Monday, 08 June 2009

Today Apple announced the next rev of the iPhone, the "iPhone 3GS." It has beefed up processing power and some cool new features like a better camera, more storage, etc.

Normally I'd be ultra excited about getting one as soon as its available. But this time around, I'm having a hard time getting inspired.

It has nothing to do with Apple's hardware and software. In fact, the processing power boosts and other changes are very, very tempting, and in a world where all else was equal it would be a no-brainer for me to drop the early upgrade cash on the table and move on up.

But the fact of the matter is, with AT&T's ultra-poor network performance on my current iPhone 3G, I think I'm better off waiting until Apple adds another U.S. carrier. I consistently have to turn off the 3G capabilities on iPhone 3G in order to avoid dropped calls and to successfully get network connections. That was the case with the first iPhone 3G I had, too. To top it all off, the service has gotten worse recently in my experience. I just can't see dropping that much cash for a new phone to operate on a network that already sucks. I've been sorely disappointed by AT&T, almost to the point where I want to call them and tell them they've consistently failed to perform to the level of service they claim (which is 100% the case).

It's time for Apple to drop that bomb on AT&T. Failure to perform in this case is going to cost Apple market share. It's got to be embarrassing to the company. During the announcements made today at Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, every time AT&T was mentioned the crowd just laughed. Seriously laughed, and not because there was a funny joke. It was because AT&T's quality is so lacking one just can' t help but either laugh or cry. They even laughed when AT&T was not mentioned - most notably with regard the fact that the carrier's logo was missing from some key slides in the presentation, pointing out AT&T's lack of launch time support for MMS and tethering, two of the key selling points for the new phone model.

AT&T has turned into that partner that Apple doesn't need, and shouldn't want. It's time to make a change. AT&T has simply failed to perform. When you can't reliably make and maintain calls and the data network won't keep a connection between towers, something's just not good enough. I hope Apple will step up - sooner rather than later - and add another carrier or two even before AT&T's exclusive agreement expires. It takes two to be successful in any partnership, and in this one AT&T's turned into a bit of a boat anchor.

What would change my mind on this one? Simple: When my current 3G phones work like they should on AT&Ts network, I'll be the first one to say so right here. Out loud and with conviction. But, I'm not holding my breath quite yet.Tmobile

Maybe a good jailbreaking and switch to Tmobile will work on the new OS and device. I'm sure someone will figure out out. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We shall see.

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Apple | Mobile | Tech | Things that Suck
Monday, 08 June 2009 20:16:24 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Tuesday, 09 June 2009 06:03:38 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Um. You can't use AT&T's 3G on TMobile. It's a different frequency (plus, their 3G network is newer and smaller then AT&T's). And you can't go to Verizon -- it's a different standard. Apparently, Apple does not see the cost/benefit proposition in them building a CDMA device... May be once Verizon moves to LTE...
Tuesday, 09 June 2009 09:12:26 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
T-Mobile is a great little company, but they compete on price, not coverage or speed. If you want the best network, Verizon is the only way to go. Unfortunately, no iPhone and the rest of the phones sorta suck too.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 10:12:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My point is that AT&T's network doesn't cut it (at least not yet). While Tmobile has limited coverage area to be sure, the area they do cover is at least better than with AT&T's 3G area quality.

It's tempting to get the device *anyway*. But, since it would mean a new 2-year agreement with AT&T and some cash out of pocket, one has to consider the other options, one of which is likely to be using third party tools to join the phone to other networks. In a perfect world it wouldn't even be worth mentioning, but when I have to set up my iPhone 3G on the EDGE network (disable 3G) in order to use it in a major metro area (Portland, OR) without dropping calls... Well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I've been a long-time customer of AT&T as a large business IT guy and as an individual customer. They've done well in the past, but this particular network and service don't make the grade. My hope is that they'll substantially invest and substantially improve, very quickly.
Thursday, 11 June 2009 07:32:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
But maybe someone might buy your current phone, because the first one that was donated to him (which he loves BTW) might like the newer style? :)
Saturday, 20 June 2009 03:41:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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