Gadgets – AT&T Is Playing a Very Expensive Game of Chicken

For those who don’t know, AT&T’s network really kind of blows.  This isn’t a surprise.  AT&T is the last vestige of a vast monopoly that never really, in the end, figured out it wasn’t a monopoly anymore.  Sure, Sprint, the company that broke their control, is rocketing down the tubes, but that doesn’t make the fact that AT&T is flailing any easier.  Especially when the company kicking their ass used to be part of the same damn monopoly.

AT&T has decided to be aggressive in…punishing the customer and blaming Apple for all its problems.  So far, AT&T has claimed the iPhone is badly engineered to suck up all their bandwidth, and that it’s just 3% of smartphone users sucking up40% of their bandwidth.  Basically, this means they’re going to eliminate the data plans and start charging by the megabyte.

This also means that, in fairly short order, you’ll be able to get an iPhone from any carrier.

That last is not brilliant market prognostication on my part.  It’s simply inevitable.  There’s only so far Apple can grow on one network and even if AT&T weren’t acting like dicks, the breakup was coming.  This is just a measure of how messy it’ll be.

But, once again, AT&T’s monopoly mindset is going to hurt them.  They’re assuming their competitors are too invested in Android to dare offend the mighty Google, and that Apple won’t dump them for a better suitor.  Therefore, they can blame Apple and don’t have to build out their network.

To which I say…are you fucking kidding me?  Does the word “BlackBerry” mean anything whatsoever to you, AT&T analysts?  RIM has got to be shitting bricks at the idea that Apple might break its contract with AT&T and go to all carriers.

But the company with the most to lose if Apple goes unlocked is…AT&T itself.  The iPhone has driven enormous growth, but there’s a reason this Apple fanboy doesn’t own one: AT&T’s network is awful.  If all of a sudden I can get an iPhone on my preferred network, hell yeah I’ll do it.

AT&T was on the verge of turning into Sprint before the iPhone came along and got them a record number of subscribers, just to get the fancy new toy.  AT&T knows this, but it clearly thinks it can keep those customers if the iPhone goes non-exclusive.  Oh yeah?  Wanna bet?

And it’s not like any of the carriers will turn Apple down, either.  Android is already dissolving into a big fat mess, and Google doesn’t offer them a hard product, just a name and some software.  Apple offers a product they can sell.

I predict in two years AT&T will no longer be the exclusive provider of the iPhone, and they’ll start going the way of Sprint.  Now if we can just destroy Verizon, and get rid of the last of the Baby Bells, truly the evil spirit will have been vanquished.

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One Response to “Gadgets – AT&T Is Playing a Very Expensive Game of Chicken”

  1. Bill Miller Says:

    Wow. A New Year but where are the new posts? Please write something new 🙂 – Bill

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