Posts Tagged ‘AT&T’

Steve Jobs Announces iPad 2, Pricing and Specs

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Say hello to Steve's Little Friend, the Apple iPad 2

There had been some doubt as to whether or not Steve Jobs would be at the Apple Press Conference today after taking a leave of absence for medical reasons. There was, however, absolutely no doubt at all as to what would be announced at the event regardless of whether Steve was there or not.

The iPad 2.

Speculation on Jobs’ absence was put very quickly to rest as he came on stage… and confirmation was given on the new tablet. As the crowd rose in a standing ovation, Jobs said, “We’ve been working on this product for a while and I didn’t want to miss today”.

Specifications of the device were no surprise to the tech writers in the audience… the new dual-core A5 processor, iOS 4.3 at launch, front and rear facing cameras, Facetime support, and a design that is “dramatically thinner and lighter”.

Improvements on the original iPad were made all around. The new iPad battery clocks in with a ten hour life in standard use and a reported month long standby. The new processor will make the iPad 2 twice as fast as its predecessor with graphics that are up to nine times faster.

Pricing was announced for the new tablet as well. The base model is 16GB and will cost $499, the 32GB will run $599, and the 64GB model will set you back $699. In addition, if you want to have 3G capability (no word on 4G at this time), there will be an additional $130 added to the price tag at purchase.

Models will be available for both the AT&T and Verizon networks.

As for the launch date, we should see the devices available at Apple Stores, retailers, AT&T, Verizon, and the Apple online store beginning March 11th.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

iPhone 4 Officially Confirmed on Verizon network

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

A late Christmas present for Verizon customers

For those of you who have been patiently waiting for the iPhone to make the leap to another carrier before purchasing, now’s you chance. Verizon has officially unveiled the iPhone 4 on its network.

This won’t come as any surprise to those who have been following Verizon’s recent actions; buying up any domains having to do with the words “iPhone” and “Verizon”, the cryptic messages that a big announcement would be made today, or even the fact that the iPad had already made the move to the company’s network. The interesting fact is that the device will be shipped overnight to those who order online when the device goes on sale next month.

This means that there is a stockpile of the devices. It means that Verizon and Apple have been able to ship and store iPhones for the Verizon network without anyone getting a hold of one and having pictures of it plastered all over the internet. While the rumors were flying, they somehow managed to keep them out of the public eye and while today’s announcement may be no surprise, the fact that they have been able to keep the devices out of the hands of eager journalists and bloggers *is* a surprise.

Let’s face it, when it comes to Apple, the more it tries to keep a secret, the more it seems everyone is willing to bend a few laws to get a hold of a rumored device. It’s much more likely that in this instance, the new devices were manufactured and shipped while being packaged as AT&T devices, even though initial pictures of the device show a slightly different design. Is that a slight change to the location of the antenna assembly in order to avoid the infamous “deathgrip” that plagued early versions of AT&T’s iPhone 4?

The other surprising thing about this iPhone launch on the Verizon network? No LTE capability. The device will run strictly on the network’s 3G speeds. This may be the only disappointment to those who have been following the Verizon/Apple team up rumors. This would, however, open the door for the device to be launched on other CDMA networks but the lack of a definitive 4G capability means a lack of forward thinking. Unless of course, the iPhone 5 will be launched in June (as new version have been every year since the release of the iPhone) *with* LTE capability. That would be a nice kick in the junk to anyone who ran in and grabbed an iPhone 4 on Verizon at launch…

Of course now the Verizon commercials mocking the iPhone 4 for the lack of ability in regards to making video calls without being on WiFi is definitely going to be put to the test. Will they be able to continue to make such claims when their network sees the crush of the iPhone? Only time will tell.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Civil Suit against Apple, AT&T has okay to go forward

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Apple, I stood up for you back in May... Don't let me down.

Back at the beginning of May, I said it was my opinion that an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple wouldn’t get off the ground. Well, it would appear that a federal judge would disagree with me. Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has said that the lawsuit accusing Apple and AT&T of monopoly abuse can move forward as a class action.

Now, while I was addressing the latest batch of accusations to have come about, this lawsuit was originally filed in late 2007 but is essentially the same allegations to have arisen in recent months. The lawsuit consolidates several lawsuits against the two companies and accuses them of restricting use of the iPhone to the AT&T network, absolutely controlling what apps can be run on the devices, as well driving up prices by entering into a five year exclusivity contract where the iPhone is only available for AT&T’s network.

Now, I will agree that some of the points in the lawsuit have some merit. For instance, why should Apple be able to tell me what I can and cannot run on their phone once I’ve coughed up the green for the phone? Why can’t I run whatever the hell I like on the phone, power intensive or not? Why do I have to agree to get everything for the iPhone from the App Store? These are just some of the questions I would ask if I were an iPhone user.

