Home > Musings, Rant > Breaking news!!! Steve Jobs is kind of an asshole. #att #apple

Breaking news!!! Steve Jobs is kind of an asshole. #att #apple

July 23rd, 2010

From this Wired article, first a few choice quotes.

“What is clear is that AT&T’s role will always be that of parsimonious gatekeeper, dictating to its customers how much data they can have and how much they’ll pay for it. It is precisely the role the company hoped to avoid, the reason that carriers long refused to give phone manufacturers and software developers the kind of influence that Apple now wields.”

I’ve always felt kinda sorry for AT&T. They’ve been my only cell carrier and I’ve never had the troubles with them that other people have reported. Since I got my iPhone (I’m still on a first gen) I’ve always blamed Apple for putting a shitty phone into the world’s best pocket computer. Even as an Apple loyalist (not fanboy), I believe all problems here can all be placed squarely on the turtlenecked d-bag in the big chair at Cupertino.

As Wired says repeatedly, no carrier could have handled iPhone users. If Apple had gone to Verizon, vfail would be the hashtag instead of attfail. Letting iPhone users into your network is like throwing a Hell’s Angels party in a three bed, two bath ranch house. The toilets are going to overflow, the beds are getting broken, there will be holes in the walls. Only spreading the impact across all carriers would have prevented data problems. But then his Jobsness couldn’t have made the carriers come crawling to him.

Call Quality
Again, Wired: “[AT&T executives] say — and Apple sources confirm — that the software running the iPhone’s main radio, known as the baseband, was full of bugs and contributed to the much-decried dropped calls. What’s more, Apple had chosen to source the radio from Infineon, whose hardware was used widely in Europe but rarely in the US, where cell towers are placed farther apart and reception is therefore less forgiving.”

In my old apartment if I took a call without the headphones, whoever I was talking to couldn’t hear me. Now Apple admits they miscalculated the bars graph (which is probably all misdirection bullshit, but still…). AT&T’s definitely involved in this one and honestly I’ve always heard complaints of AT&T’s network, usually relating to dead spots. It’s just not a problem I’ve experienced a lot.

Phone Features
The battery fucking sucks! The camera is great in daylight and downgrades rapidly from there and there’s no flash (until the 4). My boy A/C just wasn’t interested in an iPhone prior to the 4 because of the peripheral equipment. Maybe the constant flashing of my iPhone (if you ever want to see how quick I haul it out, start a phrase with “I wonder” near me and you’ll probably see) influenced his decision to get a smartphone, but it was something else until a few weeks ago. Was AT&T involved in hardware decisions? Doubt it.

I just don’t see AT&T as the bad guy in all this. Even killing unlimited data plans was a reasonable move (although they have set the bar kinda low, even restricted to EDGE I consistently go over the first tier, glad I’m grandfathered) .

The article says AT&T pretty well knew what was about to happen to them. So why did they put their head in Apple’s vice? Well, remember the iPod? Kind of a big deal, right? Ford didn’t invent the automobile and Jobs didn’t invent the MP3 player, but did you own any pre-iPod MP3 players? Probably not, but I did. Two of them. A 15gb hard drive monster that was a piece of shit and a 256k flash device that was a letdown after my 15gb died. Then the iPod comes along and changes the game. “Revolutionize” is not too strong a word.

So That Guy says he’s making a cell phone. You run a cell phone company, what do your shareholders want you to do? To bend over for That Guy, so that’s what you do. AT&T is looking at hitting $50 billion in network upgrades this year (according to Wired) and all they get for it is venom from iPhone users who think hype is a food group.

In closing let’s consider this, from NY Times:
“This year, Root Wireless ran 4.7 million tests on smartphones for each of the four major carriers, spread across seven metropolitan areas: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles/Orange County, New York, Seattle/Tacoma, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington. In every market, AT&T had faster average download speeds and had signal strength of 75 percent or better more frequently than did Verizon. (A Verizon spokesman declined to comment about these test results or those of Global Wireless Solutions.)

I asked Ron Dicklin, chief technology officer at Root Wireless, how these results, showing AT&T as the clear leader, could be reconciled with the negative appraisal of Consumer Reports’ respondents. He explained that his company’s tests of AT&T’s data network were done with handsets other than the iPhone, which does not allow non-Apple programs like his to run in the background. “

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