Hey, who unplugged AT&T’s data network, what’s the impact to the iPhone?

Apple_iphone_adsFull disclosure: this is not a knock against the iPhone. Yes, it is an amazing device, so don’t roast me without reading to the end. ;)

Having said that: I was wondering how useful the iPhone is when you don’t have WiFi or EDGE and was going to write a post on it over the weekend. Sure you can view or listen to your stored media, take notes, edit contacts, etc….but since the iPhone platform is relegated to Safari-based apps for third-parties, what happens when you don’t have connectivity? I decided against writing the post because I felt that the situation of zero connectivity was very rare, say on an airplane or something. Today’s events changed my mind and cause me to ask the question again. And not just for the iPhone, I’m really talking about any Internet-based platform. In case you missed it, AT&T appears to have experienced a nationwide EDGE outage today.

We’ve chatted about it before here, talking about how we personally arecautious to totally used web-based services. The chances of a fullGoogle outage are slim but even though I use Google Reader for my RSSfeeds, I do have a backup and I’ve also kept up with using GoogleGears. My T-Mobile EDGE was fine all day but even if it wasn’t, I’ve gotplenty of third party Windows Mobile apps installed to get me throughmy day. No doubt that connectivity is ‘king’, but even with a networkoutage, I can still use 95% of the device functions. Perhaps that willbe the case with some of the Safari based apps; maybe they won’t bereliant upon network connectivity and can stand alone.

What are yourthoughts? Even though the circumstances are unlikely, are you ready tocompletely have faith in a device or service that uses aweb-based method as it’s base platform?