Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

Apple & AT&T: A doomed marriage

I love my iPhone, but boy, do I hate AT&T, which all iPhone users have no choice but to commit to. Wired has a great piece up about the bad marriage between the two companies. Here’s an excerpt that should be a warning to all smartphone users:

But the partnership also exposed a fundamental disconnect between phone makers — who want to make indispensable devices that customers use constantly to their fullest capabilities — and carriers, who want to limit the data demands on their networks. This dysfunctional relationship is not unique to Apple and AT&T; the tensions that have undercut the iPhone will likely bedevil every manufacturer and carrier. And what that means is, at some point, everyone with a smartphone will probably experience the same frustration as AT&T customers. Get ready for a lot more angry hashtags.

Meanwhile, here’s a lovely bit of verse: “iPoem”

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posted July 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I don’t understand the anti-AT&T thing. I’m always hearing ‘I’d get an iPhone, but I HATE AT&T.’ But no one ever gives me any actual reasons. Not that they don’t have a reason, it’s just that the statement is vague.
I, on the other hand, have had a phone (first a regular cell phone, then an iPhone) through AT&T since 2003. I’ve never had a single problem with them, and have always been very pleased with their customer service (as opposed to, say, Verizon, which has Customer Service From Hell).
But that’s just me. I realize it may not be the same for everyone.
That said, yes, I think that it’s kind of silly to tie one smart phone to just one provider.

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posted July 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I’ve been a Sprint customer for the better part of a decade. Always loved the service & customer support. A good friend of mine who lives across the country from me recently switched from Sprint to AT&T so he could get a new iPhone. Our first call after the switch it was extremely obvious to me why people complain about AT&T. The quality of the audio on the call was noticeably inferior to Sprint.
That said, even though I would much prefer an EVO, I will be joining the ranks of unhappy AT&T customers very soon. When your company offers to buy you an i4 and pay for the service, how do you say no? Even if the service is crappy.

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posted July 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Jen, I can probably explain just a bit. The company I work for had a contract for two years with AT&T. Our experience was so utterly horrible on AT&T (must of us with the Motorola V551 phone) that we were absolutely desperate for the contract to end. I could literally not drive down the interstate from Minneapolis to Des Moines without having call after call dropped. It was just a nightmare.
Then we came to the end of the two year contract and signed up with T-Mobile. For the next two years we have had nothing but a positive experience.
So when the iPhone came out, there was unanimity of opinion in the office that we did not want anything to do with it if we had to be hitched to AT&T.
Now I will readily agree that other users may have had good experiences. I don’t really understand how that works. But ours was truly miserable, a genuine drain on business productivity, and we were totally unwilling to touch that hot stove a second time.
I would happily buy an iPhone if I could use it on another network but I will never, ever buy one if they are tethered to AT&T.

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posted July 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

To be honest, I’m tired of smart phone users whining about how unhappy they are with their carriers. You all are the bandwidth hogs who are slowing down data networks for everyone and driving up costs as carriers scramble to expand their networks to accommodate your incessant facebook and porn browsing. God save us from these addictive (and utterly un-crunchy) gadgets.

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Abelard Lindsey

posted July 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I am not sympathetic with the people who want to sue Apple over this. When you buy the iPhone, the store sales people have you read and sign a contract stating that you are fully aware that the device will work only with AT&T. If you don’t want AT&T as your provider or you do not want a long-term contract, then don’t buy the iPhone.
I think these people who bought iPhones and are now wanting to sue Apple because they cannot use another carrier are a bunch of cry-babies. A contract is a contract. If they cannot accept it, they should not sign it to begin with.
I used Verizon since ’01 and have yet to migrate to a “smart” phone. If and when I do, I will probably stay with Verizon as their service has been quite robust and I have been quite satisfied with them.

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