Wednesday, July 18, 2012
iPhone 5 and iOS 6 the new revenue stream for AT&T?
JULY 17, 2012, 10:35 P.M. New York local time — AT&T, the largest iPhone carrier in United States, is reportedly charging its customers for the use of Facetime over 3G with the upcoming iOS 6 mobile operating system and the rumored iPhone 5 with LTE. CEO of the company said it is too early to talk about the Facetime fees.
Last week, we reported that Sprint will offer unlimited services for the next iPhone whilst adding that its LTE network is getting bigger. Meanwhile, Sprint’s rival, AT&T, is reportedly charging its iPhone customers who will use the Facetime on 3G feature of the iOS 6.
Developers discovered that accessing the Facetime while on 3G connection will display a blue notification stating that customers must “contact AT&T first” before the carrier enables the 3G Facetime feature. Here’s the exact words:
“Facetime over cellular. To enable FaceTime over cellular on this account, contact AT&T at 611 or visit att.com/mywireless.”
Apparently, iPhone customers of AT&T are already paying monthly fees for their data plan, and if the new leak is accurate, then customers must pay an extra fee on top of the monthly data plan fee just for 3G FaceTime access.
For beginners, the next iPhone, or the long-rumored iPhone 5, is reportedly the first Apple smartphone with LTE or Long Term Evolution. With LTE, users can reach the web faster and with stability compared to the regular 3G HSPA connectivity. LTE is more expensive, and consumes more “GBs” or gigabytes faster than 3G. Also with LTE, it is safe to say that customers will enjoy a more stable FaceTime over cellular just because LTE is faster than 3G.
According to AT&T’s CEO while at the Forbes conference today, it is too early to talk about FaceTime pricing whilst adding that the wireless carrier is “working with Apple right now to work out stabilizing.”
Apart from Sprint and AT&T, Verizon Wireless and some prepaid carriers are already offering the iPhone and it is safe to assume that they will all offer the iPhone 5 starting next quarter. If AT&T will charge customers for 3G or 4G LTE FaceTime access, will other carriers follow?