Apple shaking their head at AT&T

8 Jun 2009

My laundry list of issues with the original iPhone has slowly been addressed. Apple has basically covered them all now that instant messaging, copy & paste and improved battery life with the new iPhone 3G. But there’s still one giant glaring problem. And that’s AT&T.

Those crooks at AT&T were so desperate to get the iPhone, that they got suckered into a bad deal, and they’ve been taking it out on the customers ever since. At the time, they had to do something. Because if Verizon picked up the iPhone, AT&T would be dead in the water. But they gave up too much.

So now if an iPhone 3G owner wants to upgrade to the iPhone 3GS (now being called the iPhone 3G$), they have to shell out $699. That is absolutely outrageous (Ars Technica has posted some additional info from AT&T about the pricing structure). And it can’t make Apple happy. While that may keep 3G users locked into their AT&T contracts without AT&T having to subsidize another phone for them, those are additional units that AT&T is preventing Apple from selling.

AT&T has never really even pretended to care about their customers. And that can work for a while. But it always comes back to bite companies in the rear. I suspect that around the time of the expiration of the iPhone exclusivity deal is when they’ll be feeling the pain. I don’t see how Apple could possible re-up. At the very least, they’ll agree to have Verizon and AT&T carry the 4G iPhone. That’s one thing Apple always has done, made better products for their customers.

And as MG Siegler from TechCrunch explains, with the current Apple + AT&T deal expiring next year, AT&T is not making a good case for why people should switch or upgrade and lock themselves into a two-year contract. You can expect a heavy does of damage control from AT&T and possible Apple in the very near future.

If I’m Verizon I’m doing everything I can over the next year and change to make sure my network coverage, reliability, capacity, customer service and price models are as good as they can possibly be. Because they stand to have a gigantic opportunity for a huge swing in customer base as soon as Apple can free themselves from AT&T.

So now that my list of exceptions has been addressed (thank you Apple), there’s only one thing holding me back from getting an iPhone. That’s AT&T.