“AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson this week said what I have been saying since last July — that Apple and AT&T would soon introduce an iPhone that works with AT&T’s faster 3G wireless data network. I said it because I had heard last summer that AT&T was already testing 3G iPhones in Florida, but the better question is why Stephenson said it and why now? For AT&T, his announcement looks, frankly, stupid,” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS.
“Was it a simple slip? Or is the guy so out of touch with reality that he doesn’t realize that with a few words he has probably deferred — maybe forever — at least a million new customers worth to Wall Street at least $1 billion in market cap for his company? I don’t think Stephenson’s statement was by accident and I don’t think he is out of touch with reality. I think, instead, he was sending a $1 billion message to Apple CEO Steve Jobs,” Cringely writes.
“What I believe is troubling the relationship between AT&T and Apple is the upcoming auction for 700-MHz wireless spectrum and AT&T’s discovery that — as I have predicted for weeks — Apple will be joining Google in bidding. AT&T thought its five-year “exclusive” iPhone agreement with Apple would have precluded such a bid, but that just shows how poorly Randall Stephenson understood Steve Jobs,” Cringely writes.
“t would not surprise me at all if…, when the 700-MHz network is finally up and running, Jobs claims astonishment that the most popular data application is Voice over IP, a direct competitor to AT&T Wireless,” Cringely writes.
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Stephenson’s comment is being treated as some sort of “news” by many media outlets, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs has already said as much and more precisely, too:
“3G chipsets… are real power hogs. Most phones now have battery lives of 2 to 3 hours and that’s due to these very power-hungry 3G chipsets… [iPhone] has 8 hours of talktime life. That’s really important when you start to use the Internet and want to use the phone to listen to music. We’ve got to see the battery lives for 3G get back up into the 5+ hour range. Hopefully we’ll see that late next year.” – Apple CEO Steve Jobs introducing iPhone to the UK, September 18, 2007. [bold emphasis added by MacDailyNews]
3G iPhone coming in late 2008 – November 29, 2007
Google committed to buying wireless spectrum – November 16, 2007
Google may bid with at least one partner on FCC’s 700MHz wireless spectrum auction – October 25, 2007
Cringely: What’s going on with Apple/Google relationship? – October 19, 2007
Apple eyes FCC’s wireless auction – September 10, 2007
FCC ruling on 700 MHz airwave spectrum auction grants only two of Google’s four requests – August 01, 2007
Jobs basically said the same thing several months ago… So, I don’t understand why the press is making such a big deal about it now that Randall has said it also.
“as I have predicted for weeks — Apple will be joining Google in bidding”
Google today announced it will bid without partners
This is going to be very interesting. My prediction:
Stephenson loses – big time.
He has hit his partner in the worst possible place – right in the center of his ego.
His Steveness will not tolerate the outing of his marketing manipulations. If he says it will be another year of selling the inferior iPhone signal and building a few millon more suckers who will then have to have the ‘improved’ model, then it will be another year and not a day sooner.
So, AT&T;, playing with fire gets you burned.
There are news reports this morning about an “event” coming next Wednesday. Has anyone else heard this?
It is supposedly an iPhone announcement. I heard it on a local TV station a few minutes ago.
Steve Jobs announced a 3G iPhone back in January 2007, during his iPhone presentation. This Robert Cringely is a stupid asshole.
Cringly is crazy. He likes to construct these fantastic scenarios, when in reality the AT&T;CEO just made a mistake.
There’s no date been announced all we “know” is 2008. Steve Jobs said they’d look to add 3G when chips became available with suitable efficiency – which would hopefully be sometime in 2008. They’re saying the same thing. There’s no news here.
Get a clipboard, stand in the middle of a high-traffic location, and ask everyone who passes you by this, “Did you hear the comment the AT&T;CEO said about a 3G iPhone coming?”
I can almost guarantee that if you don’t get a blank stare, at most you’ll get is this, “Huh?”
These kinds of comments people can care less about. It’ll freeze what? 500 geeks from buying an iPhone? The iPhone will continue to sell and best believe that the marketing coming from AAPL will drown out any idiotic comment coming from Job’s shackle-partner over at AT&T;.
From Cringley’s Article:
What I believe is troubling the relationship between AT&T;and Apple is the upcoming auction for 700-MHz wireless spectrum and AT&T;’s discovery that — as I have predicted for weeks — Apple will be joining Google in bidding…
Of course to this point Apple hasn’t even said it will participate in the 700-MHz auction.
Incoherent? Sounds like it to me. Don’t give the guy more credit than he deserves. He slipped and said more than he should have. These people live so totally within their own world that it’s easy for them to slip on secrets that the rest of the world doesn’t know, but which they have been dealing with as common knowledge for many many months.
I agree with JadisOne, these types of things only dissuade those of us who absolutely have to have the most bleeding edge devices and will fore go purchasing until the next processor/generation is released. The mass market will not be influenced, I think 90% of mobile phone buyers don’t even know what 3G means…
Exactly what I was saying yesterday.
I don’t think most people realize that most of the really hardcore geeks already bought the iPhone long ago. It’s the mainstream buying now, and they couldn’t care less about this kind of “news”, if they even knew what 3G meant, or why it was important.
This guy is a moron if he thinks this will cost any significant amount of customers. Anyone who pays attention to this kind of thing and knows about the no-3G issue already knew there was a 3G iPhone coming next year.
Dear lord let the 700mhz spectrum rumor be true.
And I think the real message it sends is that AT&T;knows that its EDGE network just outright blows. It is by far the weakest link in the iPhone experience, and sadly it’s a pretty important link.
What an inane analysis. Instead of wasting a billion dollars of market share to “send a message,” wouldn’t he just send an email?
Dumb dumb dumb.
I stopped ready Cringely long ago. He always talks like he has all this insider info. He never does. He’s nearly always wrong.
He reminds me of the guy at the office that always has to know more about everything than everybody and is constantly proving he doesn’t by opening is trap.
Stop the presses! Are they saying “next years product will have new technology and models”? This is certainly a change for the tech, computer, automotive and a host of other industry’s.