iPhone’s Fine Print

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the iPhone, Jobs or Apple. As a matter of fact I think they are great products. But when shopping for a stock its a different story all together. That’s when logic seems to be deficient in certain instances.

It’s not that the iPhone will be a bad sales promoting campaign, but rather no one can say for sure that it won’t be. At this point Apple has loads to live up to. As for the shareholders in nirvana, hope itself can be a dangerous thing to bank on.

Telecom Analyst Bruce Kushnick has inspected the iPhone’s terms of service and offers some surprising revelations:

1) iPhone Requires a 2-Year Contract with AT&T.

2) Expensive: Requires $2,280, Over $1,730 in Wireless Costs.

3) Double Billing. You and the Caller Both Get Charged for the Same Call.

4) All Use of the Networks Are Always Rounded Up to the Nearest Kilobyte or Minute.

5) Customers Are Billed for “Network Errors” and “Network Overhead”.

6) Billed Even Though the Call Doesn’t Go Through.

7) Bogus Fees Added to the Bill: Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge

8) $175.00 Termination Fee.

9) International Messages Are Charged Additional Fees as Are Files Over 300Kbps.

10) Over Your Quota: Get Gouged: 40¢ Per Minute and 69¢ Roaming Offnet.

11) The Services Are Not Secure and Can’t Block Your Phone Number.

12) The Current Mobile Email Service Doesn’t Support Attachments.

13) Prohibited Uses and “Unlimited” Sales Hype. You can’t use the service for VOIP and worse “unlimited plans cannot be used for uploading, downloading or streaming of video content (e.g. movies, tv), music or games.”

14) Service Is Not Intended to Provide Full-Time Connections: Unlimited is Hype – Don’t use the service too much or the phone company can terminate your service.

15) Wi-Fi Service is Limited – “To ensure that the Wi-Fi Service is not being used fraudulently, AT&T limits your usage of the Wi-Fi Service to 150 uses per month” Does that mean that if you lose signal a few times during one session, or you are traveling and go between ‘hot spots’ you can rack up lots of ‘uses’?

16) “Offnet” Restrictions – If you have a service and you happen to call other ‘offnet’ services, including wireline phones, or non-AT&T subscribers, you have to ‘limit’ your use, be charged or be terminated.

17) Plan Goobly-gook – …There are plan fees, taxes and surcharges, roaming fees, text fees, Night and Weekend Minutes, Mobile to Mobile Minutes, Anytime Minutes and Rollover Minutes, EDGE/GPRS and BroadbandConnect, offnet, AT&T Video clips, Data Connect Unlimited, WI-FI CONNECT, constraints on ‘unlimited plans including “20% of 6 Megabits offnet”, “150 uses of Wi-Fi”, and other restrictions…

18) Comparing US and Other Broadband Countries: America Is being Laughed At.

Why did iPhone get deployed on a slow, closed network? That answer may not be known, but it is clear that iPhone is being deployed on an old-technology network, and is neither state-of-the-art nor fast. Here’s some info about the [wired] networks… “The median U.S. download speed now is 1.97 megabits per second — a fraction of the 61 megabits per second enjoyed by consumers in Japan … Other speedy countries include South Korea (median 45 megabits), France (17 megabits) and Canada (7 megabits).”

19) The Upcoming Wireless Spectrum Auctions – The upcoming 700 MHz wireless spectrum auctions are underway [and] the bottom-line is [that] America needs open wireless networks, and it should be clear to anyone who is considering buying an iPhone that the AT&T networks should not be the only network for this innovative product.

Now I’m sure many other plans have many of the above restrictions and then some, the point is though… If you’re thinking of buying the iPhone read the fine print.

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