That’s not to say I’ve changed my earlier stance. I still firmly believe that with some minor modifications to the Terms of Use and the App Store guidelines that Apple couldn’t avoid a lawsuit completely. I still believe that Apple may not want their “playground??? to be modified but having seen what a jailbroken 3GS is capable of, I have to wonder why Jobs and company aren’t trying to hire some of the guys who are programming these apps and churning out a product that’s completely and utterly customizable.

It’s obvious, at least to me, that the exclusivity contract isn’t as bad of a deal as the lawsuit makes it sound. The accusation here is that Apple and AT&T entered into the contract secretly and that by doing so, have artificially inflated prices for cellular service plans. I’ll admit, AT&T’s pricing for their plans doesn’t seem like they’ve changed at all since the launch of the iPhone, even when competitors have started lowering their unlimited usage plans in order to attract new customer. But let’s face it, Apple was a newcomer to the market. It made sense to focus on producing a product for one specific network to make sure it could be done but why the hell did it have to be a five year contract?

Are AT&T and Apple guilty of cornering the market for smartphones? With 1.7 million iPhones sold within the first three days, I would have to say it’s a good indication that if it is what they intended, they’ve already partially succeeded. Should the iPhone be produced to work on other networks? I’d say yes to this as well because to me, it seems like common business sense. If the iPhone weren’t restricted to one network, I have no doubt that the iPhone would be the top ranked device based on sales.

And to add to the fire and the appearance of guilt, AT&T did away with their unlimited data plan right around the same time that the iPhone 4 launched. This would make it appear that they know damn well that they’re going to get some new customers out of the new device and they’re pushing to make as much money as they can from these new users.

Apple isn’t looking too innocent in all of this either. Problems with the iPhone 4’s signal based on how a person grips the phone and the subsequent responses from Steve Jobs first suggesting that people were holding the phone wrong and then pointing out that for 30 dollars users could purchase one of the bumper cases in order to avoid the problem seem like they, too, are seeking to make as much money as possible from new and existing users.

Again, I’m not changing my initial opinion but that opinion was based on the facts that were in place when I wrote the story…  I had no idea that two months later all of the money grabbing would occur.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

AT&T continues to have iTroubles with their website

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

AT&T still having security issues

On the heels of last week’s security breach of AT&T’s iPad user database, another security “whoopsie??? appears to have reared its ugly head. Heavy demand initially created problems with placing pre-orders for the 4th Gen iPhone on AT&T and Apple’s websites and now it appears there may be even more trouble for users waiting to get their hands on the new iPhone.

Several reports have been coming in that not only are users experiencing issues when trying to order the new device but some users that have been successful in ordering their phones have sent screenshots to media outlets apparently showing that someone else’s credit card is coming up in the payment options or that the shipping address appears to belong to someone other than themselves.

There have also been reports from users stating that they have received order confirmation emails for phones they did not order and that contained billing addresses and credit card information of the person who did order the phone. AT&T has not yet been able to reproduce the issue but state that they are looking into the matter. Currently, attempts to contact AT&T’s customer support are being met with the message that there are too many calls in queue.

Users attempting to use the Apple website to order the phone have reported errors. But this is based on the fact that Apple’s webpage still has to access the AT&T user database to check for eligibility and as such runs into the very same problem that is currently afflicting the AT&T website.

Those of you who have been fortunate enough to get an order in for the new iPhone may want to confirm the shipping and billing address… If you even got a confirmation email.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Update: It would appear Apple has pushed back the pre-order delivery date to July 14th (later than the July 2nd date previously displayed) and that AT&T, while reporting they are “unable to replicate the issue” in regards to incorrect information showing up on orders and in confirmation emails, has suspended pre-orders for the iPhone 4 quoting that demand is just too high to manage at this time.

Anyone ready to call this an “iPocalypse” yet?

AT&T wants to strangle the Interweb!

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

AT&T is introducing "cost saving" data plans...

It would seem that with the launch of the Apple iPad and the continuing success of the iPhone, AT&T is still feeling the crunch on their 3G network. Recent announcements from the cellular provider would appear that they are taking strides to relieve the congestion but their most recent announcement, limited data plans, would seem to be a step in the wrong direction.

Currently, there is an Unlimited Data plan in place for the iPad for thirty dollars with no contract. The data plan for the iPhone is priced the same but requires the usual two year agreement. The news from AT&T is that these plans will no longer be offered to subscribers signing up after June 7th. The tradeoff will be that with the new plans (detailed below), AT&T will be offering support for tethering… For an additional $20 a month.

