A new AT&T memo to retail employees: Please do not take any vacations between June 15 and July 15. We’re gonna need you on the floor for “an exciting Summer Promotional Launch”
Writing for Fortune’s Techland, Scott Mortiz reports that AT&T is preparing to subsidize $200 of the cost of a new iPhone, bringing the price down to $199 for customers who sign two-year contracts. Moritz’s sources say that Apple is expected to have two versions of the new iPhone, an 8-gigabyte-memory and a 16-gigabyte-memory model with price tags widely expected to be $399 and $499. See Moritz’s article > HERE
iPhonAsia Editoral Comment:
Several predictions in Scott Mortiz’s article may well prove to be true. Apple is not married to any one business model for iPhone and this was clearly reinforced by Apple’s COO Tim Cook on February 27 > See HERE
It will not just be new model iPhone buyers who will get a deal. I would expect that AT&T and Apple will offer a generous upgrade plan to current iPhone owners who want to move to the new 3G model.
The new pricing and rate plans will likely be announced with the unveiling of the next gen (3G) iPhone. Best guess for show time is Apple’s WWDC in early June.
For fans of Apple (AAPL) and iPhone, this is a time to get excited! Apple’s apparent (still just speculation) willingness to adjust their pricing strategies bodes well for a deal to be consummated with one of China’s large 3G wireless carriers – China Mobile or (post restructuring) the newly constituted China Telecom. It also offers more flexibility in new Apple iPhone carrier deals throughout Asia and Europe. Now toss in the fact that the lower consumer price point (subsidized by carriers for new “on contract” iPhone buyers ) will put iPhone into the hands of many millions more, who in turn will be shopping at the soon to be launched Apple iPhone App Store. The App Store is a new source of revenue for Apple and also for creative iPhone developers. This is a – win, win, win, win … for Apple (AAPL), for soon to be iPhone owners, for developers, and for carriers.
NOTE: MacDailyNews has weighed in on the Fortune/Moritz story and added more about the notion of Apple offering an unlocked iPhone. MacDailyNews has also included their own caveat and I think it’s an appropriate and important add (in bold below) >
MacDailyNews Take: Nobody outside of Apple and AT&T (and their lawyers) know for sure what their U.S. iPhone agreement stipulates. Imagine if it only really covered the first year and/or the first-generation iPhone (multi-year deal, but for the original iPhone only). Then, with the debut of the next-gen iPhone, it would make perfect sense for AT&T to want to begin subsidizing it. But, what would preclude others (Verizon, etc.) from doing the same (or better) subsidies?
See also the MacDailyNews report > HERE
EXCERPT: According to a report from research and banking firm ThinkPanmure, AT&T Mobility plans to sell up to 7 million femtocells from ip.access Ltd., a picocell and femtocell infrastructure vendor based in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
According to ThinkPanmure, AT&T signed a contract with the firm for up to $500 million in femtocells over the course of five years, and will sell the devices for as little as $100 each
See also > Femtocells Connect the Dots
The day after my original femtocell article was posted (Feb 12, 2008), Starbucks announced a new Wi-Fi partnership with AT&T. T-Mobile was the incumbent Wi-Fi provider in Starbucks, yet AT&T apparently had more to offer. We now have a very powerful alliance to deliver high-speed connectivity to millions nationwide. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine 7,000 Starbucks locations with new femtocells that beam out Wi-Fi, 3G (HSPA in the U.S.) and Wi-Max. Oh, by the way, Apple and Starbucks are getting along nicely too. “AT&T will soon extend the benefits of Wi-Fi at Starbucks to its wireless customers.”
Update: May 7, 2008 – AT&T officially promises free WiFi access
Why Starfleet switched to Mac > The beginning of the end!
Carriers are eager to promote data-plan usage on mobile handsets. When it comes to data-usage, Apple’s iPhone demolishes the competition! See full article > HERE
May 22, 2008
A Rubicon Consulting survey found that 47% of AT&T’s iPhone customers had jumped ship from another carrier. Moreover, iPhone users were spending an average of $19 more per month than customers using other AT&T mobile phones. A quick back-of-the-napkin calculation suggests that AT&T is pulling in $167 million per month ($2 billion per year) from iPhone users alone. See also Chris Foresman’s Ars Technic article > iPhone proves to be good business for AT&T.
