Cingular Confirms iPhone Will “Require” 2 Year Contract

Bad news for everyone on Cingular who was hoping to buy an iPhone outright, Cingular is confirming that the iPhone will not be sold without a 2 year contract. From SFGate:

    We spoke with Cingular and confirmed that Apple’s new iPhone will require a two-year cell phone plan and will not be sold without it.

Yikes! It seems like they are going out of their way to be difficult. That’s unfortunate. Has anyone talked to Cingular about this? Do you work at Cingular? We want the scoop. Email us: tips@consumerist.com—MEGHANN MARCO

Apple iPhone requires two-year Cingular plan [SFGate]

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  1. RumorsDaily says:

    Jeez, the end of that product announcement really destroyed the whole thing for me. They might as well have started with “If you don’t already want to switch to Cingular and don’t have a problem signing a two year contract, stop paying attention now.”

    Wake me up when the sell the thing unlocked.

  2. radiofree says:

    Is Apple, whose customer service is not itself the shining city on the hill, willing to be tarnished by Cingular’s wonderful reputation? Will they care? Will they behave as Verizon does when there is a problem with my Treo 700p. directing all customer service calls to Treo (in the Philippines)? Who will take primary questions about this object: Apple or Cingular? I like Apple’s tech support, but will I have to buy an Apple Care protection plan in order to have the phone covered as long as the contract, 2 years?

    Lots and lots of questions.

  3. nweaver says:

    OTOH, this thing looks like a pretty damn powerful device, so the $500/600 price tag might actually be a loss-leader price for now anyway.

  4. WindowSeat says:

    Beautiful phone, but Cingular is a deal-breaker for me.

  5. Scazza says:

    Who cares? The Iphone will be trumped by other similar devices, just like the Ipod is, only thing is it will still sell well.

    The Toronto Star had a “comparison” between 2 other phones (the blackberry pearl and another one) and only difference was screen size, and 200 bucks more. Again, seriously don’t waste your time until its out and been reviewed, signing a 2yr contract is always a dumb idea imo.

  6. xanax25mg says:

    >>Scazza– I read the Star article and you sort of downplay the “only difference” being between screen size and price. For starters neither the Ericsson or the Pearl have built in OS/X; touch-screen dialing; onscreen keyboard. Neither have built in wi-fi, rotatble screen. And speaking of screen there is a big differnce in screen size between the 3.5 iphone and 1.9 Ericsson and 2.5 Pearl. Not to mention, while both are cheaper, both also require 2 year committments to get them at their stated price.

  7. dclounger says:

    (1) Okay, wasn’t there some Copyright Office regulation or rule that said that companies couldn’t lock phones anymore? Or, probably more accurately, they had to provide a way to unlock the phone? Let’s bring out the lawyers to enforce this one on the iphone.

    (2) When you’re talking about dropping $500 or $600 for a phone, does a $150 ETF really deter anyone that just can’t stand Cingular and would rather use this on another GSM carrier (especially one that won’t–nay can’t–do the visual voicemail thing and maybe provide the backend for some of the other features)?

    (3) We need to be talking about the real question NOW. What the hell is Cingular going to charge us per month for the privilege of using “the Jesus phone”? There needs to be a grass roots campaign that starts NOW that let’s Cingular know that an expensive internet plan for a phone that isn’t even 3G and isn’t even subsidized by the carrier is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

    (4) See #3. Seriously.

  8. Tim Matheson says:

    I just checked out the helio website. All I can say is where do I sign up. Finally a company that is not locking everything down like the corporate nazis at U.S. Cellular (did I say that out loud?). Check em out they give you unlimited everything and while the minute packages arent the best the lowest being 500 mins for $65 the services that are included make up the difference.

  9. elton says:

    Well given that Cingular is the only provider to support random access voicemail, it makes sense that they bundle it together.

    That said, i’ve heard that the device needs the phone active in order to use the other features, which i find dumb. That or it’s a sign that there’s another widescreen gadget or two in the works…

  10. Interestingly redundant unless “required” is different from “will not be sold without it”.

  11. bravo says:

    dclounger, no I think the Copyright Office said that that wireless carriers couldn’t come after you if you figure out how to unlock a phone. I don’t think they said they have to make it easy or that they can’t make it impossible to unlock a phone.

