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iPhone requires Cingular contract; No other carriers anytime soon

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, January 11, 2007
News Categories: iPhone

The iPhone will require a two-year Cingular service plan, according to reports. “We spoke with Cingular and confirmed that Apple’s new iPhone will require a two-year cell phone plan and will not be sold without it,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ellen Lee. At a CES press conference in Las Vegas following the iPhone’s introduction, Cingular confirmed that customers must agree to a two-year contract in order to buy the iPhone, even if that requires customers to renew their current service plan with the company. Cingular also said that the company’s exclusive rights to sell the iPhone is a “multi-year agreement in the U.S.,” meaning the device won’t be offered by other carriers anytime soon.

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Comments

1

Before people begin to rant and throw a fit about this only being a Cingular phone, please watch the keynote. There is a reason for this partnership and it has to do with exclusive features that the iPhone provides via Cingular’s service that required tech development from both Apple and Cingular. No doubt, soon we’ll have unlocked phones that won’t benefit from these features, but for now Apple has decided to pair with Cingular due to the overwhelming existing installed base of Cingular users. I’m no Cingular fan, that’s just the way it is.

Posted by mr. dave on January 11, 2007 at 8:54 AM (PDT)

2

mr. dave,

Thanks for the post. It’s nice to see someone that has some sense instead of the usual poster that just wants to whine.

Posted by nosedive51 on January 11, 2007 at 9:10 AM (PDT)

3

I signed up for Verizon Wireless in December (a two year plan). I won’t pay the $175 disconnection fee to switch to Cingular and buy an iPhone.

Also, with it’s raft of features, I expect Cingular will charge up to $100 a month to use iPhone.

I want one. Those are prohibitive figures, though - and I’m certain I’m not alone in this assessment.

Posted by himself on January 11, 2007 at 9:30 AM (PDT)

4

F*** Cingular! ! !
I’ll have that on T-Mobile the next day.
Trust me

Posted by Dubs on January 11, 2007 at 9:42 AM (PDT)

5

yeah! eff the man! i’ll do what i want!!! can’t tell me what to do!!!...

give me a break.

Posted by extremeeeee! on January 11, 2007 at 9:49 AM (PDT)

6

that is exactly why there are so many options out there… because YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY THE IPHONE! Every feature the iPhone has already exists on other phones… just not so beautifully packaged and without multi-touch. Chose whatever you want. That’s why we have so many choices nowadays.

Posted by Just me on January 11, 2007 at 9:53 AM (PDT)

7

This will be available by christmas without the phone - true video ipod with wifi.  That’s a much better option than getting stuck with a 2 year plan while Apple continues to update the line.

Posted by speck on January 11, 2007 at 10:15 AM (PDT)

8

That’s crap! I’m a big fan of Apple but not enough for me to switch over to Cingular. I’m with T-Mobile and I have a good thing going with them. Cingular’s signal blows here in Orland, Florida. So, I will not get the iPhone until it’s either network unlocked or it become available for T-Mobile customers.

I wonder how the LG KE850 will be like since it seems similar to the iPhone with the huge screen that’s touch-screen.

Posted by Nando on January 11, 2007 at 10:36 AM (PDT)

9

Would someone please tell me (preferably without being an a**hole about it) what’s so wrong with Cingular?  I’m not defending them, I just want to know why so many people have their panties in a twist about it.

I’ve used them for about five years with no real problems.  Just wondering what they’ve done to other people that warrants such vehemence.  Do they test on animals?  Sell arms to the Contras?  Steal lollipops from children?

Posted by PushButtonAction in Atlanta, GA on January 11, 2007 at 10:46 AM (PDT)

10

> “Would someone please tell me (preferably without being an a**hole about it) what’s so wrong with Cingular?”

At least here in the D.C. area, they have the worst coverage.  Also, they have been known to have lousy customer service and charge about $15/mo more than T-mobile for comparable data rates. 

I used to be a Cingular customer a while ago, but switched to Verizon and am much happier.  I still think all mobile carriers are pretty much evil, but I guess you just have to choose the less evil one around wink.

