Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The iPhone fine print

You always have to read the find print. No deal is ever as good as it is advertised. Call me cynical because well, I am. Anyway, here's a little page about the fine print on the iPhone.

All uses of the network are always rounded up to the nearest kilobyte or minute.

This is pretty common and has been around in cellphone-land since they first came out. Most of the "fine print" in this article are not exclusive to the iPhone, but of service in general.

Customers can be billed even though the call doesn't go through, even if it is the networks' fault. Customers also get charged for unsolicited messages.

A failed call is still billed for a minute?

International messages are charged additional fees as are files over 300Kbps.

Unless you've used a smartphone before, this may be something to watch out for while using your new iPhone. I assume he means 300kb not 300kbps. It doesn't say what the additional fees are.

Top speed seems to be 200Kbps

I think this is due to the slow EDGE network. By comparison the average DSL speed is 500kbps, over twice as fast.

Prohibited uses include VOIP, like Skype or Vonage.

You can't use it for Internet calls, though you could probably only do this if you were connected to a decent Wifi anyway.

Except for content formatted in accordance with AT&T's content standards, unlimited plans cannot be used for uploading, downloading or streaming of video content (e.g. Movies, tv), music or games

This part I don't understand. AT&T decides what kind of files you can transmit via your iPhone? Seems awfully restrictive.

The whole page is a bit conspiratorial, but an interesting read. Read the specific terms yourself here, just click "Plan Terms".

Here's why I would never consider the iPhone. It's not revolutionary.

“If Apple wanted to be "revolutionary," it would sell an unlocked version of the iPhone that, like a computer, you could bring to the carrier of your choice. An even more radical device would be the "X Phone"—a phone on permanent roam that chose whatever network was providing the best service…Of course, getting that phone to market would be difficult, and Apple hasn't tried.”

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