Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is the iPhone to Blame for AT&T's Problems?

Those all thumbs AT&T media flacks apparently worked hard to get a weird pro-AT&T article by Randall Stross into the New York Times. It basically blames the iPhone for AT&T's well publicized service problems (particularly in New York).

It's a strange article, because it really doesn't make much sense. The iPhone is to blame, but it works fine everywhere except New York and San Francisco. (It also seems to work fine around the world.) The best argument for this was made on the rabidly pro-Apple site, MacDaily News.

Randall Stross' transparently fake journalistic "investigation" leaves little doubt AT&T planted the whole thing. "I was astonished to discover that I had managed to get things exactly wrong…" he bubblers. I'm astonished this shit gets in the New York Times. These days the New York Times has less credibility than a tech blog written by a crazy guy in his basement (as this one is). The paper can pretty much be bought and sold to promote the corporate interests of it's advertisers. Of what value to New York Times readers was a piece telling them that they shouldn't blame AT&T for the fact that phone service in New York sucks? Where are the suggestions on phones that New Yorker's might consider as an alternative to the "faulty" iPhone? This is really embarrassingly lame "reporting." New York Times, this is news? There's no other real news in the tech world that needs covering? You just had to get out this info on imaginary iPhone problems?

The question to Uncle Bell is, is there a secret war going on between AT&T and Apple? Are AT&T flacks trying to plant stories to undermine the iPhone and focus blame on Apple for their problems? Or is the hope that Apple loving iPhone users will forgive AT&T if they think their beloved company is at least partially to blame?

Or does the whole thing just confuse the issue of poor AT&T service with the hope Verizon won't win the perception war?

One can only hope someone at AT&T is putting as much effort into just fixing the actual problem.


It appears everyone has instantly questioned this planted article. In addition to MacDaily news, blogger John Gruber takes the time to tear it apart inch by inch:

Even worse for this spin job on bad service, Boing Boing, instant controversy legitimizer, links to John Gruber's blog:

So let's review. AT&T flacks plant a story in the New York Times to try to deflect blame for their bad service in New York. Odds are, virtually no one would read the story anyway, even on the New York Times website because there is no story there. No there there.

But now Boing Boing, which has a massive readership that reads everything that passes by it's feed, covers the fact that the story has to be bullshit. So now the real story is: AT&T get's New York Times to lie.

And their service sucks.

Great work AT&T flacks! Way to keep the story of AT&T service sucking in the news!

Now… how about fixing the service?

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