Usually the first rule of business is that the customer is right always. Well maybe not so much according to AT&T, especially when it comes to the Iphone and data “hogs”. While unlimited plans usually mean unlimited, it looks like unlimited is soon going to mean caps, and extra charges for well, using your unlimited plan in an unlimited way.
I can’t think of a better reason for Apple to start seriously evaluating the impact that back end services to the Iphone and its popularity are going to have in the future. While I refuse to purchase an Iphone until it is on the Verizon network, Apple needs to start taking a look at what AT&T is doing not just to itself, but in the longer run everyone who purchases a smart internet capable phone through them. Blackberry and Android should also be seriously looking at all the cell carriers and working out the best strategy to sell more gear. Customer satisfaction is going to depend on the networking services that are being paid for and provided.
I can’t think of a better time for Apple to step out of it’s exclusivity deal with AT&T and let me (and probably thousands of others who love Verizon) purchase and Iphone and join the modern age. When the service carrier blames a small percentage of users for their issues (much like Comcast and other ISP’s did with Bittorrent and now Streaming Media) of providing an even service across the network, we all know what is coming next. AT&T has been open about it, data caps, and probably bandwidth shaping to go along with that, dropping high volume users in the middle of whatever they were doing.
The AT&T chief also held out the possibility of pricing changes that could promote changes in how customers use data. One positive step AT&T could take would be to help users understand how much data they are using and how their own usage compares to other users. Many in the top 3 percent probably have no idea their data usage is way above average, and might cut back if they knew. Source: PC World
If this is true and the top 3% will care the service issues they are causing others (Comcast had to go into bandwidth shaping and connection resetting to get people’s attention on their cable network for the same problem) in the longer run then that will be good. The problem is that educating users who bought an unlimited data plan and use it in an unlimited manner will go “meh”. It is a good intention, but most likely to fail, meaning this is the time that Apple needs to go on the offensive to make sure that the Iphone does not end up in the land of misfit toys because AT&T can’t deliver.
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(Cross-posted @ TechWag)