AT&T Now a Big Liability for the iPhone

AT&T has become a giant liability for the iPhone. While in other markets around the globe (e.g., the UK) multiple carriers offer the handset, in the US it’s still only AT&T. And despite the speculation and hope for a Verizon iPhone it’s quite likely that AT&T will remain the exclusive US carrier for at least the duration of 2010. I hope I’m proven wrong.

AT&T’s network and reputation have taken a big hit from iPhone users struggling to “get on” and who experience dropped calls — although it was just rated “fastest” by PC Magazine:

But PC Magazine also found AT&T’s network to be the “least consistent” of those it tested. Interestingly, AT&T’s 3G network was as fast as Sprint’s 4G network.

Speaking of Sprint, I remain a Sprint customer despite my desire for the iPhone because I won’t switch to AT&T. I got the EVO at the Google I/O event and intend to use it as my personal phone.

I’m an AT&T DSL customer at home and what a disaster that has been: inconsistent connection, slow speeds and poor customer service. (We all now know about the recent, ham-handed “cease & desist” episode re AT&T wireless.)

When my DSL went out earlier this week I switched to the EVO hotspot and was able to restore the various devices in our house for the several hours that DSL was down. That’s a great feature of the device.

As much as I like the EVO I would replace it with the forthcoming iPhone in a heartbeat if it didn’t mean I had to switch carriers to AT&T.

AT&T has rewarded its iPhone data users, as you know, with a complex, new usage-based rate plan. While financial analysts and the “industry” applauded the move to tiered pricing, it’s actually the opposite of what consumers want. Verizon may follow but Sprint and T-Mobile are holding the line for now.

So beyond the inconsistent service, the complex and opaque new pricing scheme will further “punish” iPhone users.

Cumulatively all these factors make AT&T a growing liability for the iPhone and limit its further penetration in the smartphone market. Apple, at least in its public statements, seems blind to this.


4 Responses to “AT&T Now a Big Liability for the iPhone”

  1. AT&T Now a Big Liability for the iPhone « Screenwerk « iPhone 3GS – India Says:

    […] Read this article: AT&T Now a Big Liability for the iPhone « Screenwerk […]

  2. David Mihm Says:

    AT&T is the sole reason I do not own an iPhone. Apple is so smart about seemingly everything else they do…wonder why they appear to be so obtuse about this?

  3. John Appleseed Says:

    Just go to HongKong or NewZealand and buy a legally unlocked iPhone and pop in the GSM SIM of ur choice. Oh, I forgot, u don’t wanna pay full price. Shocking!

  4. Greg Sterling Says:


    Apple chose exclusivity as their go to market strategy in multiple markets. AT&T gave them more freedom and control than Verizon was willing to (if the rumors are correct). The duration of the exclusivity is the question of judgment here.

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