Wednesday, July 02, 2008

AT&T will let customers roam without a contract, for a stiff price; hardly "neutral"


AT&T announced on July 1 that it would offer smartphones to people who want to use a different carrier, but at a steep price, for either 8 or 16 gigs. For people willing to commit to an AT&T contract, the price is something like a third ($199 to $299 for two year contracts.

A year ago, recall, some geeks, even in the teen world, had figured out how to reverse engineer some of these devices. Companies are catching on, but trying to induce customers to commit themselves to long contracts.

The iPhone 3G (to be available July 11) is supposed to offer higher speed web connections and access to new applications enabling customers to receive marketing information (like about concerts of events) from promoters in a geographical area. Much of the wireless additions to the XML language were developed some years ago to facilitate these kinds of applications.

As for net neutrality, it seems that telecommunications companies will go along way to keep customers tethered in the wireless world.

The Washington Post story appears on p D2 of the Business Section, “New iPhone Can Decouple from AT&T, for a Price,” by Mike Muscrove, link here.

Update: July 4


The July 3 Business Section, p D1 of The Washington Post, has a story by Rob Pegoraro, "It Only Looks Like an iPhone," about Sprint Nextet's Samsung Instinct, including a picture, link here.

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