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AT&T wireless sucks

2008-06-09 19:29:53.001342+00 by Dan Lyke 16 comments

I've had several wacky cell phone connections today, calls where one side of the conversation goes through, the other side doesn't. This culminated in Phil calling me, me not hearing him, so I called him back, and he said "yeah, I just noticed that Apple released a new iPhone today". We laughed for a short while over how irrelevant that news is given the bad luck I've been having with AT&T's sorry-assed excuse for wireless coverage and service.

[ related topics: Apple Computer Wireless iPhone ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-09 19:54:37.903489+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, yeah, in the "idiots" department, from that article:

Apple Inc. cut the price of its best-selling iPhone in half Monday - to $199 ...


AT&T said its plans for the phone will start at $39.99 per month, plus $30 for unlimited data. That's a $10 increase from the cheapest plan for the earlier iPhone.

Given that the contract is two years, how is $40 more "in half"?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-09 20:06:44.856788+00 by: ebradway

Maybe the kids like txt'ing so much because synchronous voice on wireless handset just plain sucks.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-09 20:19:42.88459+00 by: mvandewettering

I'm curious: given that people are bitching about AT&T, just what is the alternative? What carrier has good coverage, good service and inexpensive rates?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-09 20:34:02.656823+00 by: Dan Lyke

I don't know, Mark. I switched from Sprint because I wanted coverage out in the San Geronimo Valley, in retrospect this was a mistake 'cause AT&T was really no more usable out there, but I actually liked them. Of course I've no idea if, since they've been folded into Nextel, they still do consumer cell phones, or if the reason I think AT&T sucks is just that AT&T is my cell phone service provider.

My guess is that they all suck, and that they've all managed to make their rate structures complex enough that it's pretty much impossible to choose based on anything other than gut feel from advertising.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-09 22:37:58.461053+00 by: polly

i've had verizon (very expensive!),cricket(very limited calling area), T-mobile (limited calling area), and at&t. so far, at&t wins.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-09 23:47:13.14661+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

My husband has gone through Verizon, T-mobile, and AT&T and grumbles about all of them. I've stuck with Sprint the entire time, and have been almost completely complaint-free.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-10 00:19:33.182468+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Sprint unfairly extended my contract on me, so I bailed out on them. AT&T was expensive but okay; Dan, BTW, try yanking the batteries from your phone for a minute or so. I've gotten a lot of bad reports about Verizon, but I've been using them w/ no problems so far.

IMO Cricket is a good choice, and given how popular they are should be expanding their area soon.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-10 09:09:00.597771+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Travelling in the US an regionally, Verizon has more and better coverage than others, but they ain't cheap. I swapped after hanging with the cavers and my Sprint phone rarely got signal in remote places. I'm going to have to go "GSM" soon, and may try AT&T for it, but we might just get a company GSM phone and share it when travelling.

#Comment Re: workin' for the man made: 2008-06-10 14:41:19.506079+00 by: ghasty

Ok, can say "no comment" on coverage but one interesting thing on the new iphone plans...they went up and also the new agreement ends the monthly revenue sharing with apple...so it's all OURS now...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-10 15:51:07.169325+00 by: DaveP

On the iPhone, it's tempting, but misses the one killer feature that will have me shopping rather than just buying one. That feature is the one that T-Mobile has on some new phones where the phone will use any open wifi network, or any T-Mobile hotspot, and will place calls over the wifi. It'll hand off seamlessly to the cellular network if you walk out of range.

If the iPhone came with a calling / data plan like that, I'd have already pre-ordered, but as it stands, I'm going to have to visit some T-mobile stores to see how bad the browsers on their hybrid phones suck. I'll also be looking into getting a euro iPhone and T-Mobile service here in the states (definitely not officially supported, but I've been told by some German folks here at WWDC that it may be possible).

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-10 16:00:40.855721+00 by: Dan Lyke

I've only used friends iPhones for a little while, but that was long enough for the "wow" factor to wear off and for me to conclude that if I wanted a phone with those features I'd get a Blackberry. Text entry on the iPhone and I don't get along.

And, for the most part, I think I'm actually headed towards a strategy that has separate devices for each of those functions, a nav system for the car, the camera separate from the phone, the Chumby for random data display, etc. That might change if platform development and pricing became sane, but I'm not seeing that happen right now.

Generally, I think cell phone companies are in the same mindset as AOL, Prodigy, CompuServe and the like were in in the early '90s: They think their value comes from restricting their customers from doing things, not from enabling data interchange and more communication. Someone's gonna break that monopoly, but it's not going to be the same mindset that was thinking in terms of "circuits" late into the new millenium.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-10 17:57:05.926332+00 by: Dan Lyke

Gary, if the new agreement ends the monthly revenue sharing, that can only mean two things:

  1. Apple's getting more up-front to compensate for the lost $200, so Apple's taking less risk and AT&T is taking more.
  2. Apple has less incentive to keep the phone locked to a specific carrier.


#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-10 18:52:15.176604+00 by: topspin [edit history]

Yuppie that I am, the xv 6800 works pretty well here.

I'm told some can hack the phone to install the Sprint radio so the internal GPS and Rev. A work and a custom leaked version of Windows Mobile 6.1...... but I wouldn't know, of course, about such geeky things.

The xda-developers community reminds me of folks I knew who did amazing things with TBBS, a Compaq Portable named "Bertha", geekiness, imagination, and the desire to push the hardware/software limits.

#Comment Re: Yes, Dan made: 2008-06-11 13:09:13.919197+00 by: ghasty

Yes for #1 and #2 Dan. Obviously when apple started shopping elsewhere for the international carriers negotiations went to another level domestically. The press internal is to make it like all the other cell hardware deals and appears that apple took that deal

#Comment Re: some more info made: 2008-06-11 13:17:07.911857+00 by: ghasty [edit history]

Good article over here.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-11 19:27:54.966646+00 by: ghasty

Of course the one thing I don't get is timing. Inventory dried up on the iphone 1.0 weeks ago online and in stores...now 2.0 is announced but not available until 7/11. So we have 2 month's of $0 revenue on new customers. But then again, that would also reduce the number of folks demanding a free upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0 possibly...