Engadget is reporting that Sam’s Club is selling brand-new iPhone 4’s for just $147 with a 2-year AT&T contract. If this isn’t a sure sign of the impending Verizon iPhone, I don’t know what is! AT&T relaxed upgrade standards when the iPhone 4 came out, and they’ve been allowing resellers more pricing latitude lately. All of this points to a desperate attempt to get as many people as possible under contract before Verizon swoops in to siphon off their widely-disgruntled customer base.
Americans have terrible mobile broadband network infrastructure, yet our service providers make it sound awesome. Now that 2 of our 4 national wireless providers now offer 4G service, one might conclude that the United States is awash in mobile broadband. But neither of these supposed 4G offerings is anywhere near fast enough to meet the ITU standards for 4G, and even our 3G networks woefully under-perform vendor promises. With no teeth in “truth-in-advertising” laws, it begs the question of what these supposed standards really mean.
Apple has taken a beating from the “in crowd” lately. In the mind of these technophiles, they’ve gone from hip to evil in just a few years. While Apple is lambasted for turning the iPhone “walled garden” into a jail, Google is applauded as the new bastion of openness and geek friendliness. This criticism focuses on the iPhone, especially with regard to the despised American mobile carrier, AT&T. But Apple is a long way from the evil empire it’s accused of being, and is showing signs that it will soon retake its mojo from the carriers.
Nobody doubts that Steve Jobs will announce a fourth-generation iPhone at WWDC 2010 tomorrow, but the delivery date remains unclear. It must be soon, though, because AT&T is pulling major shenanigans with their customer contracts! They recently changed the early-termination clause and replaced unlimited data with less-expensive tiered options. And now AT&T is aggressively accelerating upgrade eligibility!
The end of unlimited data is nigh! As I discussed in yesterday’s post, AT&T’s announcement of limited data packages at lower prices has everyone up in arms. But the switch to a-la carte data is a positive move for everyone involved, including AT&T, the customer, and the US wireless phone industry as a whole.