The iPhone may well be the most innovative mobile communication product since the Blackberry, but as with nearly every product, the carriers will do anything they can to kill it. Apple’s Achilles’ Heel in this case, brain damaged pricing from AT&T Wireless.
Word is out that for $60/month, you’ll get 450 minutes of talk time, and for $100/month, you’ll get only 1350 minutes. The iPhone is an expensive device compared to most mobile phones. While there are a lot of people who will pay a premium for Apple products, it is hard to see where many people will jump at rate plans like these, especially since the people most likely to buy an iPhone use the phone a _lot_.
This is why I had hoped the iPhone would have been launched on T-Mobile. T-Mobile understands the youth market much better, and has way better pricing. I pay about $120 per month for several thousand minutes per month _and_ unlimited data _and_ wifi hotspots. The plans AT&T is promoting don’t even come close.
I’ll be interested to see how things pan out. It’s possible that Apple’s brand will trump AT&T’s lame offer, but I would not be surprised if the iPhone is stillborn in the US market because consumers don’t want to sign up to pay AT&T $1,000 plus in extra airtime (over a two year contract) compared to buying a less expensive device and plan over at a competing carrier.
It’s a shame AT&T was not as innnovative as Apple. As it is now, they’re offering the same rate plans, except with unlimited (slow) data. The device is cool, but the network it’s hooked up to just doesn’t seem all that compelling.
Hopefully Apple has terms in their contract that if sales don’t meet a certain threshold they can turn around and start selling through other carriers like T-Mobile.