iPhone’s in Vermont

When John Canning showed us his iPhone a few weeks ago and explained that he bought it in Boston after walking by the AT&T store too many times, we were all surprised at his risk-taking. AT&T doesn’t provide service in Vermont and therefore we can’t get iPhones here and certainly can’t get an iPhone with an 802 area code. His has a Boston phone #.

You could tell he was in love with this phone. I had just gotten a Treo the day before so we were both showing off our phones to the small group we were with. I almost blogged about John’s without naming names of course, but didn’t want to get John in trouble. (Me, the paranoid rule-follower.)

So I had a good laugh today when I saw John’s picture on the home page of Burlington’s local paper, brandishing his iPhone. Hey, he outed himself; I had nothing to do with it. You can read about John and some of our wireless woes in the article.

So, I’m curious to see if (or is it “how quickly”) John gets his service cancelled. The whole notion of AT&T having exclusive access to the iPhone seems wrong anyway. I understand it as a competitive marketing advantage, but it doesn’t seem like good marketing to refuse entry to entire populations of your potential market. (Okay, i know Vermont is not a huge market, but…) I thought a key mantra for sales was about making it easy for people to give you money. But with the case of iPhones (it’s the iPhone that John covets, not the AT&T service) users have to be wiling to use em and lose em.

I love that one of the comments on the article that”Vermont needs to get its head out of the sand.” I don’t know how these things work, but did Vermont explicitly ban AT&T?

Oh, and I traded my Treo in for a Blackberry yesterday (with a GSM chip). More on that later…

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One thought on “iPhone’s in Vermont

  1. Hi Julia -I was very careful when I purchased my iPhone.I made sure that the sales person knew I was from Vermont and that I planned to use it off network.He corrected me and gave me a brochure that shows that Vermont is "on" AT&T’s network and not served by a partner company.I gave him my driver’s license, which he punched into his computer and it then gave me an activation code.He and his manager seemed quite happy to be signing me up as a new customer.I also checked the contract carefully and it said I could not use more than 40% (or 50% in a different place) of my minutes outside of their network more than three months in a row.I expect it will be interesting.If for some reason I lose my cell service, I can still use the device with any WiFi network.Skype has just come out with a client for the phone which even talks to my address book.My understanding from folks that work at Unicel is that AT&T has a non-compete agreement with Unicel.Unicel serves most of the rural areas mentioned in today’s Freeps article.This non-compete agreement is what made everyone think that AT&T was going to purchase Unicel.I’ll keep you posted if anything strange happens.John

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