Here’s the basics about the new plans (pulled from PR Newswire):

  • DataPlus. Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 150 emails with attachments, plus view 400 Web pages, plus post 50 photos on social media sites, plus watch 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month. This plan, which can save customers up to 50 percent off their wireless data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the cycle. Currently, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.
  • DataPro. Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, plus view 4,000 Web pages, plus post 500 photos to social media sites, plus watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month. Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the cycle. Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.
  • Tethering. Smartphone customers – including iPhone customers – who choose the DataPro plan have the option to add tethering for an additional $20 per month. Tethering lets customers use their tethering-enabled smartphones as a modem to provide a broadband connection for laptop computers, netbooks or other computing devices. Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer.

The kicker here is that 2GB is less than half of what other providers are offering on limited dataplans. However, those of you who already have an unlimited data plan shouldn’t panic just yet. The old plan will be grandfathered for those customers who have the plan prior to June 7th, 2010 (Source). And yes, reportedly this means if you upgrade to the 4th gen iPhone and you currently have the unlimited data plan, you won’t have to switch to one of the new data plans. You just won’t be able to use the tethering.

Of course, those users who have jailbroke their iPhone are already using tethering. I’m just saying.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Federal Court Nixes Net Neutrality

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

"You want more data? Keep putting large bills in my hand, I'll see what I can do."

I’ll admit that over the years, as the speed of my Internet connection has gotten progressively faster, I’ve taken it for granted that there are limitations to every data connection. I’ve been in neighborhoods where there were very few people connected to my provider and the data speeds were only limited by the hardware on my end. But I’ve also been in neighborhoods where my provider was suffering from an overpopulation of heavy data users and I’d see my downloads slow to a crawl. But even then, I didn’t consider the fact that there might one day be a cost above and beyond my monthly service fee.

Unfortunately, that may be were we’re headed… Connections to data intensive applications and sites could be strictly monitored and even produce additional costs on your cable bill.

Fiction, you say? I wish it were.

A federal court ruled on Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission (that’s the FCC for you acronym lovers out there) had neither the right nor the authority to prevent broadband providers from charging “premium service” fees or prevent certain data from gobbling up network capacity. The three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia essentially overturned the concept of “Net Neutrality” opening the door for companies such as Comcast to begin charging additional fees for access to data intensive applications.

You may be asking what exactly Net Neutrality is and what it might mean to you. Fortunately, Uncle Gritskrieg is here to give you a few pointers on just that.

Net Neutrality is the idea that there needs to be a policy in place to prevent broadband providers from restricting access to certain types of data. The policy would also prevent those same providers from charging you, the consumer, extra dough if you want to use a service like Netflix which is data intensive when you’re streaming that High-Def movie to your big ol’ plasma screen tv. It would prevent the companies from favoring or discriminating against which sites you could access from your provider’s network.

Still unclear? Let me break it down even further. Big Cable Provider Inc. decides to open a web site similar to In order to make certain they get the users on their network that are currently viewing, they limit the amount of traffic that can visit the site while at the same time allowing their users to visit BCP Inc.’s own Or worse, accessing the original site for Busy Gamer’s incurs an extra charge on your monthly statement.


Grats on your new iPad… That’s last year’s model, right?

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Maybe "2,1" just means the next iPad goes to 11.

The brand spanking new iPad launched this past Saturday and as expected, the fans were out in force for it. They stood in lines, camped, and did all the assorted things we’ve come to expect at the launch of a new Apple device. You have to wonder, however, if they’d be as excited if they knew what one busy hacker has already found from digging around on his iPad… The second generation iPad may already be in the works.

The Boy Genius Report ran with the story on Saturday after receiving a screen shot from one of their tipsters. The screenshot (pictured left) shows the information that was discovered, with references to two new iPhone revisions (3,2 and 3,3, possibly referring to the rumored GSM and CDMA iPhones that are said to be in the works) as well as the “iProd 2,1″. iProd was the initial name for the iPad. Yeah, from worse to bad on that name, folks.

Already, the rumor mill is in the works, theorizing what the new features might be. Some suggest a camera, others upgraded memory, while a few speculate that it will support Flash out of the box. Of course, the reference could be to the AT&T 3G network ready iPad set to launch later this year. As usual, however, no one from Apple is talking about what it might be or if there is any truth to the rumor. As is par with Apple, we’ll just have to wait and see.

There is the fact that those who have purchased iPhones in the past are used to the almost yearly model revisions that have been released since the device’s launch leaving them holding “last year’s model”. It shouldn’t be any surprise that a new iPad is already on the drawing board at Apple headquarters.


Gritskrieg – End of Line

Line2 App could shake some things up

Friday, March 26th, 2010

For non AT&T users who have Wi-Fi, this is damn rad.

For a little $1 iPhone app, Line2 sure has the potential to shake up an entire industry.

It can save you money. It can make calls where AT&T’s signal is weak, and it can turn an iPod Touch into a full-blown cellphone.

