by Mike Masnick
Fri, Aug 17th 2007 4:36pm
It's no secret that Apple's new iPhone is quite popular across the nation, with competitors everywhere trying to figure out how to respond. There certainly have been some complaints about some of the limitations imposed by the iPhone, but people everywhere are trying to find workarounds. Tech.Blorge alerts us to the fact that a bunch of iPhone users in Vermont have had to go virtually underground to get and use iPhones. The problem, apparently, is that since AT&T has an exclusive deal to offer the iPhone, they don't want people using it primarily on roaming networks. Right now, you cannot get AT&T wireless service in Vermont -- and AT&T's contract threatens to cut off anyone who buys or uses an iPhone there. Of course, that's not going to stop some people, who are ordering iPhones from elsewhere and even setting up P.O. Boxes out of state where the 300 page iPhone bills can be sent. They know that they're risking being cut off but they just can't help it. For their part, AT&T insists that they will cut off anyone they find who lives in an area not served by AT&T wireless (which is actually a fairly large area), or anyone who uses more than 40% of their iPhone time on roaming networks. This, of course, is a bit ridiculous. These people want to pay money. They're happy customers or both Apple and AT&T -- and the company wants to cut them off. If expense is the problem, they should just charge them more for roaming, but cutting them off completely in the name of an exclusivity contract doesn't make any sense. It makes the iPhone and wireless service from AT&T less valuable, which is exactly the opposite of what the exclusivity clause was supposed to do.
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