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iPhone activation, custom rate plans?

updated 06:00 pm EDT, Mon July 9, 2007

iPhone activation, plans

The recent launch of Apple's iPhone at its own retail stores and AT&T outlets across the U.S. has brought widespread recognition to a new way of handling customer interaction. Apple and AT&T are allowing iPhone buyers to activate their phones online without the need to visit a store and speak with sales representatives through a company called Synchronoss, according to IDC Link. Allowing users to activate their phones from home over the internet rather than visiting retail outlets saves both Apple and AT&T time as well as money, and could pave the way for wireless carriers to offer individualized rate plans to cellular customers on an on-demand basis without the need for lengthy explanations or discussions with sales reps.

by MacNN Staff




  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Simply smarter business

    DIY phone activation: Less need for people to explain specifics to you; No need to keep a store staffed; No need for a brick&mortar store;

    Possibility of selling phones over the internet only incurring costs of shipping and warehouse storage:

    We don't need mommy Bell to hold our collective hand when we start up a new phone.

    In time, this might be as simple as signing up for DSL where you can take care of all the hardware stuff (besides the lines that are already in place) without having extra charges for the above listed incidentals. Perhaps cell phones will go the way of the computer - you can buy it in the store if you want, or you can custom order it online, or have it shipped.

    I can't tell you how often I cringe when I see yet ANOTHER bank on a corner or network provider spot in a strip mall. If businesses move this way, they could save their customers a lot of money. That, or continue the current slightly-gouging rates and take a greater profit. I can see the ad campaigns now...

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You sure seem to like to do things the old fashioned way in the USA. In the UK you never need to go into a retail shop to activate a phone, you just buy the phone, put the SIM in and dial the mobile's operator at your convenience. If you buy just a SIM, you only need to stick in in your phone and off you go - hey presto, it's magick.

    Danviento: people still need to walk into banks to do things, and they want to deal with others face to face sometimes - retail outlets aren't going to be replaced with foreign call centres.

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Saving money for whom?

    So the setup process automates (reduces) customer service from Apple and AT&T, saving those companies money--which they are not passing on to the consumer. How do we know they are not passing on the savings? Because AT&T is still requiring long-term contracts, even though the extremely expensive iPhone is receiving absolutely no handset subsidy from AT&T. Apple is apparently playing the role of AT&T's strongarm by keeping the firmware locks updated via iTunes. The consumer is being bent over a barrel on the iPhone deal; let's hope the pretty pictures prove sufficient distraction from the pain of the experience. Sadly, as pointed out before the iPhone was launched, the precedents set by this setup may effect us all though.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    okay - so....

    here's my gripe !!

    If this whole new online process is "saving" both time and money for both AT&T and Apple - then why the h*** can they not sell the phone any freakin' cheaper and why can't they offer the same high end rate plans at a lower cost_

    - because THEY'RE f****** GREEDY !!!

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