    On another note, they sell this $600 phone that is on steroids but it is not a 3G phone? That is pretty dumb. Yes it is a cool phone, but with all of that capability, it has to be 3G in my opinion. HSDPA has like 5 or 6 times the data rate capability of EDGE phones, and iPhone is an EDGE phone, not HSDPA. I’d almost rather have a Samsung Blackjack b/c at least it’s 3G (HSDPA).

  12. xanax25mg says:

    let’s say the phone doesn’t need to be active to use the other features, in theory you could eat the $150 ETF, download skype for OS/X and use the wi-fi feature of the Iphone for calling.

  13. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    No one has ever said the phone would be locked. Just that its purchase would require a 2-year contract, Apple and Cingular are in an exclusive agreement, and that some of the features are proprietary and require network changes on Cingular’s end.

    Cingular’s voice and data charges are on the high end, even on the “Premier” discount plan. Sprint’s employee referral plan, on the other hand, is dirt cheap.

    One of the things I like about Apple is that everyone pays pretty much the same price. They’re not like Dell where you might buy a desktop and monitor for $899 one day and see a different model (with the same specs) for $399 the next day.

    I’m sure that you will be able to obtain an unlocked phone–whether from Apple/Cingular directly, or via aftermarket modification, or by getting a European version. But, I’m also sure that Apple will not support its use with another carrier, because of both their exclusive agreement with Cingular, and because using it with a nonsupported carrier will break some of the slick features of the phone.

  14. Does Apple know that their iPhone is only available through Cingular? Why would Apple want to cripple their distribution in this fashion?

    Way to kill a product by binding it to a “cingle” service provider.

  15. jcc123 says:

    Test

  16. missdona says:

    Cingular can take their iPhone and shove it. I’ll stick to unlocked Treos on Tmobile.

  17. jcc123 says:

    People! You need to get your heads out of your butts and pay attention. This is not just about choosing a carrier. Apple thought about becoming a MVNO because they wanted the seemless integration with their device. But in the end, they decided that it was better to just pick a good partner for the wireless backend. For example, in order for the VISUAL VOICE MAIL function on the iPhone to work, Cingular had to re-write their software to allow for this functionality. If you take this phone on another carrier, you’ll be dead in the water with that functionality. What part of that isn’t clear to you? Do you think EVERY carrier would be willing to re-work their software just for Apple? Do you think that Apple has the inclination to talk to ALL the carriers about their future features? Why would they want to give away what they’re planning to do to so many people? The more people you have involved, the more likely you’ll have leaks. That’s why they chose one and only one carrier. They choose the best and largest and it was the right choice.

  18. RumorsDaily says:

    dclounger – the recent exemptions from the DMCA make it legal for users to circumvent the ‘lock’ing system on cell phones, but it does not mandate (or even encourage) companies to help you in this process. If they find a way to make the phones totally unlockable, more power to them.

  19. CaptainRoin says:

    Usually a contract gets you some sort of discount, this must be one hell of an expensive phone. X – discount = $600 ???

  20. Winca says:

    xanax25mg: Sorry, you can’t put third party programs on the iPhone. Skype is out of the picture.

    There’s always tin cans and string, though.

  21. RumorsDaily says:

    jcc123 – is the only reason I’m locked into Cingular the visual voice mail function? I’d be happy to have the option to purchase the phone for another provider without that service, which I don’t need and isn’t going to be a deal breaker.

    Why lock us into one company when it’s not required? It benefits Cingular enormously, and probably benefit Apple in some kickback sense. It does not benefit consumers. At all.

  22. Falconfire says:

    Is Apple, whose customer service is not itself the shining city on the hill,

    huh??? what??? Maybe your under a rock or something but Apple has won awards for their service, and continues to as recently as last month.

    A few people bitching does not bad customer service make…

  23. sprice82 says:

    Or a phone and an ipod, what a novel concept.

  24. Keter says:

    Sorry guys, the buzz just ain’t getting to me. The cell phone technology is metastasizing so fast now, it’s gotten to the point that you have to buy a $500-$600 phone every year or two just to keep up with the new gizmos and gadgets, and you just shouldn’t bother being seen in public if you don’t have the kewlest Razr or Blackberry or iPhone or whatever the gadget du jour is.

    Until the technology stabilizes and the hype moderates, I’m sticking with my current cell phone, one that makes calls and lets me look at the radar if I’m out on the lake and the weather looks like it’s changing. That’s all I use it for anyway; handheld apps and Internet browsing just aren’t adequate for my needs — I have a laptop for that.

