DailyTech: iPhone buyers, no you can't have a wi-fi only plan

TrippalHealicks

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Those of you who had plans to use wifi only, remember that in most states it's illegal to access a network not belonging to you without permission, whether it is open or not. This includes wifi at coffee shops and the like, where making a purchase is considered tantamount to receiving permission.

People have been arrested and fined for it, and the fines far exceed the cost of paying for a data plan.

School, public, and home wifi is fine, but private networks are not necessarily okay to use. Just food for thought. I don't know if Apple thought that through when they added the wifi but it's becoming an increasingly large problem nationwide.
If your IT department is dumb enough to leave it open, then it's their own fault when their bandwidth gets chewed up by rogue devices. Does anyone really care about this law, anyway? I mean, most people that use "hot spots" are not trying to do anything malicious, anyway.
 

TrippalHealicks

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That comparison isn't 100% true.

Stealing wireless internet bandwidth is like stealing cable from your neighbor, who either ran a line to your house, or he has a TV set up, facing your house, always on. lol
 

soloudinhere

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If your IT department is dumb enough to leave it open, then it's their own fault when their bandwidth gets chewed up by rogue devices. Does anyone really care about this law, anyway? I mean, most people that use "hot spots" are not trying to do anything malicious, anyway.
Yes. People have been arrested for it and charged with theft of service for sitting in coffee shop parking lots using the free wifi. And I don't mean just a few people, I mean a LOT of people have been getting in trouble for this.

Hotspots are different as they're subscription or pay per use services. Open networks that are free are not necessarily legal to use.

It's not always feasible to lock down a network, though more and more places are inconveniencing their customers by doing this so that people nearby who are not customers can't use the networks.
 

ColsTiger

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Yes. People have been arrested for it and charged with theft of service for sitting in coffee shop parking lots using the free wifi. And I don't mean just a few people, I mean a LOT of people have been getting in trouble for this.

Hotspots are different as they're subscription or pay per use services. Open networks that are free are not necessarily legal to use.

It's not always feasible to lock down a network, though more and more places are inconveniencing their customers by doing this so that people nearby who are not customers can't use the networks.
Yep. The foodcourt in our mall has WIFI now, but I think there is a registration process to use it.
 

wjp09

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That comparison isn't 100% true.

Stealing wireless internet bandwidth is like stealing cable from your neighbor, who either ran a line to your house, or he has a TV set up, facing your house, always on. lol
Just because someone may not lock their wifi dosn't mean they want everyone using it. If I leave my Car unlocked and someone takes it, It is still theft.
 

SmartAlx

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You know what? It just occurred to me. This sucks, because I live in Houston. And Houston is in the process of getting city wide WiFi. Can you believe that? It's going to be one of the largest cities in the world with wifi, 600 square miles! They are going to start in the central areas I think, but that would suit me fine because that's exactly where I live and work. I'll be paying probably something like $20 a month for that service (I hope) so $40 for a cellphone data plan on top of that is going to drive the entire cost of my cellphone service to about $120 a month! Half of my fees for the iPhone will be just to get me on the internet! If I have to pay for a service that I will never ever use I'm going to be pissed off. I sure hope I can cancel the data plan in a couple of months.
 

iphonenotify

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This is going to be annoying. My iPhone will be breaking the law automatically every time it switches. Automatically. ARG.
 

soloudinhere

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This is going to be annoying. My iPhone will be breaking the law automatically every time it switches. Automatically. ARG.
This was my first thought when steve made the keynote announcement about it automatically using wifi. I would have thought that someone over there would have thought this one through since this is kind of a hot topic right now (unauthorized wifi use) but apparently not.

If you're really concerned, you could check with a lawyer first. I wouldn't panic about it, but people who are not wanting to buy a data plan clearly had the intent of using any and all wifi available to them, which isn't necessarily a good thing to do. I think if you purchased a data plan and were hopping onto networks through no fault of your own, that's slightly different than purchasing the device with the express intent of using it only on free wifi.
 

TrippalHealicks

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This was my first thought when steve made the keynote announcement about it automatically using wifi. I would have thought that someone over there would have thought this one through since this is kind of a hot topic right now (unauthorized wifi use) but apparently not.

If you're really concerned, you could check with a lawyer first. I wouldn't panic about it, but people who are not wanting to buy a data plan clearly had the intent of using any and all wifi available to them, which isn't necessarily a good thing to do. I think if you purchased a data plan and were hopping onto networks through no fault of your own, that's slightly different than purchasing the device with the express intent of using it only on free wifi.
No one is FORCING you to leave the phone on "auto-connect". This is a good setting if you're in your own home, but if you're worried about this silly law, then turn off the auto-connect. I don't understand what everyone is worried about. If you don't sit and use the same hot spot every single day, using OODLES of bandwidth, no one will even notice, more than likely. God, I would drive around town all day using hot spots, at my last job. No one ever cared, not once.

The news about Houston is awesome, though. I wish I could move there. I visited it once within the last year, and it was GREAT.
 

skyman

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The data plan is NOT optional. I have confirmed this with 3 separate AT&T stores.

