Insightful)

gabebear (251933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571132)

T-Mobile uses 1700Mhz 3G and AT&T uses 1900Mhz. 1900Mhz is more of the world standard but other stuff shares this band with 3G in the USA and only AT&T uses it. They both use 850Mhz for voice and Edge.

So you can use a iPhone on TMobile, but it will only be Edge. Same goes for a lot of phones bought with TMobile when trying to use them with AT&T or outside the US.

Re:Unlocked? (0)

King InuYasha (1159129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571252)

Well, after the acquisition is complete, all T-Mobile customers immediately get access to AT&T's 1900MHz spectrum. So those iPhones will suddenly have 3G. Also, every T-Mobile customer will be able to choose between T-Mobile towers or AT&T towers in areas where both companies have towers.

Re:Unlocked? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571208)

It's not a matter of locked-vs-unlocked. It's a matter of frequency. Specifically, AT&T uses 850MHz and 1900MHz for UMTS/3G. Most other countries use 1900MHz and 2100MHz for UMTS/3G. T-Mobile's spectrum happens to be 1700MHz and 2100MHz. IPhone can't do 1700MHz, ergo an iPhone -- even unlocked -- on T-Mobile is never going to get better than EDGE.

It's not a permanent situation. Chipsets supporting T-Mobile's frequencies have been around for at least a few years. The only real question is whether the crop of iPhones coming out this summer will use them. Up to now, the decision to NOT use them has presumably been dictated by AT&T's desire to maximize the iPhone's incompatibility with T-Mobile, supported by the slightly lower cost of chips that don't support 1700MHz (savings of cents, not dollars) and Apple's complicity since T-Mobile/US is the only carrier on earth that uses 1700MHz.

That said, if the deal looks certain to go through, expect to see the iPhone 5.1 by Christmas, with little changed besides added support for 1700MHz. Unless there's a bizarre hole in Qualcomm's chipset family that leaves them with one variant that can do all world & American UMTS frequencies, but not CDMA2000, and another variant that can do AT&T and international UMTS frequencies and CDMA2000, but not 1700 UMTS, adding 1700MHz to an existing design is barely a parts substitution at the manufacturing level.

Re:Unlocked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571526)

... T-Mobile/US is the only carrier on earth that uses 1700MHz.

Actually, Wind Mobile and Mobilicity in Canada use 1700/2100 as well.

Re:Unlocked? (1)

sudden.zero (981475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35572082)

Because Apple bricks unlocked phones as soon as they discover them and most people don't want to risk buying a expensive phone to have it bricked.

T-Mobile supports the iPhone (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570858)

Wasn't T-Mobile in the news a while ago because although they don't sell it, they said they'd give tech support to their customers who managed to carrier-unlock an iPhone on their own?

You'd have to pay the unsubsidized price, but you can still be an iPhone user and a T-mobile customer.

Re:T-Mobile supports the iPhone (2)

dave024 (1204956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571028)

Just no 3G service....

No more 3G (1)

Rozzin (9910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571684)

T-Mobile supports the iPhone... just no 3G service....

3G service in the US is still pretty close to nonexistent outside of a couple of major metropolitan areas, anyway. If the network isn't there, it doesn't really matter what your phone supports.

And one of the most disturbing prospects of a merger between the two GSM/UMTS network owners is that it's actually going to reduce the incentives for any provider improve that situation with new infrastructure buildout, which is pretty dangerous when the existing incentive is already zero [ibiblio.org] .

And we're not just talking about reducing the competitive forces (which ESR cites as being the only thing motivating new buildout) by a mere ~25%, we're talking about reducing the competitive forces in the international standards-based market by 100%, moving us into a situation where moving to a different carrier guarantees the hardship of buying a whole new set of phones--and, if you're moving away from `the GSM company', the additional hardship of giving up international roaming.

We may well see network-growth stop, as a result of this--or at least slow down a whole lot.

Re:T-Mobile supports the iPhone (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571576)

Yes. My brother works for Apple and purchased an unlocked iPhone through them. He uses T-Mobile

Re:T-Mobile supports the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571686)

But you cannot carrier-unlock an AT&T iPhone (not legitimately anyway). The only way to get T-Mobile service on an iPhone in the USA would be to import an unlocked one from overseas.

Well, T-Mobile (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570882)

You said no to the iPhone. You and all other US carriers

AT&T said yes

So cry me a river...

