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  • Time for Apple and AT&T to See Other People?

    images via Apple, AT&T


    PC World is out with a great article this weekend that asks a question we've all posed to ourselves and to others: isn't it about time for Apple and AT&T to see other people?

    An "open marriage" is how writer Ian Paul puts it.

    Even though many people are pouring on the hate for AT&T, the still love the iPhone, according to reports. So if the cellular network is the problem, hereís a suggestion for Apple thatís guaranteed to keep at least some U.S. customers happy: Cancel iPhone exclusivity with AT&T.
    As we're seeing over time, iPhone customers are like children who eventually get what they want after whining about it long enough. As once such loudmouth brat, I can attest to the power of this approach. But since we're adults, we shouldn't have to demand anything for a protracted period of time before the service (that we pay good money for) begins to seriously acknowledge such entreaties.

    This summer has been an interesting one for Apple customers. From the apparent evolution of the approval process for new apps that we really want, to the emergence of signs that greater background functionality in on the horizon (thanks to Loopt), more and more folks are starting to anticipate this revolution born of revolt coming to AT&T's relationship with Apple.

    The best possible move for Apple to make with the iPhone today is to seriously address the source of most customer complaints: dropped calls, weak service, and data loading slower than molasses. Cool apps and background functionality aside, we need a phone that works smoothly and consistently.

    With a second -- or even third -- carrier, iPhone customers would be able to choose their own network, and the current load on AT&Tís infrastructure would be reduced. This could improve service for iPhone customers who stick with AT&T, as well as those who migrate to other networks.
    Although Apple and AT&T may not budge overnight on their exclusivity posturing, I think it's a safe bet to speculate that the "open marriage" alluded to is an inevitability not merely a possibility. And the longer they wait to give us what we want, the more frequently Apple's "children" will continue to throw emboldened tantrums.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Time for Apple and AT&T to See Other People? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 131 Comments
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      There is zero question in my mind that T-Mobile would have trouble supporting 10 million or more iPhone customers.

      - However I doubt they would sell that many. The T-Mobile G1 is 3G and it's right behind the BB storm in sales. Not including their other 3G devices. So, they would be just fine handling a moderate amount of 3G iPhone's.

      AT&T has been pushing this we're getting on the 850MHZ band tune for a while now.
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Quote Originally Posted by gQstatus05 View Post
      You're an idiot if you think they newer blackberries are more advanced. You're basing this on the Blackberry App World app!? For your information as long as the 8110, 8300, 8310, etc have OS 4.5 you can get Blackberry App World. All blackberries are the same except for the look and style. A BB is always going to be a BB. Same interface same OS problems.

      Wow.

      More advanced.

      More memory, faster processor.. support for 3G, OS 4.6 (which does have ADVANCEMENTS over OS 4.5) all fall under more advanced. The app store was recently rolled out this year which is why I mentioned it.
    1. mobilexile's Avatar
      mobilexile -
      In the Twin Cities AT&T service could stand improvement. Let me rephrase, it sucks. I live in the west metro and I regularly drop calls in my home and throughout my community. And the service has degraded over time, especially over this summer. I spoke w / AT&T this morning, gave them my address and inquired about network updates and improvements. I was told several new towers are being built in the coming week. I look forward to seeing what, if any, improvements come about.

      Problems I've been experiencing here and while traveling throughout my community and in other cities:

      1. Dropped calls. They. Constantly. Drop. Out.

      2. Intermittent connectivity. Words dropping out of conversations when I'm on the phone. Also garbled sound.

      3. No ring when receiving a call then voicemail appears. This may be the biggest drain on my patience.

      4. S-L-O-W D-A-T-A speeds. As in glacier-like speed. Not your father's dial-up service from 1995 but close.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      What speeds do you get? (speedtest.net app is free from the App store)

      There will always be areas of bad service but the US system is highly anti competitive so, unfortunately, you can't just swap SIMs like you can in the civilised world.
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Hey! Foreigners can't make US jokes! It's just not right... tsk tskk...
    1. thinknoffcenter's Avatar
      thinknoffcenter -
      Quote Originally Posted by gQstatus05 View Post
      Girrllllllll. .................... enough said...

      The reason the G1 is popular is because it's one of the only semi decent "different" phones they offer. The phone doesn't even have a nice appeal to it in my opinion. T-Mobile doesn't even have a big phone selection. The Storm was popular because it was the first touch screen. I personally know a lot of Storm owners wishing they never got the piece of crap.