    I had a $600 touch screen Palm PDA phone when they first brought them out, and it rocked because it had two jobs and did both well: being a time-aware PIM database and, primarily, a PHONE. The more crap they put on these devices, the less useful (and useable) they seem to become.

  25. people123 says:

    i phone has 4gb of memory minimum and can play video, most pda can’t do that unless you get tcpmp and a lot of pluggins. anyways i work for cingular and believe it or not new has been slow on our end . all that is know is no insurance will be offered on this device.

  26. TonyRockyHorror says:

    when will you people realize that NO for-profit company has consumers’ interests in mind in any fashion other than making money off of them. it’s naive to think anything else.

    i currently carry a 1G 4 gig nano, a Moto RAZR, and a canon powershot camera. all told they added up to more that $600, plus the 2-year contract on the RAZR. if i can cut the amount of devices i have to lug aorund to a single device that does all of those things well, for the same price or less, then huzzah! huzzah! the convenience alone is worth the price of admission.

    and who gives a shit about a required 2-year contract? do you really plan to change providers every 12 months? good fucking grief. grow up.

  27. SO lets say that I’m on Cingular and my new contract doesn’t expire until December. Does that mean I (in theoury) would have to:

    1.) pay to get out of my current contract

    2.) resign up for a new contract?

    Because if so thats total BS- although on 2nd thought the price to break the contract probably isn’t far off from what it would cost to buy the phone outright, were it offered as such.

  28. PS- to Keter-

    I think the whole draw of the iphone is that wereas normally, things like mp3, camera, etc etc tagged onto phones means you have a mediocre version of all 3, the iPhone actually has useful, good working versions of all 3. Its like the combo-device that doesn’t have totally a lot of sucky features.

  29. BillyShears says:

    Require a 2-year contract? Last time I checked – and I’d be more than happy to put up a fight with the register jockeys at any Cingular Hut – they’re required to allow people to sign, at the very least, a 1-year contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were also required to let people buy phones outright, even if it meant no subsidy.

  30. non-meat-stick says:

    well there is no way I could afford one, even if I wanted to use iTunes, which I don’t. I’m impressed, but not motivated, especially to sign a contract with Cingular.

    I predict huge flop

  31. Phyllis Nefler says:

    Dr. Paul, they’d probably just make you renew your contract at the time you wanted to switch. So if you switched in June you’d reset your contract from June-June.

    That’s just a guess. But I lost a cell phone once and I was only a few months into my contract, so I just had to renew the contract for another 2 years if I wanted to buy a discounted phone.

  32. arcticmaniac says:

    What is all the BS ranting about????

    Its a great device and Steve Jobs is an idiot in the end for tying it up with one carrier in the first place.

    Maybe windows mobile or palm os is not as elegant as the iphone, with the right “free software” you can do all the same things. I run skype with my Cingular 8125 on free wifi spots and watch videos using TCPMP. And yes, it has touch dialing too. Granted it’s not as “pretty” as the iphone, but then again…..

  33. bravo says:

    Phyllis, you may want to check your contract status. You may have just agreed to two two-year contracts with Cingular running consecutively, meaning four years total.

  34. I have a $30 nokia phone I got from us cellular. I’ve broken it so many times it’s not funny – dropped it, kicked it, dog chewed it once. it still works amazingly.

    I just want to know if the iPhone is hillbilly proof.

  35. Funklord says:

    Some thoughts–since the phone will be on sale in Europe, odds are you’ll be able to buy an unlocked version there and import it here (although cost will obviously be higher, and it won’t go on sale there until 2008).

    I also assume that since it runs OSX, someone will figure out a way to unlock it.

  36. Rusdude says:

    “anyways i work for cingular and believe it or not new has been slow on our end . all that is know is no insurance will be offered on this device.”

    How can they NOT offer insurance on a $600 device? It’d only be acceptable if there were Apple insurance plans. Otherwise, one drop and you’re out $500-600.

  37. bandit says:

    Antitrust violation, anyone? Tying together of two products (a music-playing electronic device and a cell phone service) is a violation of the antitrust laws. Microsoft had this problem, in a different form, when they made you “buy” IE upon purchase of Windows.

  38. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    @Winca:

    Apple has never said that you can’t run third-party programs on the iPhone. They have said that they aren’t currently offering any sort of developer kit for the iPhone.

