Report: Strained Apple-AT&T Partnership is Nothing New
The new August 2010 issue of Wired
magazine has people talking about the publication's article titled "#ATTFAIL Inside the iPhone Network Meltdown." The content provided portrays the long history of AT&T's partnership with Apple as a regularly strained tech-marriage of convenience.
In the article, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is said to have come close to a breaking point on various occasions - heated moments where a break in the iPhone exclusivity agreement almost took place. According to the report, Jobs considered a switch to Verizon as early as 2007. The relationship, however, was strained in the eyes of both parties as Apple was stubborn about not limiting the Internet capabilities of the iPhone, while AT&T was consistently burdened by the new demands of Apple's smartphone being exclusively available on its already over-burdened network.
In total, Apple is said to have come close to severing ties with AT&T on at least a half-dozen unique occasions. The report cites one unnamed source who claims that Cupertino once dispatched some of its engineers to Qualcomm's offices with the explicit intention of exploring a CDMA iPhone. Ultimately, however, the company determined that rebuilding the iPhone would be required of that move - a choice that, at the time, would have proven far too expensive and time consuming to pursue. The story is told, however, as a reference point to today's persistent headline of
Qualcomm reportedly working with Apple on a chip that, eventually, would allow the iPhone to call both AT&T and Verizon home.
Showing the lighter side of Cupertino's corporate atmosphere, one anecdote recalls an AT&T representative suggesting to one of Steve Jobs' underlings that a suit would be proper attire for a scheduled AT&T board meeting he was to attend. The rep was promptly told: “We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits.”
The new issue of Wired is now available although the article in question isn't yet viewable on Wired's website.