Are you having issues activating your AT&T iPhone?

Readers are writing in to tell us that AT&T is backlogged on their iPhone activations while Verizon and Sprint appear to be handling the load a little better.

One reason is likely sheer numbers. Our survey (below) shows that US users are picking AT&T over Verizon and Sprint by a significant margin (mostly for the Data speed). We’ve also heard that Apple was expecting this and stocking up to five times as many AT&T iPhone 4Ss as Sprint or Verizon iPhones.

So which iPhone did you pick up?

Read more

iPhone 4S sells out completely across U.S. carriers

The iPhone 4S has sold out completely across AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint reports Businessweek. While you can still get your order in, delivery in AT&T’s case has been pushed back 3 -4 weeks. Shipping should be similar for Verizon and Sprint too, but they aren’t providing a time frame on their website.

Apple announced it had sold 1 million iPhone 4Ss across 100 world carriers in 24 hours in contrast with 600,000 across the five launch countries in 2010 with the iPhone 4.

Tomorrow the iPhone 4S goes on sale, and stores should have an extra stock of the iPhone 4S for those who haven’t pre-ordered yet. To get your hands on those, you’ll probably have to hop in line pretty early.  Read more

For those who travel internationally, a SIM unlocked iPhone from Verizon or Sprint may be the answer

Owning up to its ‘Worldphone’ capabilities, Macworld got the SIM unlock policies from Verizon and Sprint which may make the CDMA phone more attractive than one from AT&T that is SIM-locked.

But there’s a new wrinkle that potentially makes the international-roaming experience better on Sprint and Verizon iPhones than it is on AT&T. Sprint plans to sell the iPhone 4S with its micro-SIM slot unlocked; Verizon’s will be initially locked, but if you’ve been a customer in good standing for 60 days, you can call Verizon and ask for an “international unlock.” (A Verizon spokesperson told me that this is Verizon’s standard policy for all world phones—it’s just the first time it’s manifested itself on an iPhone.)

That’s interesting because for instance the Verizon Droid II Worldphone comes with a locked Vodafone (Verizon’s half parent company) SIM card. If you travel overseas you cannot exchange a local carrier’s SIM, you have to use Vodafone. Verizon may unlock these but it was my understanding that it was up to their discretion. Their policy might be two months old now but that could change on a whim (plus, what is “good standing” – seems shady).

AT&T of course won’t let you put in a local carrier’s SIM card and will charge you their high rates for roaming (though they’ve come down a bit over the past year).

When added to Sprint’s unlimited data plans, ol’ Yellow is looking pretty good, especially for those who travel internationally.

Update: Sprint refuted this claim to Ars Technica and says you will get a Sprint SIM and be charged Sprint Roaming charges, like AT&T.

Early iPhone 4S gets delivered to Germany, parts shown in Italy

Ah, to be European with an overzealous package fulfillment service (DHL). Deliveries have already started including one of many Macerkopf readers:

Update: In an email, iPhone Italia said they ‘disassembled’ the iPhone 4S but from the site, it appears only to be spare parts.

iPhoneitalia has taken it upon themselves to compare iPhone 4S parts with the iPhone 4.

In the old camera was attached to the solenoid lenses and the whole group moved to focus the image, in this new camera is outside the solenoid, and moves only slowly, so we think this is also an effect on the improved shooting speed. The CCD is unchanged in size.

.

Here’s the initial observations (machine translated):

The ‘Touch LCD and have remained virtually unchanged, the only differences are:
1) screw placement, which is changed according to the new shell with antenna diversity;
2) the patina around the proximity sensor is now placed in a slightly different way, to solve definitely the problem with the sensor that some users complain. Also now more visible is the area of ​​the light sensor, presumably to make it more sensitive.
As for the back of iPhone 4S:
1) The hook at the top near the camera was the first time plastic metal;
2) The glass in front of the camera’s flash is smooth, while the first had ridges that were used to spread the light, but that created problems of reflections;
3) the back is more shielded than before.

Slightly bigger battery (5.25 -> 5.3 Whr or 1420 mAh or 1430 mAh) detailled below:

Read more

AT&T plans a “4G upgrade” for the iPhone in name only

Perhaps looking to differentiate its service from the other two US carriers, AT&T is working with Apple to get a “4G” icon on the iPhone 4S when it hits its HSPA+ network according to The Verge.

The move would seem to try to further differentiate AT&T’s network which is already significantly faster than Sprint or Verizon’s (and theoretically double the iPhone 4 speed).

If you are in the US, which network will you be getting an iPhone 4S on?

How to upgrade your AT&T unlimited iPhone 4 plan to unlimited iPhone 4S plan

We are hearing numerous reports that AT&T unlimited data users aren’t able to upgrade their unlimited plans when they order the iPhone 4S. They are automatically changed to a different data tier (in the above case, the $30 data).

