When iOS 6 was announced by Apple, we were told that iOS 6 would finally enable FaceTime calling over cellular data. Apple made it a point to explain this as a major feature, and we were all excited about it.
The iOS 6 beta has been circulating for the past few weeks, having new versions released to gradually correct issues. Many of these little fixes are very much appreciated, and I welcome them warmly. One change in particular, however, has me furious. I’m mad for several reasons, but the primary has to do with how AT&T is once again going to begin charging customers for a feature that the iPhone exclusively offers; a feature which they had absolutely nothing to do with.
Features like FaceTime calling… over cellular data. As the image below will show you, FaceTime over cellular will need to be activated on an iPhone user’s account, including the fees associated with activating it
Once again, customers can expect to be charged for using their purchased data in a certain way, rather than based on quantity. This is no different from a gas station charging a set price for gasoline, but up charging you if you want to use your vehicle outside the city. AT&T, and competing carriers like Verizon Wireless, somehow manage to get away with capitalizing on the innovations and services that are offered and created by third-party organizations. Worse of all, no other brand of phone offers seamless FaceTime calling like the iPhone, making this extra fee exclusive to a specific brand of device.
If this is real when the final release comes out, and AT&T really is looking to stifle user experiences rather than improving their network to compete fairly with other carriers, I can see a large uproar coming from the people who continuously make them as successful as they are every month. I’ll lead the way, no problem.
For a company that demands so much control over their platform, they sure let AT&T screw over their customers a lot.
Sincerely, a shocked and frustrated customer.
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