July 18, 2012
Less than 24 hours after it leaked that AT&T might charge customers a monthly fee to use FaceTime over cellular, their CEO has responded. According to TechCrunch, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson stated that it was “too early” to discuss how AT&T will handle the new service, which is expected to arrive with iOS 6.
“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.”Of course, Stephenson’s comments really boil down to “no comment,” since the CEO neither confirmed nor denied the rumor. It was earlier this week that we reported that the latest iOS 6 beta includes the following message when AT&T customers attempt to activate FaceTime over cellular. First introduced by Apple in 2010, FaceTime is a video-calling feature that had previously worked only with a Wi-Fi connection. With iOS 6, the service is expected to expand to cellular as well. Meanwhile, Sprint has confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that they will NOT be charging for cellular FaceTime usage, stating that it will be part of the customer’s existing data package. Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the U.S., has yet to comment on the issue. News that AT&T might charge for FaceTime over cellular, naturally, lead to critical comments from many of our readers. London seems to put it best, stating:
This is just another way for the behemoth AT&T to soak their loyal customers out of more money. AT&T has gotten ridiculous on charging extra fees. Come On, AT&T, treat your customers right.As a reminder, Apple is expected to release iOS 6 to the public later this fall. Currently, developers are testing iOS 6 beta 3, which was released earlier this week. Of course, we'll keep you updated. Also be sure to check out our earlier report, How Do AT&T's Shared Data Plans Stack Up To Verizon's? Sources: TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal