When enough customers get irked about something, a company usually works to accommodate then. AT&T is no exception. According to Electronista, the provider may offer a low-cost data-free plan for iPhone users who threaten to drop their accounts.
Specifically, if a client calls complaining about Internet performance over its EDGE network, AT&T sales agents have apparently been offering to lower their monthly bills to US$40 as opposed to the current US$60/month minimum in exchange for dropping the unlimited data plan and SMS text messaging features.
Other features that arrived with the iPhone and its initial service plan will remain. Subscribers will still be able to use the iPhone’s Wi-Fi feature for browsing as well as have e-mail and YouTube access. Other features that will remain the same include 5,000 night and weekend minutes as well as 450 daytime minute. Visual Voicemail is disabled under the revised contract and the US$40/month fee tacks on minor service fees as well as charges 25 cents for each text message if a separate text bundle isn’t included within the revised account.
For subscribers failing to pass AT&T’s credit check during the activation process despite owning an iPhone, AT&T has quietly instituted GoPhone plans for these users. The GoPhone plan functions as a simplified prepay plan. Up to this point, AT&T had required that virtually all its plans include data and SMS features.
Not a bad alternative if you feel the iPhone’s data functions aren’t up to snuff, but not perfect either. As always, feel free to toss around your ideas and thoughts in the forums.
No matter how much you love your new iPhone, there may be some bugs to sort out.
As the result of a survey held over at The Cell Blog in which over 60% of respondents mentioned that their iPhone didn’t display a fully charged battery, a new comment has emerged.
An Apple PR representative responded with the following: “Your battery is fully charged, but the UI (User Interface) is just not correctly reflecting this. We expect to fix this in a software update.”
No word has been given as to when to expect the software update and Apple apparently has yet to publish any information regarding this bug.
If you’ve seen something similar to the bug in your experience with your own iPhone or have thoughts or ideas about this, let us know over in the forums.
When the iPhone shipped a few weeks ago, it arrived without custom ringtones. I’ve told a few people who’ve groused about it that Apple might be sorting out an arrangement with a ringtone provider and that this might be taken care of in the first software update.
They weren’t terribly happy with that answer and I wasn’t that happy to give it. For US$499 and US$599, this seemed like a basic feature that should have been covered.
The guys over at iPhoneAlley may have a solution in the mean time. According to a guide that was just posted, a user named “Mubs” recently submitted a full tutorial to the site’s forums as to how to install custom ringtones to your iPhone.
It’s a bit technical and not for the faint of heart, but site head Michael Johnston reported that it worked perfectly on his iPhone and this is good enough for me.
So, if you get a chance, check it out and let us know how it goes in the forums.
We’ve been talking about the iPhone battery a fair amount this week and while there’s apparently no clear explanation as to whether there’s a bug in the software that controls it’s charge, the guys at Macworld were able to get to the bottom of the battery’s specific functions and expected life span in this article by Jason Snell.
Here, Snell explains that while the iPhone’s battery – like any other – can be expected to eventually die, reports by outlets such as CNET that the battery will last for about 400 charges or two years of use are being debunked.
Apple marketing vice president Greg Joswiak went on the record to comment that the iPhone’s battery can be expected to lose about 20% of its overall capacity “after 400 full charge and discharge cycles.”
Joswiak then went on to explain that “topping a battery off”, or recharging it from three quarters to full, qualified as a quarter charge cycle.
Joswiak also commented that tips toward battery conservation had been posted on the iPhone web site and that use and performance would vary from user to user.
For users needing to replace their battery a few years down the line, Apple will apparently offer a battery-replacement program, replacing batteries that die young and are under Apple’s warranty for free.
If you have any ideas on this or have seen some strangeness via your own iPhone battery, let us know over in the forums.
Although the iPhone is still being unlocked, there’s still some cool hacks for you to try on your own.
The thoroughly-awesome Erica Sadun over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog discovered that certain Nokia phone codes were effective on an iPhone. She then Googled some other Nokia codes and found them to work as well.
So, for your edification:
“*3001#12345#* and tap Call. Enter Field Mode.
Field mode reveals many of the inner settings of your iPhone, specifically up-to-date network and cell information.
*#06# Displays your IMEI. No need to tap Call.
IMEI is the unique identifier for your cell phone hardware. Together with your SIM information it identifies you to the provider network.
*777# and tap Call. Account balance for prepaid iPhone.
*225# and tap Call. Bill Balance. (Postpaid only)
*646# and tap Call. Check minutes. (Postpaid only)
These three are pretty self explanatory.
