AT&T announced earlier that it would allow customers on a grandfathered unlimited data plan to keep their plan even when paying a subsidized price for the iPhone 5. The nation’s largest carrier looks to take things a different way, however. A Verizon representative confirmed with 9to5mac this evening that customers will only be able to keep their unlimited data plan if they pay full price for the iPhone 5 ($649 for 16GB). Furthermore, existing Verizon customers can keep their old Nationwide Usage Based plan. They will not be forced to switch to one of Verizon’s new Share Everything Plans when buying the iPhone 5 on a two-year contract.
CDMA iPhone rumors are back. Apple may be launching a CDMA version of iPhone 4 in the fourth quarter of this year according to a fresh report.
Taiwanese website, Digitimes, claims that Pegatron Technology – the manufacturing arm of Asustek, has started the production of the new CDMA iPhone at its plant in Shanghai.
As the rumored launch date for iPhone 4G draws closer, the talk of an end to AT&T’s carrier exclusivity has been growing louder.
Earlier this month, we had heard reports that Apple has contracted Pegatron Technology to ship close to 10 million CDMA iPhone handsets in 2010.
Brushing aside concerns about subscribers fleeing to Verizon, AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega had noted yesterday that a lot of AT&T subscribers have signed up for family plans and corporate discount plans. He said that these plans would serve as incentives for the existing subscribers to stay with Ma Bell in the event of AT&T losing its exclusive-carrier status.
Earlier today, we had reported on the possibility of Apple
partnering with Verizon in the launch of a subsidized Apple Tablet.
Now, it appears that Verizon might not be the only partner carrier. Folks at Boy Genius Report have indicated that AT&T too could be playing a part in the launch.
According to sources, AT&T has been working on a few changes in their network and regional executives are being informed of the same. Apparently, this is being done in order to prep the network ahead of the launch of a few “unannounced devices” that will use “heavy data”. While these statements do not imply anything definitive, it is still probable that the device in question is Apple Tablet considering that this is one of the very few devices launching in the short term that will consume a lot of data.
Having said that, there are other worries for AT&T too; primarily with respect to the possible timing of launch. As reported earlier, Kaufman analyst Shaw Wu has noted that Apple could be facing a shortage of component supplies in the coming months which could delay the launch of the Tablet till June. In such an eventuality, Apple could possibly be launching the Tablet and iPhone 4G around the same time – a potentially nightmarish situation for the carrier thanks to the sudden spike in the number of data consuming devices.
AT&T has faced a lot of challenges and ridicule in the past owing to their poor network. Though the company has been building a next-generation infrastructure, which is expected to become operable nationwide by the end of the year, doubts regarding the carrier’s service levels remain.
What do you think? Will the launch of a Tablet deteriorate AT&T’s network even further? Tell us what you think in the comments.
[via Boy Genius Report]