• Time for Apple and AT&T to See Other People?

    images via Apple, AT&T

    PC World is out with a great article this weekend that asks a question we've all posed to ourselves and to others: isn't it about time for Apple and AT&T to see other people?

    An "open marriage" is how writer Ian Paul puts it.

    Even though many people are pouring on the hate for AT&T, the still love the iPhone, according to reports. So if the cellular network is the problem, hereís a suggestion for Apple thatís guaranteed to keep at least some U.S. customers happy: Cancel iPhone exclusivity with AT&T.
    As we're seeing over time, iPhone customers are like children who eventually get what they want after whining about it long enough. As once such loudmouth brat, I can attest to the power of this approach. But since we're adults, we shouldn't have to demand anything for a protracted period of time before the service (that we pay good money for) begins to seriously acknowledge such entreaties.

    This summer has been an interesting one for Apple customers. From the apparent evolution of the approval process for new apps that we really want, to the emergence of signs that greater background functionality in on the horizon (thanks to Loopt), more and more folks are starting to anticipate this revolution born of revolt coming to AT&T's relationship with Apple.

    The best possible move for Apple to make with the iPhone today is to seriously address the source of most customer complaints: dropped calls, weak service, and data loading slower than molasses. Cool apps and background functionality aside, we need a phone that works smoothly and consistently.

    With a second -- or even third -- carrier, iPhone customers would be able to choose their own network, and the current load on AT&Tís infrastructure would be reduced. This could improve service for iPhone customers who stick with AT&T, as well as those who migrate to other networks.
    Although Apple and AT&T may not budge overnight on their exclusivity posturing, I think it's a safe bet to speculate that the "open marriage" alluded to is an inevitability not merely a possibility. And the longer they wait to give us what we want, the more frequently Apple's "children" will continue to throw emboldened tantrums.
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