AT&T vs. the iPhone

By Frank Kenna

How is it possible that two of the largest and most well-known companies are working against each other?  Do they realize what they’re doing and how it’s perceived by the public – or at least by people like me?

Here’s what I’m talking about.  Last week Apple announced the new iPhone 4.  It has even more bandwidth-sucking features such as a HD camera (uses more bandwidth to email), video calling and recording, and of course still has the included YouTube application which, as any YouTube user knows, can suck up prodigious amounts of time and bandwidth.

So, with this ever-more connected product about to go on sale, what does AT&T, Apple’s network partner, do?  Limit the amount of bandwidth included in monthly plans.  Really?

How can it be that one partner is encouraging more bandwidth usage and the other is trying to limit it?  The explanations I’ve heard are that AT&T can’t handle the volume so might as well charge more.  Or that it’s only fair to charge heavy users more than light ones.  But speaking as a customer, I really dislike the fact that if I upgrade to the new phone, I’ll always have this nagging thought in the back of my mind that I might be paying extra at any moment.

I know I’m not the only one thinking about this as I’ve read other opinions similar to mine.  From a customer service point of view, I think Apple has uncharacteristically dropped the ball on this one.  Up until now, they’ve been all about unleashing and simplifying internet usage, but now are apparently letting AT&T work against this basic premise.

I just read that Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G smartphone is sold out in many parts of the country.  Between that and other Android phones coming on the market, Apple seems to finally have some stiff competition.  Limiting net access seems like a wrong move… speaking as a customer.

Sharon Toelle
June 15, 2010

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