Re:Well, T-Mobile (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570980)

Reminds me of the 6 or 7 publishers who turned down Harry Potter.

Or the studio that let a young director whose name rhymes with "Greedo Shot First" keep sole merchandising rights on a little space-based movie because they figured it had zero potential.

Re:Well, T-Mobile (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571588)

Or the guy who paid full price for a lottery ticket with the wrong numbers on it.

Hey, I didn't rush out and load up on AT&T stock when they got the iPhone, did you?

Re:Well, T-Mobile (1)

thodi (37956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570982)

Re:Well, T-Mobile (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571462)

Because it debuted on AT&T. Then other operators saw the potential.

Don't get me started on German management!!!!!

Also, T-Mobile is much stronger on Germany than in the USA (because it's a subsidiary on the USA), probably like Orange on France

When they dropped the Palm phones (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35570896)

It would have taken longer for Palm users to switch to iPhones if T Mobile had continued to support them. A lot of Palm users still are on with the $10 data plan, but no help from customer service, you have to work it out yourself. I wonder if I can move my SIM to an iPhone? My Centro is dying.

150$ due ebay, 3 mo., over 300 collection calls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35570968)

all refused by my iphone

One word - Flexpay (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571036)

The main reason of T-Mobile's problems is one product - Flexpay. They went after the "subprime" market, and then they found out later that (Surprise!) they don't pay their bills. And the horrifically buggy implementation of this product has done nothing but hurt T-Mobile. It greatly affects time-to-market for almost all projects, which really hurts the business and causes them to lose postpaid customers.

monopoly stifles competition (1)

darkeye (199616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571058)

a clear example of limiting market competition via monopolistic means

and of course as there is no real competition among iPhone phone carriers, they have to pay a premium for the service...

The iPhone was a piece of it (5, Informative)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571190)

But it wasn't the whole puzzle. Sure, T-Mobile lost some customers to the iPhone over the years, but so did Verizon. The problem is that they were impacted more because they had a smaller number of customers to begin with.

T-Mobile had a particular niche that they served better than anyone else - the deaf community. Rag on the Sidekick all you want, but not only did they work better for the deaf community through pervasive TTY services, they had a specific plan for it, too. They just killed that service, effectively making enemies of some of their most fiercely loyal customers. Similarly, T-Mobile was known for not putting pressure on the handset OEMs to provide Android updates; it's among the most common complaints of Samsung owners.

T-Mobile tried competing with AT&T on the same merits that AT&T used to compete with Verizon. This was foundationally problematic, because they didn't stick to their strengths. "No data overage fees, ever" - that's all they had to say, and they would have had PLENTY of people who have had the pleasure of disputing $300-$800 of data overages. They could have implemented a spending cap to prevent outrageous bills, better advertised their international wi-fi calling, better advertised their bring-your-own-phone programs, and done something like "If you don't love us in 60 days, we'll refund every dime and help you go back to your old service, no questions asked". While I've heard a bad customer service story here and there for T-Mobile, my eight years of being a customer there have been an absolute pleasure. If they advertised that aspect of it, they might have been able to change some minds instead of trying to say "we can do what the iPhone does too"

It probably wouldn't have hurt to make it known that all the handsets they featured in their commercials run Android, just like the Verizon handsets, because lots of people think Android==Droid==Verizon Exclusive.

The fine article is correct in saying that T-Mobile couldn't compete with the iPhone at the hip-handset level. It fails to mention that there were plenty of other places where T-Mobile could have competed against AT&T and Verizon and won out, but didn't.

Re:The iPhone was a piece of it (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571520)

sh

Re:The iPhone was a piece of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571616)

But it wasn't the whole puzzle. Sure, T-Mobile lost some customers to the iPhone over the years, but so did Verizon. The problem is that they were impacted more because they had a smaller number of customers to begin with.

T-Mobile had a particular niche that they served better than anyone else - the deaf community. Rag on the Sidekick all you want, but not only did they work better for the deaf community through pervasive TTY services, they had a specific plan for it, too. They just killed that service, effectively making enemies of some of their most fiercely loyal customers. Similarly, T-Mobile was known for not putting pressure on the handset OEMs to provide Android updates; it's among the most common complaints of Samsung owners.

