| Cult of Mac

AT&T Won’t Let You Upgrade To A New iPhone After Twenty Months Anymore



Two months ago, Verizon announced that it wouldn’t allow customers to upgrade their iPhones early after twenty months anymore. It was a pretty hostile move: the subsidy you’ve paid for your iPhone has been paid off after twenty months, so Verizon was effectively saying that their new policy was to bleed you dry for an additional four months, no exceptions.

When we wrote about Verizon’s move, we said “And what Verizon tends to do, AT&T can usually be expected to follow. How long until AT&T ends 20 month eligibility for early upgrades too?”

The answer, as it turns out, is a little under two months.

Who Is The Cheapest iPhone 5 Carrier? [Chart]



Hey, T-Mobile is finally an iPhone carrier now! Not only that, they’re a pretty competitive one, offering you an iPhone 5 for just $100 down and $20 a month over 24 months in what the nation’s fourth-largest carrier is calling a “no bullshit” plan. If you buy an iPhone 5 at T-Mobile, you can leave at any time as long as you pay off your device; otherwise, your service is provided month by month.

Sounds pretty great, but how competitive is T-Mobile’s new iPhone plan compared to the competition really? We compared the cheapest T-Mobile iPhone 5 plan you can get against the 24 month cost of getting one from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Cricket, Virgin Mobile and Straight Talk. The result? T-Mobile is one of the cheaper plans around… but it’s not the cheapest.

Majority Of iPhone & Android Users Pay Carriers Over $100 A Month


Is your bill over $100 a month? If so, you're in the majority of iPhone and Android users.

Want to know why a carrier like Sprint is willing to promise Apple almost $16 billion to get the iPhone on their network, or why carriers put up with paying astronomical subsidies just to get a single iPhone customer on their network?

As usual, it all comes down to the crisp, president-branded cabbage. According to a new study, almost 60% of iPhone users spend more than $100 a month on their wireless plan, compared to only 53% of Android users.

Will Carriers Eventually Force Apple To Change The Way It Sells The iPhone?


Five years on, the iPhone's still got it.
Five years on, the iPhone's still got it.

Apple and the U.S. carriers have always had a bittersweet relationship. Carriers love Apple because the iPhone brings people into their stores, but carriers are also pressured by Apple to pay high subsidies so that Apple can maintain its high profit margins.

Given that there’s way more competition for the iPhone these days, Apple’s chokehold on the industry is starting to loosen. Carriers are trying new business models for selling smartphones. T-Mobile recently announced that it would be doing away with subsidized two-year contracts altogether. Instead, customers will pay a cheaper price up front for a device like the iPhone and then pay monthly installments towards the full price of the phone.

Carriers want to drive retail prices down on smartphones so more people will buy, and Apple may have to adapt to that model in the near future.

Faster, Smarter, Better: AT&T Adds More LTE Markets In Michigan



Michigan readers, rejoice, as AT&T announced today several new 4G LTE markets in the eighth most populous state in the US.

Users in the following areas of Michigan should start to see the little LTE symbol at the top of their iPhones and Android handsets very soon.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Beverly Hills, Michigan
Birmingham, Michigan
Monroe County, Michigan
Kent County, Michigan
Ottowa County, Michigan

Netflix’s ISP Rankings: There’s A Lot Of Buffering Going On For AT&T Customers



Netflix video streaming remains one of the largest sources of peak downstream Internet traffic in the US. With over 1 billion hours of Netflix being watched per month, it’s safe to say they have a pretty good idea of the strains their service puts on ISPs. In fact, Netflix has been keeping tabs and gauging these ISPs to see just how well they perform.

iPad mini + Cellular Won’t Be Available Until Mid-November


Screen Shot 2012-10-23 at 3.35.13 PM

Today Apple announced that the iPad mini will be available for pre-order this Friday, October 26th and ship on Friday, November 2nd. What you may have missed is that this launch timeframe applies to Wi-Fi-only iPad mini models. If you want to buy an iPad mini that’s equipped with cellular data, then you’ll have to wait a few more weeks.

A Look Into Tim Cook’s First Year As CEO And His Recipe For A New Apple On Our Newest CultCast



When a frail Steve Jobs announced it was time he leave Apple for good, it seemed an impossible task for anyone to fill his role as leader and CEO of one of the world’s best tech companies. But someone needed to take the reins, and so on our newest CultCast, we take a look into the first full year of Tim Cook as CEO, and ponder how the soft-spoken operations genius has imprinted Apple with his own unique DNA, and lead the company to heights many thought a post-Jobs Apple could never reach.

iPhone Discrimination: Why Reps At The Big Carriers Don’t Want To Sell You Apple’s Smartphone [Feature]


Don't want the hassle of selling on eBay? Flog your old iPhone to Apple.
Don't want the hassle of selling on eBay? Flog your old iPhone to Apple.

Walk into your local AT&T, Verizon or Sprint store and ask to look at the latest and greatest smartphone. A store employee will show you the Samsung Galaxy lll and other Android phones from the likes of HTC and Motorola. You may be shown a Windows Phone like the Nokia Lumia 900. At Verizon, you’re definitely going to be shown about the Motorola DROID RAZR 4G.

You won’t get pitched the iPhone as easily. In fact, many walk into a store with the plan of buying an iPhone and come out with the latest Android phone in hand.

Why? Employees and customers we’ve spoken to agree that sales reps from all three big carriers discriminate against the iPhone on the store floor, but it’s not a conspiracy: profit margins and device-specific incentives pressure employees to intentionally steer customers away.

Apple Study Claims That US Consumers Bought Android Devices To Remain With Current Carrier


Samsung's Galaxy S Vibrant vs. iPhone 4
Samsung's Galaxy S Vibrant vs. iPhone 4

Apple claims that its internal research shows that the main reason US smartphone consumers purchased an Android phone instead of an iPhone was in order to stay with their current carrier. The study only covers the US smartphone marked and was brought up by Samsung today as court evidence in the patent infringement trial between the two companies in Northern California.

The study was published at Apple in January of 2011, and shows that 48 percent of those surveyed said that they had went with an Android phone because they “wanted to stay with current wireless provider.”

36 percent said that they “trusted the Google brand,” while 30 percent just like bigger screens. Sometimes, bigger *is* better, according to these folks.