Blog Post

My Big iPhone Break-up

Earlier this morning, after enduring days and days of dropped calls and errant network behavior, I quit on my iPhone (s aapl). It wasn’t an easy decision, but it had to be done. I depend almost exclusively on my mobile phone for my communications. Whether it be surfing the web, checking email, sending text messages or talking — my mobile is the center of my daily existence.

That being said, AT&T’s (s t) network just wasn’t cutting it for me. I even tried using a BlackBerry, but the network issues never quite went away. Then over the past few days, my iPhone was spending ungodly stretches of time “searching” for the network, the download speeds of web pages slowed down, and email — well that’s a whole other story. The static, the dropped calls and above all the shoddy call quality were enough to raise my blood pressure. And given my medical history, that’s not a good thing. The only feature that worked flawlessly: SMS.

I love my iPhone — but AT&T’s network has failed me. Apparently I’m not alone. If you follow me on Twitter, then you know how often I complain about it; my complaints always result in me receiving similar messages of frustration from other iPhone users. A status update on my Facebook page on the topic unleashed a flood of messages from people expressing abhorrence of AT&T’s service.

Anyway this morning, while conducting a phone interview, the call dropped on me twice. Enough was enough. A few minutes later, I went to T-Mobile’s company store and got myself a BlackBerry Curve 8900 for email and SMS. I also signed up for a plain-vanilla voice service from Verizon Wireless (s vz). And I already have a 32 GB iPod Touch for surfing and music. They can all be charged using the USB port of my Macbook, thereby obviating the need for extra chargers.

Is this an ideal solution? Probably not — but living with spotty service isn’t worth the trouble. The dream of living with a single device, a superphone, as we like to call it, hasn’t quite worked out yet, thanks to the network. Goodbye iPhone, it was nice knowing ya!

343 Responses to “My Big iPhone Break-up”

  1. That’s terrible! Damn AT&T!
    The iPhone is not exactly perfect, especially as a business phone, but it’s pretty close! OK the battery life is shorter than your average commute to work, but the design, apps and UI make up for that…as long as your network allows you to make calls that is!
    Maybe one day you’ll come back…

  2. I have actually done the same thing. A year later but the same. I switched over to Sprint, which has a MUCH better network and clearer calls. I got the new Evo and it makes my old iPhone look Amish. Sure there probably isn’t a high demand on Sprint’s network like AT&T but for $20 less a month, totally worth buying out the contract for

  3. I was at a conference today including about 80 persons. All of the At&t phones inside the buildind had no network service. It was a good opportunity to survey which network had signals and the result were as follow:
    AT&T no service
    Sprint 5 bars
    Verison 5 bars
    Tmobile 3 bars
    Walmart cheap pay as you go phone 4 bars
    Thanks AT&T for your lies about having the best network.

  4. Less Bars is a group of consumers who rave about one of the greatest inventions of this century: the iPhone. We are also an *educated* group of consumers who recognize that AT&T is currently conducting billing abuses against the majority of iPhone 3G customers.

    We created this petition to tell the AT&T Fat Cat Executives “We will not stand for your billing abuses. It is our constitutional right to use any and all social media and public relations avenues available to help spread the word about your billing abuse practices. We will not give up until you announce you will credit our accounts for each and every dropped call”.

    Find us on the web: http://www.lessbarsinmoreplaces.com
    Leave a comment on our hotline. We’ll replay it for all of twitterverse 800-574-7032

    Follow all of our research: http://www.twitter.com/atthaslessbars

  5. Great1122

    I’m sorry but the iPhone is the best at coverage around my area, I live on the eastern coast in New Jersey and I’ve had no problems with signals at all with my iPhone, I even use edge to save battery and it still works perfectly fine. So hope your problems get fixed, I have a 3gs btw.

  6. If you’ve already decided that AT&T has failed you and therefore presumably don’t care what they or Apple think about you, why not jailbreak the iPhone for T-Mobile – negating the need for your new curve. You get the stylish device that you want that also has music/video etc, plus plenty of extra features – of course you can continue to get your phone service from Verizon. But – now you’ve got service sans AT&T and you can even use the Safari browser if you want, even if it is a bit slower than a fully functional 3G network.

  7. Ok, looks like I am the only one who does not have a problem with AT&T. I live in Miami and the coverage is pretty good. I have not had any problems , drop calls / searching for network , in a year. I love the phone and I know many people who also have it and none of them complain about the provider.

    On the other hand, I believe that if Apple continues its partnership with AT&T, I’ll get another phone and another provider when my contract expires. Because of this partnership, Apple is becoming a new Microsoft. They feel like they can tell you which apps you can and can’t use, they block things that would make the phone way cooler (all the apps that you get when you jailbreak the phone) and they do all that just to protect AT&T interests.