Update: It appears the upgrade is just a bit more complicated. You have to remove the “unlimited data for iphone” plan and then they’ll let you add an “unlimited data for iphone 4S” plan. Yes, unnecessarily complicated and is causing some users to lose their unlimited status.

Update 2: AT&T has chimed in: All current AT&T smartphone customers with an unlimited plan can upgrade and keep their unlimited plan. We’re working on making the online page more clear, but if a customer keeps clicking continue, they will see their unlimited plan.

Read more

Unlocked iPhone 4S available in November, only works on GSM networks


It’s interesting that you can’t take your unlocked iPhone 4S over to Sprint or Verizon to enable service, at least explicitly. Also, it appears that you can take your unlocked iPhone 4S over to T-Mobile (Apple says “GSM Networks” but doesn’t mention T-Mobile specifically), but only expect to use the EDGE 2G speeds.  Being unlocked also means swapping out micro SIMs when travelling internationally is possible.

The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a contract commitment. You can activate and use it on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T in the United States.* The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.

If you don’t want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you’ll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide. To start using it, simply insert the micro-SIM card into the slot on your iPhone and turn it on by pressing and holding the On/Off button for a few seconds. Then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your iPhone.

Read more

Verizon CEO McAdam makes best/worst case yet for ‘AT&T-Mobile’ merger


Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam

At an investor conference yesterday, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam made the simple argument:

I have taken the position that the AT&T merger with T-Mobile was kind of like gravity. It had to occur, because you had a company with a T-Mobile that had the spectrum but didn’t have the capital to build it out. AT&T needed the spectrum, they didn’t have it in order to take care of their customers, and so that match had to occur.

I don’t think that I’ve heard a rationale for the merger stated more succinctly.

But coming from AT&T and T-Mobile’s biggest rival, you know it is a bunch of horses**t.

Since when does a company CEO say something to the effect of “We want our competitors to be stronger and better equipped to compete with us and take our customers”?

The reason why Verizon is in favor of the deal is because it eliminates a low-cost player in the market and brings the U.S. closer to a telecom duopoly, in which AT&T and Verizon can set prices.  Just recently, Verizon was forced to offer a $50 pre-paid data plan that competes with Sprint’s Virgin and T-Mobile.  With Verizon/AT&T running the show, they won’t need to make moves like that.

It’s pretty obvious to anyone not on an AT&T or Verizon payroll (including fifteen members of Congress led by North Carolina’s Heath Shuler) that a merger would be horrific for wireless competition in this country.

No one with an eighth-grade education really believes that any merger, telecom or otherwise, has ever created jobs or competition in the marketplace which is what AT&T is somehow trying to argue. Hopefully this thing is killed. Soon.
Read more

Sprint CEO reveals he will have to change guidance for the ‘rumored device’

Clearly, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse knows (whether or not) he’s getting the iPhone in a few weeks. But he’s obviously sworn to secrecy by Apple.

The problem is that he has to tell investors how he’s going to come up with all of the additional money and subscribers that will come with getting the iPhone and offering it on unlimited data plans.  When asked about the “rumored device” he said,

“If we get it–if–we may have to adjust our guidance for that,”

Last week, Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer did the same dance, saying that Sprint’s network could handle the iPhone, not that it was getting it.

It will indeed be interesting to see how Sprint’s network can handle the iPhone, especially with unlimited plans.

In other ‘News’, Al Gore mentioned that Apple would be releasing new iPhones next month.

Read more

Apple’s Sprint-compatible iPad appears ready and waiting for launch

Apple and Sprint have completed work on a version of the iPad for Sprint’s data network. This Sprint compatible iPad appears to be ready for public consumption and will join the family of GSM (AT&T) and Verizon capable Apple tablets before the holidays. With Apple soon launching a Sprint version of the iPhone – which we independently confirmed in June – we suspect that the Sprint iPad will come alongside or soon after that release. The iPhone 5 release is still scheduled for October 7th according to our source (and others), but changes/delays are always possible.

The first week of October date for the new iPhone’s availability fits nicely with our report about AT&T’s major early October changes: data throttling and a new insurance plan for $199 devices.

The Sprint version of the iPad is completely separate from the CDMA Verizon model.  We can’t confirm that this new iPad will run on Sprint’s powerful 4G WiMAX network, but the question begs to be asked: Why would Apple build a new iPad for Sprint and not use the CDMA iPad that Verizon already carries?  A report yesterday from TUAW seemed to imply that a 4G iPad from Sprint would be happening at some point.

What’s perhaps most enticing about the Sprint iPad (besides the possibility of 4G) is that Sprint is a lot more generous with its data plans, perhaps offering iPad users once again a truly unlimited data option.

Read more