Skip navigation

The 'blame anyone but Apple cadre,' Part 217: AT&T

So AT&T is finally adding MMS support to the iPhone 3G/3GS on September 25, about two months after Apple first announced the feature and other international wireless carriers provided it. Yep, AT&T sucks. And I should know, I've been using this horrible network, first in "EDGE" form, and then with their supposed 3G network, for two years now. God, how I miss Verizon.

There's just one problem. AT&T isn't unique, and all wireless carriers are horrible. And it's hard to credibly assert that Verizon's admittedly superior 3G network wouldn't simply buckle under the pressure of all those iPhone users. It just would. When I had my Verizon USB dongle, speeds were usually decent, but let's face, I was one of 17 people using the thing at any given time.

Also, I've taken my iPhone all over Europe. Allow me to dispel the rumor that any of AT&T's international competitors are any better. In Ireland, Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Portugal, I've had all kids of connectivity issues on a variety of iPhone-compatible networks. iPhone connectivity is terrible everywhere. It will be terrible on Verizon if that ever happens.

There's a growing trend to just blame AT&T for all of the iPhone's troubles. I'm not sure that's fair, since most networks simply can't handle the amount of wireless traffic these devices bring. But if ever there was one example of Apple's hold on the press, it's this whole AT&T thing. Consider the Google Voice debacle. Even after AT&T asserted publicly that it had absolutely nothing to do with the Google Voice rejection, publications as credible as The New York Times were still blaming them. Nope, it's never Apple's fault.

It's kind of like the reaction to Snow Leopard, a service pack if there ever was one. There's so much here, I'll just cherry pick the most obvious: If Microsoft had the temerity to ship a mostly-64-bit OS that utilized a 32-bit kernel, the Mac community would be up in arms, ridiculing the software giant endlessly. It's hard to imagine Apple not making an "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" commercial lampooning this. But Apple does just that and ... nothing. Meanwhile, because Apple has run out of ideas and had to improve the low level parts of OS that, three years ago, apparently needed absolutely no improvement at all, the Apple fan base accepts Apple's offering on blind faith: "Because Apple has provided this, this then is exactly what we need." It must be nice to have such a trusting audience, and one that is so eager to spend money, year after year. Even on a service pack.

So let's blame AT&T for everything, please. Just don't be so sure that whatever the next network carrier is will be any better.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.