    @arcticmaniac:
    Maybe a Trabant isn’t as elegant as a Jaguar, but with the right “mods” you can make the Trabant do all the same things, right? Chacun à son goût…

  39. BillyShears says:

    Bandit You’d be totally right if you weren’t totally wrong.

  40. Asherah says:

    Well before we all start believing the word of the lone (admitted) Cingular employee posting a comment above, I think it would be ludicrous for them not to offer an insurance option. Look at the damn thing! Its shiny and new and just waiting to be dropped. I smell AppleCare.

  41. Bye says:

    Good point, Asherah.
    I’d much rather have AppleCare on the device than that lame-ass Lockline insurance that Cingular offers.

  42. RumorsDaily says:

    Bandit –

    Microsoft had antitrust problems because they were a monopoly and tied two products together… using their monopoly on the first product to attempt to create a monopoly in the second.

    Apple is by no means a monopoly in the cell phone business or PDA business so I assume they’ll be fine. I guess you could make an argument that their position as the number one player in the MP3 player market might give them some monopoly status, and that they’re going to use the fact that people who have purchased iTunes songs are locked into Apple products to force iTunes users into buying Apple cell phones… but it seems like a huge stretch.

  43. Johnie says:

    Just to clarify a number of misstatements in the comments:

    1)

    CaptainRoin says: Usually a contract gets you some sort of discount, this must be one hell of an expensive phone. X – discount = $600 ???

    Apple came out and specifically said they are not going to follow the model of other cell phone companies in terms of subsidizing their products. They don’t want their products to seem cheap. In addition, they don’t want the service providers to dictate the terms of their cell phone (ie branding). [Source: Apple iPhone: Disrupting Mobile Service]. This is in the same why that after 5 years, the prices of iPod still has not dropped. Apple expects people to pay a premium for their products. I can imagine that not many carriers would agree to such terms. That is why they signed an exclusive contract with Cingular. This way Apple can dictate the terms and Cingular will profit from the service.

    2)

    radiofree says:

    Is Apple, whose customer service is not itself the shining city on the hill, willing to be tarnished by Cingular’s wonderful reputation? Will they care? Will they behave as Verizon does when there is a problem with my Treo 700p. directing all customer service calls to Treo (in the Philippines)? Who will take primary questions about this object: Apple or Cingular? I like Apple’s tech support, but will I have to buy an Apple Care protection plan in order to have the phone covered as long as the contract, 2 years?

    Lots and lots of questions.

    According to the announcement yesterday, Apple will support the phone, not Cingular.

    3) This is absolutely accurate:

    jcc123 says:

    People! You need to get your heads out of your butts and pay attention. This is not just about choosing a carrier. Apple thought about becoming a MVNO because they wanted the seemless integration with their device. But in the end, they decided that it was better to just pick a good partner for the wireless backend. For example, in order for the VISUAL VOICE MAIL function on the iPhone to work, Cingular had to re-write their software to allow for this functionality. If you take this phone on another carrier, you’ll be dead in the water with that functionality. What part of that isn’t clear to you? Do you think EVERY carrier would be willing to re-work their software just for Apple? Do you think that Apple has the inclination to talk to ALL the carriers about their future features? Why would they want to give away what they’re planning to do to so many people? The more people you have involved, the more likely you’ll have leaks. That’s why they chose one and only one carrier. They choose the best and largest and it was the right choice.

  44. Jesse in Japan says:

    Don’t you get it? If the iPhone is anything like the iPod, the battery will crap out after just one year. Then you’ll have to re-up your contract to get another phone. It’s dastardly I tell you.

  45. Winca says:

    @segfault: I’m not going to be optimistic here, because according to Gizmodo, it’s not exactly going to be an open platform:

    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/macworld2007/gizmodo-iphone-han

    The OS: It isn’t OS X proper, as you’d expect. And like an iPod, it won’t be an open system that people can develop for. Remember, this is both an iPod and a Phone.

  46. slip says:

    The thing that I keep wondering, which I haven’t seen other people commenting on, is this:

    What will the next non-iphone ipod look like?

    –surely it will have to have a lot of these same features, minus the phone. Its not like Apple is going to stop making regular ipods just because they’ve got some deal with Cingular (unless it prohibits them from launching a similar device without a phone, which I highly doubt)
    And after all their work on the multi-touch etc, there’s no way they will go back to the wheel.

    Sure, Cingular will sell a lot of these. But Apple will sell a lot more non-phone ipods, I suspect. A lot of people (like me) just want a cheap phone just to, uh…you know…MAKE CALLS!