    The iphone has indeed revolutionize the world. Carriers need to realize that they have to become dumb pipes and nothing more. Phones, which is the same to say, small computers are here and they will become better, faster and (hopefully) cheaper.

    I truly hope that google teaches them a lesson. And I do hope that Apple learn. Break up with AT&T or users will break up with you.

    • I have AT&T, and I actually switched to AT&T BECAUSE AT&T *IS* good. Are they perfect? NO. I switched BEFORE I even cared what iPhone was.

      I see comments about Verizon “I will never give them ANY money every again”. I see that A LOT, I used to work in a phone center, and Verizon had the most IRATE customers I have ever seen, not sure what pissed them off, but there were a few and they were upset.

      Anyway, the point is Verizon is a TDMA, which means you can’t switch, so it’s easy for Verizon customers who love and hate them to say “I will keep my verizon”. Yeah because you can’t move your phone… that’s not exactly a glowing recommendation.

      T-mobile to me personally, sucks! I had a blackberry / motorola razr for 3 years, and I finally got upset and switched (to AT&T). I have been happy for 17 months, zero problems.

      I also love people that say “I have NEVER had a SINGLE dropped called”.

      To that I want to say – B U L L S H I T!!!!! maybe the calls have dropped so infrequently that you don’t remember or its a surprise when it does, but there isn’t a phone company on the planet that DOESN’T drop a call or two.. sorry but it’s not possible. MOST times its not the carriers fault, also a misnomer. There are inferences from every direction, and a phone is largely a very weak signal, and it’s susceptible to MANY things, and drops and signal loss DOES happen, phones are FAR from perfect.

      AT&T for me has been stellar, I like the company and the service, again is it perfect? NO. I have a iphone 3G, i have dropped a few calls, and I moved to another part of the city, NO more dropped calls, so OBVIOUSLY it’s not the network….

      At any rate, one more comment, for those of you that like to blame AT&T for everything apple does, take a REAL GOOD LOOK at your iPhone. Pick it, stare at it, and look it over REAL good.. Do you see that AT&T logo on it? You don’t? Ah.. that’s because it doesn’t exist, and Apple controls *ALL* the content and how it’s be used. AT&T get’s the revenue for it’s use on THEIR network. So the next time you want to bitch about AT&T does this and that, remember that the iPhone is 100% under Apple’s control, 100%!

      GV is 100% prohibited by Apple *NOT* AT&T. It’s an APP, and it was rejected as an APP not a service… and I can prove it.. you can use the SAME functionality on google mobile website.. STILL on AT&T network.. so if it were TRULY blocked (by AT&T) it would not work EITHER way, so therefore this is 100% Apples fault.

      I am tired of Apple telling me what I can wear, eat, and how to use MY iPhone. I don’t go into Walmart one day and see 2 brands of butter, and tomorrow brand A is gone, and Walmart forces me to use Brand B or else.. I have many choices (not just 2). I am switching to something else OTHER than iPhone (or any Apple product from now on), but still on AT&T network, thank you.

  8. No service in my home. No service at my office. City after city through business travel are dead spots galore. I call for a class action suit based on false advertising. I experience dozens of dropped calls day. For Apple loyalists, thrusting at&t on us is stab in the back. We deserve better.

  9. What I want to know is why suddenly all of my email regardless of whose server I am trying to send it through fails? When I am away from my home (NoVA area around DC), I just cannot send email. Nice ATT. It used to work, now it doesn’t. The fact that ATT doesn’t allow teathering used to bother me, but given the recent DROP in network quality and their apparent inability to route traffic (leave it to voice guys to not understand a data network), I have to say I wouldn’t pay a dime more for teathering on my iPhone.

    Until ATT gets their act together the iPhone is doomed in the US. But let’s not keep our venom just for ATT though deserved, Apple needs to grow up about the App Store. That situation is intolerable, sucky features to find apps, random decisions on what is a good app and what isn’t, and their lack of feedback as to why has me starting to look elsewhere. As much as I hate to even think about it I am really starting to think Android might be a better solution.

    To be clear I am not bashing Apple as a whole, just their process for approving apps and their lack of intelligent feedback to the dev community as to what constitutes a valid app or not. Also to be honest. We are adults, what’s the issue with an adult app? You have parental controls, use them on a iPhone that is in a kids hand. Apple being my parent is just not right.

    Anyway not that care about adult apps but give me a break if you are going to stop them, then you need to turn off the web browser too, or you have to start censoring the sites that people can get to from that browser, then aren’t you just being China at that point? I hate governments getting into my life why would I enjoy Apple knowing what’s best for me.

    Get over it Apple, and get your equipment off of ATT. Verizon was the best carrier I ever had, rarely a dropped call with them. I do business over my phone and having calls drop 3 or 4 times while driving down the road is just crazy, especially since I live in a densely populated area.

