Daniel Eran Dilger
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Report: Apple and AT&T to partner on U-Verse, $99 Netbook

 Nimage 2051 Large Uverse Iptv

Daniel Eran Dilger

A report citing a source “pretty high up in AT&T’s food chain” says it has “100% confirmed” a series of cooperative deals between Apple and AT&T that include a faster new iPhone, U-verse integration, and a rumored “$99 3G netbook.”

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The posting, by the Boy Genius Report, notes the uncontroversial expectation of a new iPhone expected for mid June, and highlights the likelihood of the same upgrade to 7.2Mbp/s service described in an report last week, adding that “the annual iPhone launch is ”becoming a tradition“ and that ”people should prep for an exciting time this summer.“

Apple’s 2009 iPhone to support faster 3G networks – report

U-Verse Expansion

More interesting is the news that ”AT&T is said to be working with Apple to create a unified product with an unparalleled experience across all their products and services,“ specifically mentioning a new U-Verse iPhone application reported to ”allow control of your home DVR (play, pause, rewind, etc.).“

Such a move certainly wouldn’t take much effort, as Apple not only already offers an iPhone application for remote control of iTunes Libraries and Apple TV, but other DVR vendors, including Tivo, also already offer the ability to remotely program their systems from the web or from a mobile device.

A closer partnership between Apple and AT&T could also extend the iPhone’s success to Apple’s healthy and increasingly sophisticated and differentiated AirPort line of wireless products and the slowly accelerating base of Apple TV users, were Apple to convince AT&T to bundle its existing products or a new ”unified product“ device offering wireless networking and iTunes content access with AT&T’s U-Verse cable and Internet service.

Why Apple & AT&T will continue to partner closer

The report also cryptically threw out the idea that a ”$99 3G netbook will start selling this summer, and the first one won’t be a Windows OS,“ suggesting that Apple and AT&T could somehow launch a new device for half the price of the current iPhone 3G but incorporating a keyboard, and somehow avoid gutting sales of the existing iPhone 3G and iPod touch, and eroding the seemingly recession-resistant market for Apple’s $1000 entry level notebooks.

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  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    Yeah, that last part about a $99 3G notebook makes no sense at all. They don’t even sell a subsidized iPhone for $99, so how would they do that for a notebook which costs more to produce (unless the service was extremely expensive)?

    I think more likely, it’s a $99/month AT&T plan for 3G data for your laptop, or something like that.

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  • thgd

    From what I read U-Verse uses Microsoft’s IPTV platform.
    Does this mean Apple and MS would also be closely working together ?

  • danpoarch

    So… A DVR/WiFi/3G-repeater box that you put in your home for tight DVR/Cable/On-Demand integration, with wifi and better cell reception? I guess that what we’re talking about? AppleTV on steroids? Hmm…

    Apple has always said that they don’t see how to make money on the netbook market. Maybe this is their trick. Subsidized/subscription model to support the cost. An $800 netbook that you pay $100 upfront and $100/month [Sounds like the current iPhone]. I mean think about it, the iPhone costs must have plummeted for Apple at this point. Shared technologies could put a netbook at the $800 price point. The proven market and Apple’s sales potential could bypass the higher premium paid for the original iPhone. ATT could have signed on at the already-adjusted contract price so they can hang on for the big money. That in concert with an enhanced AppleTV would definitely mop the floor with anything else offered currently.

    This is all geekery for now. I’ll believe it all when I see it.

  • MarkyMark

    I dunno, it seems to me like U-verse needs a much broader market penetration for this to make sense. Plus they have so far been mainly implementing FTTN. At least they’re already running H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) over IP multicast, thank god.

  • gus2000

    I tried the demo U-Verse TV receiver in the AT&T store, and it was so abysmal that I’m happily paying the $100/month extortion to Time Warner cable instead. If AT&T figured out that the biggest consumer impediment to adoption was the user-surly interface, they may have approached their partner Apple for help.

    I’m actually mad I didn’t think of this first.

  • John E

    the rumored new U-Verse iPhone app would just be like the SlingPlayer Mobile app demo’d at MacWorld and scheduled to be released soon, which will work with all CATV systems and even TiVo. it will be a good new feature for the much smaller number of consumers who use the slick and seamless but very tightly controlled and limited U-Verse setup instead of CATV. but that’s all, hardly innovative or earth-shaking.

    a subsidized Apple net-whatever would be a big deal tho. the advantage of an AT&T high speed data plan that worked anywhere without needing wifi hotspots would be huge, potentially worth a two year contract. VOIP would have to be blocked tho – no microphone, not even an input. but if it is as large as a 10″ screen as rumored, $99 is hard to believe unless the data plan costs a lot.

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  • cfJeff

    Sounds like a good match (for Apple to get more devices into the consumers hands) but how far can it go? I have Uverse and have considered dropping the cable TV and getting all my content off of iTunes. The only thing I would miss is sports and that’s why they invented Sports Bars.

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  • http://appleton.me appleton

    Seems like this “100% source” is making things up to me – as @daGUY has pointed out, how can they release a product so much cheaper than the iPhone yet include so much more functionality. Smells like BS.
    http://appleton.me/2009/03/apples-99-netbook/

  • http://www.ccsgraphic.com CCS

    Come on you guys! They found a bunch of old eMates and are going to stuff 3G cards into them. ;-)

    Kidding aside, there are plenty of non-Windows OSes out there.