    The other thing that we don’t know yet is whether Cingular will force a data plan on you. Cha-ching to them; giant sucking sound in your pockets to you.

  47. helio9000 says:

    >Apple has never said that you can’t run third-party programs on the iPhone. They

    As noted above, this is wrong. Check the Gizmodo link. Sure Apple isn’t going to say it onstage – no one’s keynote traffics too deeply in small detail reality – but the Gizmodo guys were talking with VPs who confirmed the no open development stance, likening it to closed iPod system.

    That’s the worst thing about the iPod’s success, now everyone believes that closed is the way to go.

  48. Stepehn Colbert says:

    ya know, its strange that people feel compulsive about a new phone, just because its the first in its company, but ya, its gonna sell like crazy im sure.
    Some mechanical genius once told me that anytime a new type of hardware comes out, whether it be a piece of new technology, a game system, or simply a phone, you should wait 4 years for “most” of the bugs to be weeded out. You may notice that today, most companies in the electronics field come out with a “newer better version” once, every 1-4 years or so. They know this “testing pattern”, and the infatuation someone has with something being the first, or top of its field. They believe that the consumer is a “never ending guinea pig”. Once you get consumers on a roll with something, they simply can’t wait for the next in its field to be born. They have to keep waiting time for the “next in it’s line” minimal at best, and by the time the “next big thing” comes along, your “current thing” is now in working order.
    Are we doomed to forever repeat this pattern? Its very likely. I know that I play video games, and that if I waited 4 years after the playstation 2 came out, I’d be done with it by then, and looking to buy the playstation 3, just because it is now “supposedly” so much more advanced, and the graphics “most likely” blow your mind. BTW, I in no way push Sony, they’re crooks all the same.

  49. flyover says:

    cingular is a deal breaker for me as well. Wonder how many people would have to say that for apple to take notice.

    and wonder how their consumer satisfaction research was as far as choosing cingular.

  50. statelypenguin says:

    Says Johnie: “Apple came out and specifically said they are not going to follow the model of other cell phone companies in terms of subsidizing their products. They don’t want their products to seem cheap.”

    Does this mean that Cingular will have an entirely separate billing rate for the iPhone owners? Because while Cingular is throwing you a discounted phone, they’re getting the money back in the rate plans. I highly doubt iPhone users would be paying less than regular customers.

  51. Cal says:

    I’m sure eBay will have plenty of these out there fast enough. Or celltrader. Thanks to the Consumerist Toolkit I’m sure that it’ll be possible to trade an existing cotnract for a new contract with an iPhone. Very cool research from the site.

  52. Nayners says:

    I am eligible for an upgrade with Cingular, so I called them this morning wondering if I could apply it to the iPhone for a lower price. Evidently they don’t have the prices worked out yet, but there will be some sort of lower price involved for 1 or 2 year contracts. $499 4G/$599 8G prices are for a NON COMMITMENT phone. Which means for all the whiners, YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY A CONTRACT. YOU’RE PAYING THAT HIGH PRICE JUST FOR THAT REASON. I think it’s hilarious that all these people are going to pay all that money and have it unlocked so they can go on another carrier, not have all the features working and think they’re getting a deal! LOL! Apple is a smart company, which is part of the reason everyone wants an iPhone. If they’ve binded themselves to only one company for this project, you can be sure they’ve got a damn good reason why. I’ve been with Cingular since they bought out AT&T. They’ve always had great customer service. In fact every issue I’ve ever had, including one or two really major problems, have always been worked out completely to my benefit. I think the whiners are crazy and am totally looking forward to the sweet ass deal I’ll be getting on this sweet ass phone. And for the crazies who are like, “Waaa, it will have glitches,” HELLO, the iPhones has SOFTWARE and can be updated and fixed through a computer, unlike your prehistoric phone.

  53. daq says:

    Actually, I recently went to a Cingular store. I asked them if it was possible to buy the iPhone without a plan, and he said yes. He also said it would cost $1200 instead.

    So, yes, you can buy it w/out the plan, it’s just double the price. I’m still getting it!

  54. mattanddeana says:

    Ok, people, as much as one can appreciate all the rantings and speculation year-to-date on this freakin’ mutant iPhone, let’s all take a deep breath and gain some perspective for cryin’ out loud, shall we?