    But then again the apparent lack of regard by both ATT and Apple somehow seem to go hand in hand. Which is too bad, I love Apple, and have since the beginning so it would be nice to see them both get their acts together.

  10. Accipiter

    Incredible…iPhones, BlackBerries, I hear nothing but network issues and poor signal and dropped calls with all these expensive, fancy phones. I have a pre-paid TracFone and I’ve never once had a call drop or had no service (except far underground in a subway tunnel once). I’ve even laughed at my friends with their fancy phones, cursing on the beach with no service, and have three bars.

  11. After a week’s visit to Bellevue (Seattle suburb), which had really no AT&T signal to speak of on my iPhone, I ended up making most of my calls on Skype via wifi. This was a great solution.

    Coming back to Southern California, I was met with 2G at my home where I used to reliably have 3G.

    So now a MiFi wireless router provides wifi access from the Sprint network, which is a backup solution when there is no AT&T signal.

    But I think I’ll be running out the iPhone 3G’s contract rather than upgrading… let’s see where they are next summer.

  12. I can remember two or three dropped in SEVEN YEARS of using Verizon even if they had crap phones.. Switch to AT&T/Iphone three weeks ago and it drops calls daily in my own NYC apartment. It can’t find a network in one of the most densely populated cities..This is absurd. And the 3G network doesn’t work inside my Financial Area office building. Aaaaarg…I can’t drop AT&T because I’m not prepared to eat the early termination fee and it’s past the two week return period. This is nuts considering what I paid for it and what I’m going to pay monthly. Steve Jobs pawned his customers by signing an exclusive contract with AT&T.

    • Accipiter

      “I can’t drop AT&T because I’m not prepared to eat the early termination fee…”

      That’s where they’ve got you. This is why I have a pre-paid. I have full control over my phone in every aspect. If I want to end service tomorrow, I can. If I want to throw the phone away, no one will call me asking why. I don’t have to pay a dime.

      Perhaps people will get wise and stop tying themselves to expensive contracts that charge them even more if they want to leave. This isn’t an apartment where breaking the lease costs the landlord money – it’s a phone. A telephone. You should be able to end that service without a penalty fee.

  13. hi. this is kinda of subject, but i need help and this is my last place i would ask for it.
    i have a iphone and i just got it. im trying to get all the songs on my itunes player off of my phone without losing all of my contacts, apps, ect.i guess i should just press the reset button, but i dont know what eccacly that button resets.you see i only wanna reset my music without losing everything else. should i press ”back up my iphone” or just “reset my iphone”i need help and i dont know what to do, my comment is kinda confusing, but can someone just tell me what to do(:please email me your answer at [email protected]

  14. A single phone that will do everything (GPS, SMS, MMS, email, browser, 48Gb memory, mp3, touch screen, 5Mp camera) and isn’t tied in to AT&T?

    You mean like the Nokia N97?

    • maconsultant

      the n97.. I thought the same thing. But this is the worst nolkia phone to date. It is so buggy that it needs to be reset at least 20 to 30 times a day due to the system locking up or becoming unresponsive. When i say reset i mean popping out the battery!!! Nokia is doomed if not dead already. This phones firmware was not ready for release its just not finished. The graphic ui seemed to be designed by person with ADD as there is no flow to it whatsoever. Not to mention nokia has seemed to remove the native sip stack, which for me is a huge deal breaker. Trust that for 700 the device should work. I went through 4 in a 2 day period as they were defective out of the box. Trust me do yourself a favor and stay clear of this BS handset youll thank me later.

      Dont let me get started on att. The MTA tax on the bills “we get no service underground in NY!”. If your late with a payment they have the right to push back the date of upgrade eligibilty. this was new to me and can be done with out notifying the customer. Im sick of ATT and wish they would turn blue in the face. I can not wait for the day the government stops the exclusivity between att and apple as that will be the day people will jujmp ship in boat loads. We the people do have power in nujmbers. If a company is trying to strong arm you as ATT does just come together and make a collective movement. They will take notice if they start seeing people closing the accounts. But until then to them everything is fine and its strongarming as usual.

      Please excuse any typos.

  15. hitdog

    I live in Columbus with Verizon. My friends have the iPhone and say they love it and never drop 3G, maybe it’s where you live. For me, I’m sick of VZW’s sad line of offerings and considering paying more for the iPhone. I have a Storm and it is awful.

    VZW is awesome for network and data… but the phones are unreliable and very frustrating. I had a way better experience with T-Mobile and their G1 than I have had with the Storm.

  16. AT&T has terrible service in Palo Alto. I called AT&T and they said they have no plans to improve service in the Palo Alto area. I had no problems when I had Sprint.