Anyone Else Think AT&T is Worried about the Verizon iPhone???

Today AT&T announced that they will begin offering its customers unlimited calling to any mobile number in the US, regardless of carrier, starting tomorrow, February 10. Coincidence that this new perk begins the official day the vPhone hits the street? I think not…. There are a few strings associated with AT&T’s relatively generous offer, you must be signed up for unlimited texting and be on a qualifying voice plan.

Let us not forget, last week’s free microcell offer extended to ‘certain’ AT&T customers. AT&T did not formally announce this promotion, but according many sources, instead e-mailed certain subscribers saying they could receive a free microcell at any AT&T store “as our way of saying ‘thank you’ for your continued loyalty.” Folks who accept a microcell must commit to an additional 12 months with AT&T.

Who knows, maybe this leveling of the playing field (aka cellphone market) might lead all the carriers to give customers a better bang for their buck. Doubtful, but one can hope ;).

Posted in: iPhone, iPad, iPod, News

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Paula February 9, 2011, 9:43 pm

    AT&T has a very odd way of “improving”:
    Lose millions of customers to help lighten the load on their network.
    Spend millions of dollars in ads telling everyone how great they are.
    Lock people into very long contracts.
    (Finally) offer people “unlimited calling to other cell phones”. (My carrier already does that.)
    Lock people into family plans.
    Send out coupons for extremely overpriced accessories.
    Send out millions of email telling everyone that Verizon is “bad”.
    Lock people into business plans.
    Charge large fees if you decide to leave AT&T.

    Seems like they will try anything *EXCEPT* one thing:
    Actually start improving their cell towers and increasing the number of towers.

    Duh.

    1
  • bruce February 10, 2011, 8:16 am

    since att went to 3 g everyone i know has dropped calls and also very little signal.att promises that it will be fixxed in your area{not} its been a year now whats up.plus why does evryone else have unlimited internet ,text,and voice a whole lot cheaper without contract.

    2
  • shane February 10, 2011, 10:01 am

    Are you kidding me?!? AT&T does not “lock” you into anything but a 2 year contract which is standard across the board. You can change your plan at any time without penalty and can upgrade at 18-20 months. Also they have an early upgrade policy which no other company has. If you’re 6 months into your contract, you can change your phone for a new one at a discounted price. Sounds like you had an idiot sales person.

    3
  • Paula February 10, 2011, 11:18 am

    > You can change your plan at any time without penalty

    But you have to stay with AT&T while doing it.

    > and can upgrade at 18-20 months.

    But you have to (again) stay with AT&T.

    > Also they have an early upgrade policy which no other

    But you also have to “stay with AT&T”.

    > If you’re 6 months into your contract, you can change your
    > phone for a new one at a discounted price.

    Again… but you are locked into AT&T for 4 years now.

    > Sounds like you had an idiot sales person.

    Let me get this straight: I list a ton of things AT&T is using to “lock you to them”… and you list even *MORE* “locking tools”… and think that’s an improvement?

    Lets be honest: AT&T keeps its customers by force… and that if you want any iPhone you must use AT&T.

    … oh wait. Now we have a choice: Verizon.

    4
  • Jeff Hollaway February 10, 2011, 12:06 pm

    At&t is pooping their pants. More than half its sales are iphone, they lost their flagship, they charge ridiculous prices because when it came to iphone, they were the only game in town despite lousy reception. Now they have no exclusivity and they know they are about to lose a lot of customers. People weren’t loyal to At&t they were loyal to the device they love. So they are trying to slow the bleeding because they surely wont be able to stop it. But there are a lot of iphone users who get great reception like here in Philadelphia. So some, but not most will stay with At&t. (unless of course they are locked in a contract for the rest of their lives)

    5
  • Chris Chadwick February 10, 2011, 1:17 pm

    I received the microcell offer in the mail (snail mail)..

    Its a 12 month commitment to pay a fee prorated against $199 minus $16.95 per month you have had the microcell OR bring back the device if you leave AT&T and incur no fees. kinda like returning your Comcast cable box.

    Not a bad deal IMO considering all of the carriers service sucks at my house.

    6
  • kryptik February 10, 2011, 7:18 pm

    Paula, all carriers are guilty of what you’re claiming, unless you have a pre paid account. One thing you forgot to mention about at&t “locking” you into a contract…they also gave you a $500-$700 phone for just a couple hundred bucks. If you buy a phone for the retail price, you aren’t locked into a thing. You can turn off your service whenever you want and take your phone to any carrier that supports its radio…

    7
  • Pam T. February 11, 2011, 10:14 am

    @Paula – I’m in agreement with those who are pointing out that AT&T’s service commitments, prices, et al are no different than an other US carrier.

    That Apple and AT&T decided to create an exclusive deal for the iPhone until now is a business decision that obviously benefitted AT&T. Whether Apple thinks, in hindsight, it was such a good idea is unknown. But don’t blame AT&T because they made a good deal.

    Verizon has already begun throttling back their 3G data network speeds, in anticipation of increased usage – why is no one whining about that? If AT&T announced the same thing, the class-action lawsuits would be instigated immediately.

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