iPhone Whine #4: Stop Blaming AT&T

The web is replete with commentary on both the fabulousness and horror of owning an iPhone.

The praise for the iPhone is easy to understand. It is a great piece of technology, a wonderfully capable tool with a huge library of applications, all available at a reasonable price. At least, the price/performance point is reasonable based on the nearest competitors available prior to the launch of the iPhone (Sidekicks, Windows Mobile phones, Blackberrys).

In many, if not all, of the articles which express frustration with the iPhone (including the post cited above) talk at length about the vagaries of AT&T’s network. There was the SXSW fail, probably the most public failure. Most forums are replete with complaints.

Living in the Baltimore-Washington corridor as I do, my AT&T coverage is pretty good. The phone mostly works. I almost always have 4-5 bars (like that means anything).

But I live in a world of dropped calls and bad connections.

Apparently, on the day I bought my iPhone, all the local shopping stores and grocery stores were modified to be Farady Cages. At least, that is my supposition, given that I go from 5 bars outside to 1 bar inside, in the space of 50 feet.

Often the phone will ring, but I can’t hear the other person, or the call drops 10 seconds in.

Similarly, streaming radio will cut off at the slightest building entry.

To me, this is an iPhone problem more than an AT&T problem; I remain convince the radio transceiver in the iPhone is pretty bad.

Regularly I am sitting in a building (dance studio, gymnasium, etc.) trying and failing to make a call, and the other parents around me are talking away just fine on their AT&T phones (I started asking as I became annoyed with my iPhone). Often they are using Blackberry’s or Blackjack’s, on AT&T’s 3G network!

So it is time to stop blaming all the ills of the iPhone’s connectivity on AT&T. While part of the problem, Apple is responsible for the hardware inside the iPhone, and it is clearly not up to the task.

So please could we stop giving Apple a pass on this? Stop taking the easy out by blaming AT&T.

AT&T might suck, but Apple built an inferior phone. Good thing it isn’t really a phone.

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