Line2 gives your iPhone a second phone number – a second phone line, complete with its own contacts list, voice mail, and so on. The company behind it, Toktumi (haha ‘talk to me’), imagines that you’ll distribute the Line2 number to business contacts, and your regular iPhone number to friends and family. Your second line can be an 800 number, if you wish, or you can transfer an existing number.

To that end, Toktumi offers, on its Web site, a raft of Google (GOOG) Voice-ish features that are intended to help a small businesses look bigger: call screening, Do Not Disturb hours and voice mail messages sent to you as e-mail. You can create an “automated attendant” – “Press 1 for sales,” “Press 2 for accounting,” and so on – that routes incoming calls to other phone numbers. Or, if you’re pretending to be a bigger business than you are, route them all to yourself.

The Line2 app is a carbon copy, a visual clone, of the iPhone’s own phone software. The dialing pad, your iPhone Contacts list, your recent calls list and visual voice mail all look just like the iPhone’s.

Now checking the legalities of this little monster, Apple’s (AAPL) rules prohibit App Store programs that look or work too much like the iPhone’s own built-in apps. For example, Apple rejected the Google Voice app because, as Apple explained to the Federal Communications Commission, it works “by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls.” That is exactly what Line2 does. Oh well – somehow they skirted by this little speedbump.

Having a second line on your iPhone is gnarly, but that’s not the best part.

Line2 also turns the iPhone into a dual-mode phone. That is, it can make and receive calls either using either the AT&T airwaves as usual, or – now this is the best part – over the Internet. Any time you’re in a wireless hot spot, Line2 places its calls over Wi-Fi instead of AT&T’s network.

That’s a game-changer. Where, after all, is cellphone reception generally the worst? Right – indoors. In your house or your office building, precisely where you have Wi-Fi. Line2 in Wi-Fi means rock-solid, confident reception indoors.

Line2 also runs on the iPod Touch. When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, your Touch is now a full-blown cellphone, and you don’t owe AT&T a penny.

Turns out Wi-Fi calls don’t use up any AT&T minutes. You can talk all day long, without ever worrying about going over your monthly allotment of minutes. Wi-Fi calls are free forever.

So where’s the catch? Well it’s NOT quite free, Line2 service will cost ya $15 a month (after a 30-day free trial).

But anyhow, great for somethings – and really rad if you just own an iPod iTouch. Seriously. I can see other software companies jumping on this…soon enough.


AT&T is goose stepping on your Internet usage

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) – AT&T Inc. (ATT), the country’s largest Internet service provider, is testing the idea of limiting the amount of data that subscribers can use each month.

AT&T will initially apply the limits in Reno, Nev., and see about extending the practice elsewhere.

Increasingly, Internet providers across the country are placing such limits on the amount of data users can upload and download each month, as a way to curb a small number of “bandwidth hogs” who use a lot of the network capacity. For instance, 5 percent of AT&T’s subscribers take up 50 percent of the capacity, spokesman Michael Coe said Tuesday.

But the restrictions that Internet providers are setting are tentative. And the companies differ on what limits to set and whether to charge users for going beyond the caps.

Starting in November, AT&T will limit downloads to 20 gigabytes per month for users of their slowest DSL service, at 768 kilobits per second. The limit increases with the speed of the plan, up to 150 gigabytes per month at the 10 megabits-per-second level.

To exceed the limits, subscribers would need to download constantly at maximum speeds for more than 42 hours, depending on the tier. In practice, use of e-mail and the Web wouldn’t take a subscriber anywhere near the limit, but streaming video services like the one Netflix Inc. (NFLX) offers could. For example, subscribers who get downloads of 3 megabits per second have a monthly cap of 60 gigabytes, which allows for the download of about 30 DVD-quality movies.

The limits will initially apply to new customers in the Reno area, AT&T said. Current users will be enrolled if they exceed 150 gigabytes in a month, regardless of their connection speed.

“This is a preliminary step to find the right model to address this trend,” Coe said. The company may add another market to the test before the end of the year, he said.

Customers will be able to track their usage on an AT&T Web site. The company will also contact people who reach 80 percent of their limit. After a grace period to get subscribers acquainted with the system, those who exceed their allotment will pay $1 per gigabyte, Coe said.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) (CMCSA), the nation’s second-largest Internet service provider and AT&T’s competitor in Reno, last month officially began a nationwide traffic limit of 250 gigabytes per subscriber. Comcast doesn’t charge people extra for going over the limit, but will cancel service after repeated warnings. Previously, it had a secret limit.

Two other ISPs, Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) (TWC) and FairPoint Communications Inc. (FRP) (FRP), are planning or testing traffic limits as low as 5 gigabytes per month, which is easily exceeded by watchers of DVD-quality online video.