A Million Unlocked iPhones Tell the Story

by francine Hardaway on January 29, 2008


Here I am with my locked iPhone. Yesterday I had a meeting with a bright young entrepreneur who asked me how I liked the iPhone, and I told him I liked the phone, but I hated the network. And in truth, AT&T is a pain in the butt. Sometimes the phone coverage just fades away, leaving me with a “Call failed” signal and no bars. In fact, sometimes to get the bars back, I have to turn the phone off and turn it on again. And this is in the middle of the fifth alrgest city in the country, Phoenix, not in the boonies. And then there’s the data network, which is not 3G, and the fact that when you switch to wi-fi, the battery life sucks. I also, can’t play back my voicemails; if Imiss hearing them the first time, they are not playable, although they aren’t there on the phone. And I’m told that’s a network problem (I have called tech support at AT&T about this and gone through all the iPhone experts).

So my young friend showed me HIS iPhone, and told me he unlocked it and had it running on TMobile. No, he doesn’t have the neat fibrillating icons that I have, but I bet he gets much better phone service.

I told him I was too chicken to unlock my phone, because I do sync it to my compputer and I don’t want it to be bricked one day when Jobs updates the firmware again.

And then I read Duncan Riley’s posr this morning. and he says there are a million unlocked iPhones, which accounts for the “numbers gap” between the number of phones Apple says it has sold and the number of phones AT&T says it has activated.

That means about a third of the iPhone buyers are pissed enough at Steve Jobs for making this AT&T deal to take big chances with a $500 item. Very interesting.

Moral: You can’t always manipulate people into doing precisely what you want them to do, even if you are Apple.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Fred January 29, 2008 at 12:12 pm

I have the exact opposite problem here. T Mobile has a worthless signal and AT&T is rock solid.
As far as battery life is concerned, yo should be glad they are waiting on the 3G network. It’s a battery hog that currently requires bigger antennas and bigger batteries, as well as spotty coverage in most areas.
I think the so called discrepancies are all baloney caused by analysts who spend too much time trying to make something out of nothing. Just like they don’t understand technology, they also seem to have no idea about the retail channel. I’m pretty sure they all worked for Ringling Bros. in a past career.
I’m sure there are many people who have chosen to undergo unlocking their phones, but the vast majority of people have no clue what that means and would be scared to undergo the procedure.
I’m doubtful there really is a story here, just some guy looking for page hits, making up statistics to get attention.

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