Thursday, June 10, 2010

My AT&T iPhone Upgrade Conspiracy Theory

In Monday's WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs mentioned that anyone who is eligible for an upgrade in 2010 through AT&T can get a new iPhone 4 at launch. Initially, that made me very excited because I would be able to purchase two phones (currently, my wife and I are on alternating contracts so one of us can always have the latest and greatest). The more I thought about it, however, the more I began to wonder... there must be more to this seemingly benevolent offer. After all, the deal seems just a little too good to be true. So, the wheels started turning and I came up with this conspiracy theory: I suspect that Apple is already working on an LTE (4G) iPhone and that phone will be made available to Verizon customers sometime in 2011. It's no secret that Verizon is aggressively rolling out its LTE network over the next several months and that could be in anticipation of a future relationship with Apple. This is probably making AT&T nervous and cause for them to try to get as many customers as possible to lock in to another 2-year agreement with the newly imposed $325 early termination fee. What better way than with a shiny new iPhone? We'll see how it all pans out.
Incidentally, I came across this cool little trick. If you dial *639# on your phone, AT&T will send you a text message indicating what your eligibility status is. Both of my iPhones are currently displaying this message:


  1. CDMA radios have already been spotted and in production for the iPhone for several months now. Gizmodo or Engadget posted something along the same lines as your conspiracy theory and I think they're dead on--in all likely hood, another carrier's gonna be carrying an iPhone, 3G or 4G. Even if it ends up being 3G, they KNOW they've been under pressure since day 1 and now its gonna come down on them hard. I mean, they're trying to offload some of the network data stress to wi-fi networks instead of reinforcing their networks to Verizon (or even Tmobile in cities that have 3G) status...
    Remember 4G's gonna cost you more on your monthly.

    QUESTION: If you upgrade phones, does that renew your contract, thus eliminating your unlimited data plan and forcing it to move to the 200MB/2GB plans they have now?
    And add fb connect to your blog!

    -Andrew Le

  2. I agree with your conclusions but I would still stick with AT&T since, imo, AT&T is the lesser of the two evils. While Verizon's corporate policy is changing (slowly), I still think they make too many decisions that are not in the best interest of consumers. In the end though I would be glad Verizon gets the iPhone since competition is always good for the consumer.


  3. Andrew - Based on what I've read, those of us who already have unlimited data can keep it (we just can't add tethering).

    John - I agree that competition is good and I would certainly give a Verizon iPhone a shot. I'm tired of the all the dropped calls :\