      To say a blackberry uses more data than an iPhone is not a good example and is ridiculous. There are millions of blackberry users on AT&T and it never cripped or showed signs of cripping their networks. There are more BB users on AT&T than iPhone users. Blackberries don't use much data unless you had no life and had like 10 email accounts on it plus the BB hosted account and an exchange account for which you still wouldn't use as much data. (I work for AT&T Tech so I know what I'm talking about because I actually see the usage figures) Browsing on an BB web browser isn't as seamless as an iPhone and you rarely go into it unless you had to. It isn't exactly a "let me kill some time" kinda thing. That's why BBs come with brickbreaker and last I checked it doesn't use DATA.

      AT&T is more expensive but for me the service is excellent. I never have to call in to dispute a bill or charge. I pay $153/month for 2 iPhones on my bill. I prefer to pay more than go through the hassle of calling in every month to argue on a bill. I don't get dropped calls and my phone is always working. (I live in NJ in case you're wondering.)

      AT&T support is always friendly when I call. You have to understand that it also depends on the mood you call in with. If you call in demanding the whole world drop to its knees for you then you may get a different response from the rep assisting you.
      am i the only one who caught this......if u work for AT&T Tech why are u paying $153 a month?????no discount!!!WTF!!!!and why would you ever have to call customer service if u could take care of the problem yourself as a tech? why call? just go to work. tho u are right about the mood, i find if you have a smile in your voice, they tend to bend your way. As far as my service goes, never had a problem, customer service always fixes any billing errors i notice, and i rarely have a dropped call. I just think they should work on making thier 3g coverage area larger, instead of faster......and if u have no signal in your house, or less in your house.....it's called lead paint, get your home checked......
    1. gQstatus05's Avatar
      gQstatus05 -
      If I were at the liberty to modify or mak changes to my account I wouldn't have a job anymore. I pay $153 for $59.99 Family Talk 700 minutes, 2 $30 iPhone data plans, $30 family Messging unlimited, $9.99 per additional line, plus tax. You DO get a company discount but that basically rids you of tax and some after you calculate. I recommend to the person saying he gets dropped calls to change out your SIM card if you haven't done so already.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      $150 for 2 lines? I still prefer my £20 for one line but I only get 900 mins or 1800 tesxts and unlimited (well 3Gb limit) data.
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Wow that's a nice price. You can't get prices like that in America...
    1. gQstatus05's Avatar
      gQstatus05 -
      AT&T and Verizon are expensive. The cheapest is probably T-Mobile with Sprint up at bat. That's how much I pay. Do I agree? No but as stated previously I prefer AT&T because I never have problems with service in NJ or problems with my bill being a mess. Every month my balance is always the same and it gets paid without a fuss.

      I remember when I had sprint & t-mobile. I never knew that one can make a payment on your cellphone bill and the payment be applied to another persons account. For T-Mobile I would walk down the block every day at night to talk on my phone because I didn't get reception on my block. Sprint billing was always a pain but luckily they were very lenient on fixing the issue they screwed up.

      To the people complaining about customer service just keep in mind that you have to treat people like you want to be treated. In my experience if a person calls in and starts yelling at you off the bat insisting this and that it puts your mood at a different level and makes it harder to deal with that person who think YOU were the one who knocked a tower out of commission. Yes the hold times could be the factor in the attitudes customers have when calling in but that's life.

      Try calling Verizon FIOS. I got hung up on 3 times yesterday and 2 of those times it was by the automatic system telling me "your call cannot be completed call back later, click" (after holding the line for 40 minutes).
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      You pay way to much in the USA - but then you have no competition so have no choice.

      Strange, but true!
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      You pay for what you get. The more expensive you pay, usually the better OVERALL coverage (not in a specific area). Verizon is the most expensive but it is the best.
      T-mobile is the least expensive of the big boys but it's the least OVERALL reliable.
      Metro is cheap.. but it's a piece of sh!t.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      T-Mob is cheap in the UK and the best...
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      T-mobile is the best in LA where I used to live. In OC you can get full bars in one place, take 10 steps, and then be at no signal (my school's like that )
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I'm really not sure that the asynchronous frequencies used in the USA for UMTS do them any favours.
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      You mean favors
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Downloading = favors
      uploading - favours
      Asynchronous is not right when it comes to frequencies...
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Okay.. you lost me.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Easily done, just turn the lights out when you are travelling at the speed of light and you would never hear us again..
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      But if you speak and I'm traveling at the speed of light I won't be able to hear you anyways.