AT&T CEO comments on FaceTime charging rumors

By , Jul 17, 2012

We were pretty excited when we found out that FaceTime-over-cellular was coming in iOS 6. Finally, users would be able to natively video chat away from Wi-Fi networks (without jailbreaking).

Needless to say, our excitement dropped off yesterday when we found out that there’s a chance that AT&T is going to charge users separately for the feature, the way it does for mobile hotspot…

AT&T initially responded to the allegations with the following generic statement:

“We’re working closely with Apple on the new developer build of iOS6 and we’ll share more information with our customers as it becomes available.”

Then this afternoon, the carrier’s CEO Randall Stephenson took the stage at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference. And the topic unsurprisingly came up again.

Via TechCrunch:

“I’ve heard the same rumor,” he said, insisting that for now, AT&T is focused on working with Apple to get the technology stabilized, so “it’s too early to talk about pricing.”

While Stephenson’s comment doesn’t confirm or deny the rumor, he does have a point: it’s too early to talk about this. iOS 6 is still very, very much in beta. In fact the public release isn’t expected until mid-October. Mix in the fact that AT&T is supposedly moving to all new data plans in the near future, and a lot can happen in the next three months.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this all plays out, though, as this could play a major factor in AT&T’s churn rate during this year’s holiday quarter, following the next iPhone launch. I, for instance, am already considering switching to Verizon due to its larger LTE network. So something like this could certainly push me over the edge.

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  • http://twitter.com/Steeeeeeeeeeezy Domenico Michael

    Who cares.

  • Kok Hean

    “It’s too early to talk about pricing.”

    He talked about pricing, so they are definitely charging for it.

  • Metroview

    They’re going to charge. It’s AT&T. There’s three ways around it: Jailbreak and use something like 3G Unrestrictor, switch to a different carrier, or use an app like Tango and tell your friends and family to get it too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucas.kunert Lucas Kunert

      I agree. They will most definitely charge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000966493541 Scott Walther

    He pretty much confirmed there that they are planning on charging for it. Otherwise he would have said that there will be no additional charge to use FaceTime over 3G/LTE since it is covered in your already purchased data plan.

    So they will charge you extra to use FaceTime over 3G/LTE and then charge you ore when you go over you data plan package, essentially double charging you for the same thing.

    This is one reason I plan to switch to Verizon when the new iPhone comes out.

    • Al

      I completely understand your fustration. But what are feelings about Verizon shared data plan? I mean, they are all crooks at the end of the day. I have that unlimited data plan and when the iphone is released with LTE, I can essentially use 5 gbs of data before getting throttled for 30$. I would like to move to Verizon, but as far as my data plan It will be a tough decision. I tend to look to jailbreaking tools for measures for AT&T and Apple closed system..

  • daflip

    Im with att im paying 15$ for fucking 200mb data cant wait to fuck leave this hungry $ bitch company

  • http://www.facebook.com/itsugawa Jerwyn Feria

    ahh. theres straightTalk for me to go to. i can get things workin for me without jailbreak anyways. if AT&T doesn’t keep grandfathered plans in its place, or charging for facetime over 3g. its basically BS. I also don’t wanna go to verizon anyways. its all miss here anyways on which plan to go with. In Hawaii, its basically which deal is cheaper since the fact that none of the towers are at par to what mainland has.

  • http://www.facebook.com/itsugawa Jerwyn Feria

    that grin is creepy too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Keith-Wilson/100000592569208 Keith Wilson

    So i guess 3G unrestrictor is a dead issue

  • seyss

    double fail

  • mordechai eliyahu

    get 3G unrestrictor and u want have to pay

  • macboy74

    Ha I love how everyone thinks that verizon will not do the same. And people think that verizon is looking out for you and you’ll save money with them. Please. Their just as evil as AT&T and sprint. Their all out to f**k you and take every penny they can. No one carrier is better than the other. I have both of them and they both have their pros and cons. Do you people use FaceTime that much to care? Who’s to say that verizon will not do the same thing? I bet my bmw, boat and house they do.

    • http://twitter.com/kylebshr Kyle Bashour

      Well, Verizon’s new plan doesn’t charge for tethering, it lets you use your data for that… I don’t see why they would care if you’re face timing either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    That dood look greasy and sneaky and slimy..

  • http://www.facebook.com/fmbar00 Fabio Rodrigues

    They are a business, they have and want to make money. But I prefer to use skype, it is free, works on 3G, and you can skype with androids, iOS’s devices and Mac’s and PC’s too, so why care about that so much??? Do you guys really use face time that much??? I used it like 5 times in 2 years, while my skype experience has been a way more active

    • Mysteroy3k

      I would like to use it without additional apps. Most don’t use it cause of the only wifi position, whereas other apps only require 3G . It’ll be utilized more if its 3G enabled

  • Mysteroy3k

    I’m definitely going to buy my next iPhone straight out, I’m going to sprint next year when my contract is over . AT&T is getting ridiculous with limited unlimited, over charges,and now FaceTime charging…apple has really got them big headed, but I rather mess with the lesser of the two evils. Resigning anothe contract for a cheaper iPhone isn’t worth this headache