February 13, 2008
Vic Gundotra, head of Google’s mobile operations told the Financial Times at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona … Google has seen
“50 times more searches on Apple’s iPhone than any other mobile handset…We thought it was a mistake and made our engineers check the logs again,” [no mistake]
Feb 10, 2008
Vivek Dev, chief operating officer of Telefonica O2 Europe said.
“Our Apple iPhone is already driving – unheard-of levels of mobile Internet usage and the introduction of flat-rate data tariffs is expected to increase this further,”
December 10, 2007
AT&T CEO Randal Stephenson video interview with David Faber on CNBC [Topic: Revenue growth by way of data on wireless] –
“When somebody gets an iPhone in their hand, and here is an Internet capable device in the hand, that customer’s data usage doubles!“
“[iPhone] has raised an awareness, in terms of what is possible on a wireless device, like nothing I have ever seen! … Put an iPhone in my hands and I suddenly go from being a skeptic … to a believer!”
Update: May 7, 2008 – AT&T officially promises free WiFi access
Author: Steve Stroh
EXCERPT: AT&T is deploying “3G” wireless HSxPA (High Speed Packet Access)….by EOY 2008, AT&T will have HSxPA capability in 350 US cities, including the “top” 100 US cities. And, as a final nod to the inanity of AT&T wireless customers not being able to (without paying a usage fee) use their iPhones, in Wi-Fi mode, at AT&T Wi-Fi HotSpots, comes this terse teaser: “AT&T will soon extend the benefits of Wi-Fi at Starbucks to its wireless customers.”
If this plays out the least bit logically, the real winners of these two announcements will be users of the “Version 2” iPhone, expected to debut sometime this year, that will be able to use the AT&T “3G” / HSxPA network and then “roam into” Starbucks for an even “higher bandwidth fix” for downloading big media files onto their iPhone along with their caffeine jolt, all for no additional charge and a seamless experience.
AT&T plans major 3G expansion ahead of second-gen iPhone
By Katie Marsal
Excerpt: AT&T said Wednesday it plans a major expansion of its wireless network during the 2008 calendar year, including the deployment of third-generation (3G) wireless broadband service to more than 80 additional cities in the United States through the course of the year.
Full article at AppleInsider > HERE
CNBC’s Jim Goldman has written an article casting doubt on reports of a slowing in iPhone sales. Goldman points out that Apple recently (two days ago) reported that they are selling iPhones at a pace of 20,000 per day. This would track to a quarterly run-rate of 1.8 million iPhones. As Goldman puts it – “I find it hard to believe that sales would so suddenly fall off a cliff on a product that only seems to be gaining momentum.” Goldman adds that AT&T announced today a record increase in net wireless customers thanks largely to its partnership with Apple on iPhone.
ArsTechnia and Appleinsider have weighed in on the iPhone “component orders slowing” story. AppleInsider theorizes that Apple is simply executing its typical strategy of getting components from more than one supplier. Moreover, they speculate that the report via a Chinese newspaper could very well have been made to spite Apple in light of the (purported) breakdown in iPhone talks with China Mobile over revenue sharing.
As readers here know well, the editor of this blog believes there will be further Apple negotiations with China carriers including China Mobile.
iPhone Sales Slowdown? I Really Don’t Think So
Posted By: Jim Goldman
Full article HERE
EXCERPT: I’m skeptical, to say the least, of a report originally in the Chinese language Economic Daily News, and now re-printed by Digitimes detailing an iPhone shipment slowdown by Apple.
The story, quoting Apple’s handset suppliers in Taiwan, says Apple has lowered its projected shipments of iPhones from 2 million units to around 1 million or 1.2 million for its fiscal second quarter ending march 2008. Sources go on to tell EDN that lower than expected sales in Europe pushed Apple to slash shipment projections.