Monday, January 25, 2010

AT&T Is Better Off Without iPhone?

So the big rumor today is that AT&T will lose it's exclusivity on the iPhone (no big surprise) and that it will be announced Wednesday when the new Apple Tablet is said to be revealed. (That is a bit of a surprise.)

Of course, AT&T flacks are out in force, trying to pre-spin this news. They ran to friendly blogger Tom Brady to get out their side of the story:

Brady has previously devoted columns to the widely discredited NYTimes piece claiming that hardware problems in the iPhone, not AT&T, were really to blame for AT&T service problems. (For some reason, the iPhone works great every where but in America. Maybe we have a different version with hardware problems.) He, of course, repeats this unsubstantiated bullshit and says it will be great for AT&T not the be the whipping boy for iPhone problems. Never mentioning why other carriers would want a defective product. (Oh, because it makes huge profits for them? But won't that mean AT&T profits will be hurt?)

Another blog post gets it right by saying that the announcement of AT&T's loss of exclusivity at the iTablet unveiling would be "hugely embarrassing" for AT&T.

But AT&T spin doctors do manage to get a little rub in at the end that maybe they'd be "happy" not to take the heat for service problems. Right…

With an end finally in sight, AT&T's mishandling of it's iPhone exclusivity opportunity has to go down as one of the biggest corporate tech blunders in recent history. The iPhone gave AT&T huge profits with which to have built out its network and be well ahead of any competitors. But instead, it gouged customers with needlessly high prices, denied problems and basically acted so arrogantly it alienated the richest and most tech savy group of trend makers in the technology sector: Apple customers. These are people who are known for brand loyalty.

The end of iPhone exclusivity should have been a question of "why?" to AT&T iPhone customers. Instead, they are going to packing up to leave like they are passengers on the Titanic.

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