EDGE Network Could Cost Apple Tens of Customers


A couple of things that make people nervous about the iPhone: no mechanical keyboard and AT&T/Cingular’s EDGE network.

If anybody’s poised to perfect the whole touchscreen keyboard thing, it’s probably Apple. Nokia almost got it with the 770/N800 but for people with gargantuan thumbs, “tapping” ASDF in one fell swoop is about as fun as riding a bike with no seat. Hats off to Apple if they can get the keyboard right.

The EDGE network is another story. There’s only so much that Apple can do to make the iPhone zip along and, at the end of the day, the iPhone would be much faster on just about any other network. So the whole AT&T/Cingular partnership has been a bit of a puzzler for a device that’s so dependent on data.

Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 skipped the iPhone altogether, instead opting for a Blackberry 8830 on the Verizon network.

“Bottom line is: The network MATTERS – a lot. It matters for voice and it matters for the ultra-hyped mobile web. Verizon’s high speed network IS faster – it’s not full broadband speed, of course, but it blows away the slower networks I’ve used, i.e. the kind of slower network the iPhone has with AT&T.

So much of the Web’s promise went unfulfilled in Web 1.0 because the network simply wasn’t ready. Buying an iPhone with AT&T would be like buying a laptop that only supports dial-up.”

I think that for normal run-of-the-mill web surfing, the EDGE network should be sufficient but once you get into downloading music and videos directly to the iPhone, the slow network speed could become painfully apparent.

None of this will likely matter, though. Apple could make the iPhone attach to other iPhones with twine and most everyone would still buy one.

Why I Didn’t Buy An iPhone: The Network [Publishing 2.0]