Tuesday, June 22, 2010

iPhone carrier exclusivity: Coming to an end?

It's one of the big questions everyone wants answered about the iPhone: when will carrier exclusivity end, ridding us of the ball-and-chain that is AT&T?

I'm starting to believe the recent rumors of a CDMA iPhone being released on Verizon before the end of the year. Here's my reasoning

  • AT&T recently upped the early termination fee for canceling a contract from $175 to $375. That's a pretty big jump, and would definitely provide incentive for people to keep their new contract.
  • Early upgrades for most users - AT&T made the iPhone 4 upgrade eligible early...up to six months in some cases.

Why does this point to the end of exclusivity?

Apple is giving AT&T one last bonanza of iPhone users through the iPhone 4 launch. When the dust settles, and the majority of users are signed up for their new cellular contracts, Apple will launch the iPhone on Verizon. AT&T will be in a decent position with their existing customers, who will need to pay a premium to defect.

This would undoubtably piss quite a few people off, but do you think AT&T really cares that much, considering their recent service track record? My guess is they're banking on a lot subscribers leaving for another carrier eventually anyway (once they can take their iPhone with them) and are looking to cash in now.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The next iOS device should be the Apple TV

The more I think about the state of the iOS universe since the recent WWDC keynote, the more I think there's an important piece of the puzzle coming soon. There were a few rumors before the keynote that there would be news regarding a new version of the Apple TV. With Google's recent unveiling of Google TV, everyone seemed to expect a response from Apple to counter their living room offensive.

I can't be the only one thinking it's only a matter of time until we see a completely revamped Apple TV based around the iOS and capable of tapping into the App Store. There are already apps available to bring the content, including video from a variety of sources (Netflix, YouTube, MLB, iTunes, etc). They would need to be modified to work at HD resolutions, but the iPad is already demonstrating that a larger interface only presents more opportunities. Of course, the TV lacks the touch interface, but there's no reason an iPhone, iPod or iPad couldn't serve that purpose.

If it were up to me I'd be mashing up an Apple TV with a Time Capsule to serve as a centralized media player/server and wireless backup device. It would backup any iDevice that's linked to it, and make media available via Home Sharing to both linked devices and other media players on the local network. You'd be able to browse the full shared library and add media for offline consumption. It's probably a few years off at least, but a guy can dream can't he?

As for Apple TV with iOS...maybe in time for the holidays?