    Thanks “Nayners” for reeling it back in and reminding everyone that the whole “contract game” has been played for YEARS in the mobile/cellular industry– so c’mon, folks, that’s nothing new. Big whoop! So Cingular is the sole provider! Anyone who has issues with the fact that this device is only available via one source, then SHAME ON YOU because you are likely being hypocritical! I would venture to say that nearly ALL of us have some favs and we’d go anywhere or do just about anything to acquire them– fashion, cars, gaming, jewelry?

    It’s a matter of brand loyalty or just down right being spoiled in America to have damn near anything at our fingertips and we’ll pay disgusting amounts of money to get what we want. So let’s get real! Don’t be pissed at some moguls who capitalize (yet again) on our own supply and demand ratio– consumers created that monster, so don’t slay the wrong dragon here.

    “Nayners” also clarified the 4G/8G price differentiation and brought up one of the gazillion “what if’s” that Cingular (“The new AT&T,” lest we forget) and Apple are having to muddle through. The scenarios are endless, so like they’ve done for years, Cingular will most likely have to handle many of these situations (i.e., upgrades for existing customers, etc.) on a case-by-case basis. So, for God’s sake, let’s not get all bent outta shape acting like children afraid the next guy in line is gonna get something we think we should get, too!

    Based on my most recent trip to the local Cingular/AT&T store (TODAY), it’ll be good ole’ “business as usual” once the fanfare dies down– and right now, the “usual” is very conflicting, inconsistent communication amongst local staffers, their customer service folks on the other end of the line (A LANDLINE, desktop telephone, I might add– can you say, “One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy?” Ha!). I wouldn’t be nearly as fearful of this new iPhone as I would be if the SERVICE and ABILITY TO MAKE AND KEEP CUSTOMERS isn’t made a big, fat priority at AT&T! Those “call-in” service reps need to have a deathmatch with the local office guys because even THEY are all ready to ring each others’ necks– with all the confusion still rampant as a result of the AT&T switch-a-roo earlier this year. The associate today practically stood on her head to help me with something I should have, in fact, been offered by a “call-in” rep. when I had some broken phone issues last month. I swear, if I’d have had a dollar for every time that poor woman had to say “We used to… what happened to our service to the customer… I don’t know where you got your information, but…” while she talked to that ass on the phone trying to resolve my problem– the locals play mercy all day long with the call center as a result of so many changes! NOT an optimum time to launch a gem like iPhone. These guys are NOT unified, based on my experience AND numerous observations in the store, but anyone should be able to haggle and fall somewhere in the service cracks and come out ahead– the ink’s not even dry in the damn policy and procedures manual! So who is to say customers can’t help pioneer some new territory and help write the book?! Kinda like a couple having a baby for the first time– not sure what or how, but you’ll figure it out along the way. Give AT&T some credit for most likely being willing to negotiate a tad as they embark on a new path. Their weak link right now appears to be that the acquisitional storm is still hovering like a dark cloud over them– the “old versus new” game is still being played out within the organization and it’s their weakest link right now. Call it capitalizing on their vulnerabilities (shhh, it’s a secret), but raising a little stink along the way may yield some roses in the end… if you’re persuing an iPhone and need leverage with which to negotiate. Let ‘em screw up, call them out on it, and negotiate what can be done to earn or maintain your business.

    Moral of this story, guys? The mere fact that consumers take time to post this kind of crap on a bulletin board further demonstrates our frenzied interest in a product enough (by some) to pay for it. Some really techy “gotta-have-it-all” type will pay whatever it takes and others will take the, “Eh, my polaroid camera and turntable stereo work fine” approach and take it in stride. Don’t blame Apple and AT&T for offering and EXCLUSIVE (not monopolized) product with services.

    Needs and wants are two entirely different things and, uh, no offense (good grief, I’m leaving myself wide open for horrible feedback with this), but my little grandparents in nowhere-ville WV lived long, happy, prosperous days not having to worry about such petty stuff. There will always be something faster, smaller, cuter, shinier, blah, blah, blah– but with a hefty price tag.

    If this were your sky-high electric bill or inability to have adequate water supply, I’d sympathize. Otherwise, shut up and stay abreast on the Cingular.com website. There–TAH DAH– you can read FACTS about this hyped phone on steroids– and even register for a cute little e-mail to be sent to your multiple addresses announcing it’s official arrival later this month! How precious…

    (The delivery of my sarcasm didn’t do this topic justice, I’m afraid.)