#facetime

Calvin Watkins on Dallas Cowboys’ cornerback Brandon Carr:

The Cowboys had arrived at Los Angeles International Airport early Monday morning after the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, when Carr got word his fiancée was in labor. Carr flew to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to be with her but couldn’t get back in time, so he dialed up his iPhone.

"I saw everything I needed to see," Carr told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I saw it all. Technology is wonderful these days. Sometimes you can’t control what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to go with the flow. I made the most of it."

This is the type of advertising money can’t buy.

Jordan Golson for MacRumors:

AT&T announced today that it is planning to allow any customer “with an LTE device” on a “tiered data plan” to use iOS 6’s FaceTime over Cellular feature. Previously, only customers with a Mobile Share plan could use the feature.

Either you believe AT&T that the delay in rolling this out to more (but not all) customers was the result of engineering challenges — or — you look at the history of the company and realize they’re likely only doing this because the government immediately started looking it as a net neutrality violation.

Strange how Verizon was on board with FaceTime over cellular (and not just LTE either) from day one without these engineering challenges. Maybe AT&T would do better to just say that Verizon has the far superior network?

My main problem with the overly-long political-speak from AT&T regarding FaceTime over cellular is that it’s bullshit. Bob Quinn:

We are broadening our customers’ ability to use the preloaded version of FaceTime but limiting it in this manner to our newly developed AT&T Mobile Share data plans out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience. 

Come on, we all know that’s not really why they’re doing it. They’re doing it in an effort to try to get everyone to switch over to their “newly developed” (do you really have to develop a plan?) data plans. Plans which will undoubtedly make AT&T more money.

The network itself isn’t any different — it’s still the same old shitty AT&T network you’re used to. This is a stick thinly disguised as a carrot.

I have no idea how Apple allowed AT&T to get the leverage to do this. You know they can’t be happy about it. I suspect any LTE-enabled iPhone will have been pre-negotiated not to have any such restriction (though I also wonder if users will have to upgrade to the “newly developed” AT&T Mobile Share bullshit).

Think of it this way: If Apple were to release FaceTime as a stand-alone app, AT&T would not be able to restrict it.

Can you imagine any AT&T customer reading this letter and being happy that this is their carrier? Check the comment section of the post for your answer. 

Seth Weintraub:

We just heard that Facetime over 3G and 4G would only be available on AT&T for those who choose to go with its new “Mobile Share” plans. If you have an individual plan or family plan, you will not be able to purchase or use FaceTime over 3G/4G at any price.

Shocker. But I wonder how Apple feels about this? My guess is that they’re not too happy. I imagine this would have led to one of those Steve Jobs’ mad-as-hell phone calls in the past…

As Weintraub concludes:

Yes, it is probably time to leave AT&T.

Anthony Ha relaying AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on stage at Fortune Brainstorm today talking about this nonsense:

“I’ve heard the same rumor,” he said, insisting that for now, AT&T is focused on working with Apple to get the technology stabilized, so “it’s too early to talk about pricing.”

Too early? It’s at most three months before this is a reality, as that’s when iOS 6 will likely be available. 

What he’s really saying is this: we’re trying as hard as possible to figure out a way to fuck our customers over as smoothly as possible. 

The correct answer would be: the feature uses data. If you’re already paying for data, you’re paying for the feature. 

stevekovach

stevekovach:

Me:

Right now AT&T charges $30 per month for 3 GB of data. That’s data you bought. With your money. Just like you buy candy or books or video games or gasoline.

But unlike when you buy candy or books or video games or gasoline, AT&T thinks it can tell you how to use your data. If I buy a gallon of gasoline, ExxonMobil doesn’t charge me later for using it a different way. That’s because it’s my gasoline. I can use it to run my car or my motorcycle or my boat. Light it on fire. Whatever.

I’m shocked — shocked! — that AT&T would try to nickel and dime their customers.