*#21# and tap Call. Setting interrogation for call forwards.
Discover the settings for your call forwarding. You’ll see whether you have voice, data, fax, sms, sync, async, packet access, and pad access call forwarding enabled or disabled.
*#30# and tap Call. Calling line presentation check.
This displays whether you have enabled or disabled the presentation of the calling line, presumably the number of the party placing the call.
*#76# and tap Call. Check whether the connected line presentation is enabled or not.
State whether the connected line presentation is enabled or disabled. Presumably similar to the calling line presentation.
*#43# and tap Call. Determine if call waiting is enabled.
Displays call waiting status for voice, data, fax, sms, sync data, async data, packet access and pad access. Each item is either enabled or disabled.
*#61# and tap Call. Check the number for unanswered calls.
Show the number for voice call forwarding when a call is unanswered. Also show the options for data, fax, sms, sync, async, packet access and pad access.
*#62# and tap Call. Check the number for call forwarding if no service is available.
Just like the previous, except for no-service rather than no-answer situations.
*#67# and tap Call. Check the number for call forwarding when the iPhone is busy.
And again, but for when the iPhone is busy.
*#33# and tap Call. Check for call control bars.”
Give it a shot and let us know what comes up on your end over in the forums.
Despite the favorable reviews it’s received in the few weeks since its debut, the policies surrounding the iPhone came under fire yesterday when Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), chairman of a House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, had some choice words about AT&T’s termination fees.
According to The Boston Herald, Markey criticized AT&T’s US$175 early termination fee as well as AT&T acting as the exclusive provider for the iPhone until 2012 in yesterday’s hearings.
During his speech, Markey described the iPhone as akin to the Eagles’ song, “Hotel California”, in which “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave – you’re stuck with your iPhone and you can’t take it anywhere.‚Äù
The comment arose during a hearing to decide whether Congress should grant the cell-phone industry’s wish of being allowed to pre-empt states from regulating wireless phone companies. Individual state public utility commission currently hold the authority to regulate both the terms and conditions of wireless service agreements.
If you have any ideas or thoughts on this, let us know via the forums.
Getting back to the iPhone, the guys at iPhone Atlas and MacFixIt are reporting that a surprisingly high number of iPhone owners have stated that their batteries aren’t charging completely. In these cases, the universal plug icon fails to appear, which brings into question whether the battery itself is fully charging.
The iPhone Atlas article recommends charging the iPhone for at least 10 hours as a means of optimizing the unit’s battery life. If this has taken place, try restoring the device as well as fully draining the battery and recharging.
In some cases, iPhones have been failing to charge unless they were turned off, then plugged into a wall outlet. Should this happen, the article recommends contacting Apple for possible repairs or a warranty replacement.
If any of you have seen this on your iPhone, let us know in the forums.
If it sounded too good to be true, it was.
According to Engadget and several other outlets, yesterday’s optimistic comments from JPMorgan analyst Kevin Chang have been retracted by the company.
The rebuttal took place in the form of a document put forth by the firm’s North America Equity Research division. Here, JPMorgan states that the firm “has not been able to independently confirm” Chang’s comments without a second source and mentions that a “lower-end iPhone appearing in the near-term would be unusual and highly risky.”
Also mentioned in the document are several suggestions that a “high-priced, non-subsidized 3G model” will surface “in the first half of 2008.”
Full images of the retraction can be found here courtesy of The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
Update: An article over at TimesOnline states that a well-placed source at JPMorgan claimed the retraction was “completely erroneous” and that the firm stood by the original comment.
“In no way are we retracting what Mr Chang said,” the source said. “We express our view through research documents, and the way the market reacts to them is a function of the market.”
The disparity has been noted as two analysts’ views differing on the information at hand when analyzing Apple’s stock.
If you have thoughts or comments on this, let us know what you think by way of the forums.
On Tuesday, software company Ecamm Network released iPhoneDrive 1.0, a US$9.95 utility that allows users to use their iPhones as hard drives and drag and drop files to the device, similar to the iPod’s disk use feature.
The software is available as a fully active seven day demo and is available as a 486 kilobyte download.
iPhoneDrive requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 and iTunes 7.3 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the demo version or have any comments, let us know in the forums.
One of the things that stays in every potential or current iPhone customer today is durability! How will my phone handle the everyday abuse I put it through? Well ShieldZone has answered the question by creating a shield that is made from a unique material which was originally created for the military to protect the leading edges of helicopter blades.