Apple Pressuring AT&T to Lower Rates in Face of Palm Pre Competition?

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Confession: we secretly hope the Palm Pre does very well. Not because we want one ourselves -- we're pretty happy with the iPhone round here -- but because we want Apple and AT&T to think we want one so they continue to drive up innovation and drive down costs respectively. Competition is, was, and will forever be a Good Thing.

Case in point: we've heard rumors about Apple pressuring AT&T to lower data rates and/or offer lower price points for capped service. Wall Street Journal takes these rumors and shows why competitive pressure may be at the root of them with a little side-by-side comparison to the impending Palm Pre/Sprint rates. Neatly summarized:

So essentially, iPhone users have to pay $150 a month to match what Sprint will offer Pre users for $100

Hey, if Palm can get Apple to get AT&T to knock 33% off the monthly bill, more power to them (and money to us!)

[Thanks to the Reptile for the tip and @CRA1G for melting our hearts -- a little!]

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple Pressuring AT&T to Lower Rates in Face of Palm Pre Competition?

31 Comments

I hope it does very well and forces AT&T to rethink some of their rate plans. And roll over is a joke. Can we get a myFavs equivalent? Please?
And how about an All Data Family plan?

I have been emailing Verizon and ATT about family data packages for over a year. If they did a family data package that wasn't ridiculous, I know alot more people who would me using smart phones.
Go Pre and help drive industry innovation!

I hope it does well. I was hoping that G1 would have been an iPhone killer (not because I don't like the iPhone rather to setup some hardcore competition).
Far as plans being becoming cheaper? It would just be icing on the cake for me. I don't see myself changing from the iPhone platform to something else in a long time because of the app store.
That's just me though.

I agree. Competition is definitely a good thing. In fact, I hope some people DO switch from the iPhone to the Pre so that it would free some space on the overloaded AT&T network. I really hope AT&T is shaking in their boots because I have no network loyalty only iPhone loyalty. If the Pre does well, I would consider getting one if it weren't on the crappy Sprint service.

I never understood what the populous has against Sprint anyway? The 3G is faster, voice coverage is just as good, the plans are cheaper! I had a Sprint phone before getting an iPhone, but I will be going back in order to buy the Pre. Goodbye iPhone and AT&T.

@Daniel - when you do remember to bring $299 with you. That's the cost of the Pre. You'll then get form to get a $100.00 rebate which you'll have to fill out and wait for the check to come to you in the mail. Good deal, yes. But nothing like messing with the customer base on day 1.

At&t will suffer a huge loss if they lower their plans, this past April they reported a profit loss of 9.7%, they still haven't made a profit off of the iphone, investors will not be happy. My guess is, At&t will not budge on lowering their plans. Also, At&t is in the midst of axing their unlimited data plans.

@The Reptile
Not all customers will be required to send in a rebate form, many Sprint customers are able to get an instant credit at the time of purchase at Sprint stores. If you go to Bestbuy or Radio Shack, you will pay the $199 price out of the door. Also, "when you do remember to", pay an additional $50 on your At&t service plan. ;)

I'm excited to see it happen and i sure do hope that the PRE does well. When i see before me a working iClone that DOES in fact look awesome/amazingly cool then i'm all for it doing well, Exibit A) the Pre.
Now when you get all the other CLONES out there, like the samsung clones and even the STORM,. then you see them throw up arrogant ads like "the next iPhone killer" and @#@# like that, that's when i get upset.

I'm a LONG time Palm user (since 1999), and was looking to dump them until the Pre was announced. In my opinion, it's the first device/OS that will really give the iPhone a run for it's money. If it performs as Palm claims it's actually a superior device to the iPhone.
HOWEVER, I don't want it (or any other device for that matter) to be an iPhone "killer". As mentioned, competition is great because it drives features and quality up while driving prices down!!!
Now if I can only get Canon to release a $500 Nikon D3 clone so that I can get a D3 for cheap!!!

@ Jabari
What device isn't superior to the iPhone? Really all the iPhone is good for is its operating system. Really great OS and very easy to use but spec wise it's still a marginal upgrade over the first device.

Each manufacturer does not honestly understand the appeal of the iPhone. Looks, feel, usage... It just works. I hate to quote Apple but it really is true. Other phone manufacturers try to add more features while making it more and more complex. The iPhone is the opposite, in my opinion. Simple, easy to use, consistent to use. I used my wife's OLD Motorola a few days ago... what a hunk of junk. It's 3 years old, and it was still difficult to find things... and I'm a geek!

@ AT&T FAN
I stand right with you and the CWA. The contract their offering their employees is a joke! It has so many take backs that it's an insult to their employees. They made 12.9 billion profit last year and yet they say it's neccessary to cut medical benefits! It's ridiculous!

@ Daniel
That video of the Pre looks sick. It makes the iPhone's interface look cluttered and outdated. I love my iPhone but wow. This could be a game changer.

@mystic
How am I a troll when I have an iPhone? I'm not just going to parade around and act like its the best thing smoking.

Let's talk about the real issues like AT&T's unwillingness to bargain in good faith with the CWA. If their employees can't work, then neither will your iPhone.

Sprint has the worst customer service I have ever experianced. They could have a phone with a time machine, a transporter, a phaser, ect, ant still find a way to royally fuck it up somehow. If you have to call customer service at sprint, put a fork in ya, cause you are done unless you can understand foreigners. They owed me money for four months, and after many calls to idiots and saying that I was hiring an attorney, I got what was owed to me. Sprint- weak phones - very weak company!