T-Mobile US has quietly raised the minimum down payment on the iPhone 5 from $99 to $149. When announcing iPhone availability at the end of March, little a word said about the fact that the initial $99 price tag for the 16GB iPhone 5 was a limited time promotional offer.
With potentially billions of customers on the line, Apple is reportedly having trouble negotiating with wireless providers in emerging markets like Russia and China, and in established markets like Japan. The carriers are, apparently, holding out for better terms from Apple than those currently enjoyed by carriers in United States under the subsidy model. Bloomberg reports:
U.S. Cellular, the fifth-largest carrier in the United States, will start selling Apple products later this year. Announcing their Q1 financial results, the carrier said that they hope that adding Apple products to their lineup will help convice people to switch.
The saddest part of this video by Extremely Decent Films [NSFW-L] isn't that it's true, or that it's supported by our governments, or that it's merely representative of many anti-consumer media and technology infrastructure oligopolies, but that we tolerate it to exist.
Does this sound like your cable company? Your cell carrier? When did that become okay?
European regulators are looking into Apple’s deals with European carriers over antitrust fears. The European union were supposedly contacted by several cellphone carriers that sell the iPhone after they claimed that the deals throttled competition. The complaints are believed to have come from French carriers however other countries may be involved too. The news comes for The New York Times who have been speaking with people familiar with the matter.
Regional and rural carriers are allying to back legislative efforts that would legalize cell phone unlocking. The ban on unlocking cell phones came into effect earlier this year and prevents customers from unlocking their phones for use on another carrier. According to Bloomberg:
iPhone users pay more in carrier fees on average than the users of other smartphones. New data indicates that 60% of iPhone users spend at least $100 per month on their cellular plan, with 10% spending $200 or more.
During Apple's Q1 2013 conference call, when asked about the mix of iPhone 5 compared to the lower priced iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 still on the market, Apple CEO Tim Cook responded that not much had changed from last year's iPhone 4S mix relative to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G, then the discount options.
Apple is apparently quite strict when it comes to allowing carriers to offer the iPhone 5 as an LTE device, requiring carriers to allow Apple to independently test the quality of their LTE network. If the network is up to Apple’s standards, then they will enable LTE functionality on the iPhone 5. This test can mean that, as carriers across the world start rolling out their LTE networks, the iPhone 5 won’t be immediately useable as an LTE device.
If you're in the U.S. it's probably not so easy deciding which carrier is best for your iPad or iPad mini needs, AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. Price is always a huge factor to consider when choosing a carrier, but coverage should be just as, if not more, important when making a decision. Since the iPad and iPad mini support LTE cellular technology, you're going to want to take a close look at which carriers offer the best LTE coverage in your area.