9.11.2007 | AT&T cuts the cord

Pity the reader who didn't read beyond the headline of this USA Today story about AT&T's new chairman and CEO, Randall Stephenson. Their choice for a headline? "AT&T shifts to wireless focus with new ads and color" (yawn). The color orange isn't new for AT&T, which has kept the color during its transition away from the Cingular brand. What is new is that AT&T is no longer going to require landline phone service to benefit from package pricing for its broadband Internet service. Now there's a story.

Also of note (at the very end of the story):

AT&T is beefing up its global profile and trying to cut better "roaming" deals with international wireless carriers to carry calls from iPhones and its other devices.

"We pretty much cover the globe now," Stephenson says. "We just want to cover it cheaper."

Last time I checked, AT&T's roaming plan requires charges of at least $1 a minute. That their CEO is focused on making that price lower, along with his willingness to end the requirement of landline phone service for broadband, is a good sign that AT&T may finally be grasping the potential for wireless communication in the global age. My one criticism: the tagline. "Your seamless world"? I suppose it's a start.

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9.08.2007 | Apple's 'beat' falls flat

Whither the 16GB iPhone? That was the question I was left with last week as Apple's much-anticipated special event left me wondering, "Huh?"

Blame the rumor mill. Unlike previous Apple events where people were left largely in the dark, this time the analysts got it mostly right. Maybe too much right. So much right, that by the time the event was over, it was what they didn't get right that left me distinctly unsatisfied.

Okay, so nobody predicted a 16GB iPhone (except me), but it's gotta be coming. Apple can't let iPod touch go too long having more storage capacity than its phone-enabled cousin, though I can understand that, large flash drives being a relatively new technology, it would make sense to use the limited supply there first.

But that's not even what has me most riled up. What's got me stinking mad at Apple is for toying with our expectations by using "The beat goes on" as their tag line for the special event. Used in the Beatles' final press release, the phrase got the rumor mill guessing, yet again, that Beatles would be available on iTunes. So when Jobs got to his "one more thing" announcement, downloading music wirelessly at Starbucks wasn't all that fantastic.

"A ship that leaks from the top." It has been said of the ship of state, and of Apple, which has been notorious for acting to squelch rumors (though recently it seems to confirm them). After this year's spoiler, I can understand why.

Hit and miss

Touchscreen, wireless, flash-based iPodiPod Touch
OS X-based iPod with Cover FlowiPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod Nano
"Fatty"iPod Nano
iPod TouchiPod Touch
Ringtones for iPhoneRingtones for iPhone
Wireless iTunes downloadsiTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
Beatles on iTunes
Free downloads at Starbucks
$200 iPhone price cut

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