T-Mobile tried competing with AT&T on the same merits that AT&T used to compete with Verizon. This was foundationally problematic, because they didn't stick to their strengths. "No data overage fees, ever" - that's all they had to say, and they would have had PLENTY of people who have had the pleasure of disputing $300-$800 of data overages. They could have implemented a spending cap to prevent outrageous bills, better advertised their international wi-fi calling, better advertised their bring-your-own-phone programs, and done something like "If you don't love us in 60 days, we'll refund every dime and help you go back to your old service, no questions asked". While I've heard a bad customer service story here and there for T-Mobile, my eight years of being a customer there have been an absolute pleasure. If they advertised that aspect of it, they might have been able to change some minds instead of trying to say "we can do what the iPhone does too"

It probably wouldn't have hurt to make it known that all the handsets they featured in their commercials run Android, just like the Verizon handsets, because lots of people think Android==Droid==Verizon Exclusive.

The fine article is correct in saying that T-Mobile couldn't compete with the iPhone at the hip-handset level. It fails to mention that there were plenty of other places where T-Mobile could have competed against AT&T and Verizon and won out, but didn't.

Not. I'm totally opposed to ATT taking over anything!!! They are crooks, I disassociated myself from their land-line services, I disassociated myself from their cell phone services and now they are trying to get past me on that. Cell phones are phones, period. Trendy phones and services are fine. T-Mobile served me well in my escape from overpriced gouging monopolistic companies like ATT. Now they, like Fanny Mae are buying me back against my will. I thought this was America!!!! Land of choices. I just lost my free choice if ATT is not stopped.

Re:The iPhone was a piece of it (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571726)

I find it interesting that market analysts consider _handset exclusivity_ to be a credible reason for a network operator to be an unsustainable business.

It's further evidence, in my opinion, that handset exclusivity is tremendously damaging to the health of the American mobile data/voice marketplace. In some countries, tying handset availability to specific network service providers is actually illegal under trade practices acts. It's pretty clear that the current toxic American phone marketplace is greatly advantageous to the oligopoly of top-tier incumbents, but it's very bad for the marketplace customers.

Yet again, we see the ironic result that the market badly needs more regulation, to make it more free. Customers are losing because the network providers aren't competing on the basis of network provision, and the phone makers aren't able to compete freely on their handset's merits because the customers of the handset makers are the network providers, not the actual phone users.

I was a happy T-Mobile customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35571192)

Until I bought the T-Mobile Wang, I mean, Wing, an HTC-manufactured Windows Mobile phone. I'd been moderately pleased with my old HTC WinMob phone, so it was an easy choice at upgrade time.

After three new Wings, my contract ran out, and I went and bought two new Apple ]|[gses. Have not had any issues of note. AT&T had some trouble transferring my wife's number over, and ended up charging me a cancellation fee on the temporary number they assigned her, which they refunded after I complained, along with the activation fees on both phones for my troubles.

When her iPhone was acting up two weeks ago, I made my appointment at the Apple store, and they replaced it on-the-spot. No waiting in line for two and a half hours at a store for them to tell me it's busted. No worrying about redirecting a UPS shipment to my office. No returning the old phone to a T-Mobile store, or dropping it off at a UPS store. No activation nonsense with a warranty replacement. Just a new, working phone, and I walk out of the store.

It's tough to feel bad for T-Mobile after what I went through during my last two years with them.

GSM (1)

ks9208661 (1862000) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571382)

I need a GSM phone because of my international travels. I bought an AT&T prepaid SIM card back in 2007 but let it expire 6 months ago because of all the dropped calls and the overcharges I had in my last stay in the US. I was planning to buy a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card in my next trip, but now this news came out.

If this takeover gets approved, who else will compete against AT&T in the GSM space?

Re:GSM (1)

thopkins (70408) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571694)

Verizon and Sprint been selling phones for years that have a GSM radio for use overseas. This is commonly known. I've never had one but heard that Verizon will unlock it for you if you ask.

Here we go again... (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571420)

My wife and I payed good money to get out of an AT&T contract several years ago and went over to T-mobile. We can't seem to get away from that company.

Rate hikes for everyone in 3... 2... 1...

Anticapitalism. (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35571586)

T-Mobile is cheaper than AT&T. If acquisition = cost performance, everyone will pay less than current T-Mobile rates. But we know that will never happen. Macro business is all about leverage. AT&T had enough of it to make the government cave. Next victim is the consumer who has none of it.

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