AT&T made HUGE $$$ concessions to become the exclusive vendor for the iPhone. There is no way AT&T is going to make any money on this deal if they don't make the data plan mandatory. Sure they are getting a kick back on the price of the phone but that is not where the profit is. The profit has alway been in the voice and data plans.

The data plan is going to be priced between $39.95 - $44.95. That's in addition to the voice plan.

I don't need the data plan as WIFI works for me at home, work and around town. So for me, the iPhone is not something I can justify.

Is it worth having the iPhone if you are going to be tied into a two year data contract ($958)? For some yes. For many no.
 

TrippalHealicks

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The data plan is NOT optional. I have confirmed this with 3 separate AT&T stores.

AT&T made HUGE $$$ concessions to become the exclusive vendor for the iPhone. There is no way AT&T is going to make any money on this deal if they don't make the data plan mandatory. Sure they are getting a kick back on the price of the phone but that is not where the profit is. The profit has alway been in the voice and data plans.

The data plan is going to be priced between $39.95 - $44.95. That's in addition to the voice plan.

I don't need the data plan as WIFI works for me at home, work and around town. So for me, the iPhone is not something I can justify.

Is it worth having the iPhone if you are going to be tied into a two year data contract ($958)? For some yes. For many no.

Still just speculation. Nothing has been officially announced from AT&T. SO, ONCE AGAIN, any and all comments made by "reps" at stores are purely speculative.
 

maclaptopuser

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The data plan is NOT optional. I have confirmed this with 3 separate AT&T stores.
Apple demanded the data plan be sold with the iPhone. That's not a bad thing, as one will not get the full iPhone experience, without a connection to the web. Apple wanted to be sure that people gave this device good marks for doing what it was designed to do, but cannot do without a data plan.

It's no different than any other smart phone used without a data plan. The only functionality is as a phone and text device. One must have a data plan to access email, the internet, etc.
 

TrippalHealicks

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Apple demanded the data plan be sold with the iPhone. That's not a bad thing, as one will not get the full iPhone experience, without a connection to the web. Apple wanted to be sure that people gave this device good marks for doing what it was designed to do, but cannot do without a data plan.

It's no different than any other smart phone used without a data plan. The only functionality is as a phone and text device. One must have a data plan to access email, the internet, etc.
I'm gonna be ticked if it has a REQUIRED data plan attached to it....
Might be a deal breaker. I don't really wanna pay an extra 40-45$/month, right now. Maybe later, but not now.
 

maclaptopuser

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I'm gonna be ticked if it has a REQUIRED data plan attached to it....
Might be a deal breaker. I don't really wanna pay an extra 40-45$/month, right now. Maybe later, but not now.
I understand, and it's too bad that Apple is forcing this.

If you go into an AT&T store and buy any other smart phone you are not forced into a plan. AT&T does not demand anything like this of their customers. However in this case Apple dictated this in the deal with AT&T.

Unfortunately it tends to be the way Apple does things.
 

ColsTiger

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I understand, and it's too bad that Apple is forcing this.

If you go into an AT&T store and buy any other smart phone you are not forced into a plan. AT&T does not demand anything like this of their customers. However in this case Apple dictated this in the deal with AT&T.

Unfortunately it tends to be the way Apple does things.
I thought you had to have certain plans to use Blackberry phones on Cingular/At&t. Is that not true?
 

JeffBobula

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There is a smartphone plan, I know that. But Im on a family plan and my Treo 650 was included!

Also, Madison is going to be citywide wi-fi as well. Granted, a lot smaller than Houston...but its still awesome!
 

maclaptopuser

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I thought you had to have certain plans to use Blackberry phones on Cingular/At&t. Is that not true?
Not true. No plan required for any smart phone they sell.

I'm a long time BlackBerry user on AT&T/Cingular/AT&T. They will sell you any BlackBerry, or Blackjack, or any other smart phone they offer without a plan.

There are thousands of people that purchased the small BlackBerry Pearl without a data plan. They bought it because they like the style, brilliant display, good camera, music player and great call quality. Since they only want it for a phone and text device they have no need for a data plan and AT&T is just fine with that.

Then if they wish to use it for the push mail, internet access and other features like exclusive BB PIN Messaging, they purchase the plan with the phone. Or later if that happens to be the case. No pressure or complaints from AT&T.

I am a long time BB user, with a BB plan as I use mine for lots of email, web access etc. Also AT&T gives BB users several choices of plans from as low as $29.99 per month. And that's an unlimited plan that provides all the emails and net access you can use.
 

skyman

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Apple demanded the data plan be sold with the iPhone. That's not a bad thing, as one will not get the full iPhone experience, without a connection to the web. Apple wanted to be sure that people gave this device good marks for doing what it was designed to do, but cannot do without a data plan.

It's no different than any other smart phone used without a data plan. The only functionality is as a phone and text device. One must have a data plan to access email, the internet, etc.
The iPhone has WIFI so you will be able to use all the internet functions where ever there is WIFI. You DON'T need the data plan, but the data plan will be REQUIRED when you buy an iPhone. How else do you think AT&T is going to make any $$ of the iPhone.