The Gruber does it again. In a point by point analysis of Randall Stross’ article about AT&T not really sucking and actually being great, he points out a few valuable concepts. First, if the iPhone sucks so much on AT&T’s network, why hasn’t AT&T made Apple fix it? Unless AT&T is so afraid of Steve Jobs’ hit squad that it refuses to point out that it needs better hardware, I think this is all AT&T.
Here are some money shots:
If it’s the iPhone’s fault, not AT&T’s, why aren’t iPhone users around the world having the same problems as those here in the U.S.? How come iPhone carriers in Europe turned on tethering support as soon as iPhone OS 3.0 was released, and AT&T still, seven months later, has not? I’ve brought this up before and readers have argued that the U.S. is a far bigger country than those in Europe, so of course U.S. carriers have a harder job than those in Europe. But that argument doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not there’s one single AT&T cell tower providing service for the whole country. When it comes to providing coverage for a large city like New York or London or Paris, what difference does it make how big the rest of the country is? What’s different about providing wireless service in the U.S. than Europe isn’t the densely-populated metro areas — it’s the sparsely-populated rural areas. But it’s the metro areas where the iPhone is having the severe problems. And, what about Canada? Larger landmass than the U.S., tethering is available, and service quality is good.
If it’s the iPhone’s fault, why have iPhone/AT&T reception problems gotten worse over time? Doesn’t the correlation between the number of iPhones in use and the increase in complaints about AT&T strongly suggest the problem is network capacity?
AT&T fell over itself to get behind the news that their chairman wanted to educate consumers about proper wireless data use instead of improving the network.
I have only ever had issues with AT&T in New York. I just started getting dropped calls like a MoFo and it’s abundantly clear it’s AT&T’s fault. In fact, I carried my iPhone all over the world, even to China, and it worked a treat. Feel free to blame the phone, but I blame the network.
As I said before: mobile data will be the default, not the exception. Maybe Wi-Max will help us on our quest but soon there will be no wires going into the house in the vast majority of cases. Instead, data will come over the air. If AT&T isn’t ready for this, then it’s their problem, not Apple’s, Nokia’s, or HTC’s.