Sitting with AT&T

A few weeks ago I was on a plane playing some games on my iPhone and when we landed the person next to me asked how I liked my iPhone. I said that I loved it but that I did not like AT&T. He asked why and I trotted out the usual things, lack of MMS, lack of tethering, poor 3G speeds, dropped calls, poor coverage, calls and voice mail coming in late (up to 12 hours late for me). He sniffed and told me that he worked for AT&T and ask if I had any idea how much they were subsidizing the iPhone. I guessed a number which I suspect was not far off the truth. I got the impression that he felt AT&T was doing us iPhone owners a favor with that and that criticism was not warranted. The conversation pretty much died there because it was time to get off the plane.

But there were a few other things that I should have said. I bought the original iPhone for $600 so I was not that subsidized, and I am now out of contract which means that my monthly payment includes whatever payback on the subsidy as a free money for AT&T. AT&T is in business to make money, if did not feel it could not make money from the iPhone then it should not carry it, I am sure other carriers would love to get their hands on the iPhone. AT&T had its best sales day ever when the iPhone 3GS was launched and will get payments for those phones for the duration of the contract.

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