iHarm: iPhone 5 release date sees Verizon, Sprint, AT&T plotting evil
August 15, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Johnny Major
Revenge is a dish best served up cold. And so as the major carriers look to serve up the iPhone 5 as a treat to those who’ve been patiently waiting for its release date, they’re each preparing to take out the legs of their own customer base in their own special way. There’s Verizon, who’s prepared to tell you how often you can use your iPhone for basic tasks. Rival AT&T wants to do the same, but it’ll put your life into slow motion instead of charging you extra. T-Mobile is busy pulling off the double-dish stunner of folding itself into the kind of carrier most of its customers were specifically trying to avoid while still leaving them in iPhone limbo. And Sprint, well, there’s no telling what the nation’s soon to be smallest carrier will serve up with regards to the iPhone, if at all. Welcome to a universe in which the iPhone 5 (here’s more on the iPhone 5 release date) is the steak dinner you want to dine on, and the U.S. carriers are the only four restaurants in town with it on the menu.
Verizon is busy building what will be the nation’s fastest 4G network by far. And surveys show its network quality to already be ahead of that of AT&T. So go ahead and order your iPhone 5 steak dinner at Le chez de Verizon. Just don’t expect healthy portions. Even as the carrier plans to make its network faster, it’ll tell new customers that they can only use it for a certain amount of bandwidth each month or face stunning overage charges on a per-megabyte basis. So even as your email is flying into your inbox, be careful of large attachments. And forget about downloading movies from iTunes or streaming music music from Spotify. And this is after Verizon made its customers wait four years for their iPhone entree to arrive…
Then there’s AT&T, which many longtime iPhone users have stuck with despite the presence of Verizon iPhone 4 this year for one simple reason: the unlimited data plans which they’ve been grandfathered into. Good thing, too, because Verizon just cut off unlimited data plans for new iPhone customers. So staying put at el AT&T ristorante paid off, right? Wrong…
Shortly after Verizon slammed the unlimited iPhone data door, AT&T conveniently let it be known that as of the iPhone 5 era it’ll be throttling data speeds for those who go through a healthy amount of email and internet usage each month. That’s right: you’ll be paying for unlimited, and you’ll get it, but at slower speeds as the month goes on. That makes AT&T the all-you-can-eat steak buffet which forces you to start eating really slowly if you go back for seconds or thirds.
T-Mobile customers, on the other hand, can’t win. They spent all these years using the smaller, friendlier carrier in order to avoid the likes of big bad AT&T, even though it meant not having access to the iPhone. But now T-Mobile is about to merge into AT&T, meaning its customers will be folded into the carrier they were trying to avoid all these years. And because the merger is expected to take a year or more to finalize, the AT&T iPhone 5 won’t automatically become a T-Mobile iPhone 5 unless Apple and T-Mobile make special accommodations in the mean time. That makes T-Mobile the mom and pop restaurant that you drive past the big chain restaurant to get to, and then once you get there you find out they’ve been bought out by the big chain you drove past and they’re serving the same watered down steak. And then they tell you that your steak won’t be ready until the merger goes through.
Poor Sprint. All it would need to do is cut a deal with Apple and it would have the iPhone , and yet it just never happens with each passing iPhone generation. Now Sprint is about to become the smallest major carrier and the only carrier without the iPhone 5, two things which weren’t true until T-Mobile went and got bought out, and now it’s vulnerable. Sprint could end up being the white knight for iPhone users if it lands the iPhone 5 and offers it with friendly plans and terms. Or Sprint could get bought out by Verizon in response to the AT&T – T-Mobile merger. That makes Sprint the comfy-looking restaurant with the mystery meat, at least for now. Here’s more on the iPhone 5.