Posted by m. sherman on January 11, 2007 at 10:53 AM (PDT)

11

a second thought - its amazing to me that there have been no comments about the bigger ipod picture here.  This new software and design is most likely the death nell for the click wheel.  When Apple comes up with a new interface it eventually makes it into the rest of the line, and there is no way that Apple is going to let thier top of the line Ipod look so outdated, which it now does.  The new design will also create a very cool new nano - big screen, almost as big as on current full size ipod - with the nano form factor, sweet!

The other thing that no one is discussing is Steve’s remark that this won’t be the only apple cell phone and that there will also be 3g cell phones.  2 years from now the iphone will look like yesterday’s news, the click wheel will be gone and there will be a line of iPhone’s from small and simple to bigger full featured models.

Posted by speck on January 11, 2007 at 10:59 AM (PDT)

12

I don’t care if it was Verizon, Sprint, or anyone else. Requiring a two-year contract to purchase this thing is ridiculous. Saves me more than a half a grand, though, so thank you Apple.

Posted by bookcase on January 11, 2007 at 11:38 AM (PDT)

13

“At least here in the D.C. area, they have the worst coverage.”

That’s weird. I’m in the DC area and have both (Cingular as my personal phone, T-Mobile as my work supplied Blackberry) and the Cingular has much better coverage at least for voice, I don’t use data on either (except eMail, but my company pays for it, so I have no idea about the rates)

Posted by Dr Manhattan on January 11, 2007 at 11:43 AM (PDT)

14

Oh, there are other phones with all the same features?  Show me one with a widescreen touchscreen iPod that’s compatible with iTunes and I’ll buy it now.

Posted by ryan on January 11, 2007 at 12:06 PM (PDT)

15

What’s also amazing is that nobody seems to notice the brushed backside instead of that shiny one the current ipods have, scratches like hell and is always dirty…

I say hooray for the new backside! Although I’d even more like it in colored alu like the new Nanos.

Posted by Ericc B on January 11, 2007 at 1:07 PM (PDT)

16

I’m not a fan of Cingular because of the terrible reception they have where I used to live. Their customer service also left something to be desired. I switched to Verizon and have been happy ever since.

Still, it’s a pretty cool phone ... I suppose customers of other services will have to wait until the exclusive deal runs out.

Posted by cxc273 on January 11, 2007 at 1:43 PM (PDT)

17

Yeah I’m convinced that T-Mobile users will be able to use this phone with no problems as long as they can somehow get their hands on the hardware. Soon enough people will figure out how to get it without necessarily signing up for 2 years. In any case this is a smart move by Cingular because they know that people would try to buy just the phone and then use it with their non-cingular service. I know I would.

Posted by Joshdude in Long Beach, CA on January 11, 2007 at 3:31 PM (PDT)

18

Even if you got your hands on the iPhone, how are you going to use it on T-Mobile? I’m pretty sure Cingular demanded for Apple to lock the phone to Cingular SIMs only. And then on the off chance that you manage to crack the mobile Mac OS X and unlock the phone, what’re you going to do when the internet/data settings are incorrect? Or when you want to use the special voicemail feature built-in?

Posted by Nobody on January 11, 2007 at 3:53 PM (PDT)

19

According to the Consumer Report, Cingular has some of the worst cell phone service in America and the most dissatisfied customers.  Its a stunt to get more people to sign up with Cingular.  But for many people it would cost $175-$200 disconnection fee + $499.99-$599.99 phone + the likely $80-100/month + 2 year contract…...thats ALOT of money for a damn phone.  I think its gonna flop cuz as nice as it is I wouldn’t even think twice or EVER even consider switching to Cingular for it.  I’m sure I don’t stand alone.

Posted by vcurams87 on January 11, 2007 at 4:18 PM (PDT)

20

I’ve been searching for a PDA/Cell phone on Verizon. What put me off were the service rates for Internet (and the small print data restricts). 

Newbies who don’t have any idea how much these kinds of services generally cost are going to wrongly blame Apple and/or Cingular.

The iPhone is very cool. But it seems you are going to have to pay to play. Heck I’d want one even without the phone service and live with Wifi. Whatever happened to the conept of a BT phone using your laptop’s Internet connection with a little telephony service thrown in. Did Steve show a Sony/Erickson cell phone a few years back?

Posted by Jazz110 on January 11, 2007 at 4:49 PM (PDT)

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