Poll: Friends Don't Let Friends Buy AT&T's iPhone


UPDATED: Ever since I broke up with my iPhone, not a day passes without me hearing from someone who shares the same sentiments about AT&T’s network. AT&T, of course, has done little more than hem and haw about the problem, which is much more widespread than we think.

This week at our Green:Net conference, a number of people came up to me to share their frustration with the iPhone/AT&T 3G network; most said they switch to the slower EDGE and/or Wi-Fi in order to use their iPhone. So in an attempt to gauge the extent of the problem, we have created a poll/survey. Update: To be clear, we have issued this in an effort to understand the extent/nature of the problems that folks are having with the AT&T iPhone. If you are happy with it, please fill out only the questions that reflect that and skip the ones that don’t apply to you. We will present the results in context.

Poll is now closed.



I have been using the iPhone instead of my BlackJack II for 6 months now all over CT,
and have been stunned by the overall coverage as well as the speed of the 3G connection
(I am getting 1.2-1.7 Mb/s down and 0.2-0.25 Mb/s up indoors routinely).

As far as reliability, I have found I can drive from NYC to UCONN without dropping Pan
-dora at all. I rely on streaming Pandora, NPR Mobile, and the native Maps throughout my

I realize this part of the East coast is one of the densest parts of the US though, and
have noticed poor service sometimes when traveling to IL and FL, so I’m sure any of these
complaints posted are well founded.

** I am not a Mac fanboy at all,
** (I cannot stand using their computers and have never bought an iPod in my life)
** this is just the best option for a lot of people and I’m inclined to defend it with some
objective observations.

Overall I feel that I am getting more than enough from AT&T for what I pay each month,
and I’ve been with them for 6 years now.


I’ve been experiencing “No Service” or maybe 1-2 pixels on first bar on my iPhone in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago for the past month or so. I live and work in Lincoln Park, which is the neighborhood just south so I am in Lakeview many times a week–seems like once I cross Diversey Ave. all coverage drops to nothing. I called a couple weeks ago, and was told 2 towers had been down — one was repaired and the other would be in 3-4 days. That was two weeks ago and I’ve noticed no improvement…


service BLOWS in 90232 – culver city and many parts of LA. I am at my breaking point.


No problems in Atlanta, GA, which used to be bellsouth before it was ATT.

I do travel to SF every other week and notice that the network is not as reliable. I believe SF used to be SBC network which used to be Pacbell before that. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Scott G

I abhor the AT&T network, but after even worse experiences with Verizon and Sprint I only wish that Apple would open up the iPhone to other domestic GSM carriers (such as T-mobile). A truly international iPhone would be a joy to use both in the US and other markets. I don’t want it bad enough to endure the technical turd that is CDMA, so I’m staying put until a more technically forward solution is available.


I am a Blackberry guy, so I won’t comment on the iPhone, though I do look at it some days longingly :-)

As for the poll, listen, I am a pioneer in the field of online research and web surveys, and yes, the poll could have been better formulated, but, I assume (always dangerous) that the author is not a market researcher, so, what you see is what you get.

The bottom line is simple. Things like iPhone’s draw a lot of passion from respondents, so I suspect that no matter how the poll was constructed, some people would be unhappy with it.

This is a HUGE issue for the market research field as “free” (nothing is free!) or low cost web applications further proliferate the marketplace.


I’m very happy with the iPhone device and my phone service. I was really expecting not to be after reading a lot of the reviews but I quickly came under the impression that where I live (Minneapolis/StPaul) it was a non issue. Sure enough, friends and coworkers began buying the phone and not having a single issue.

I’m probably the power-user amongst my friends and coworkers so after getting it I really put it through its paces. I did find the network lacking speed and calls unreliable but all of that seemed to clear up with the next update. I’m really happy with it now; even in an Edge only area I find little problems making calls or listening to streaming radio.


When someone asks me (which I get asked this at least once a week) “How do you like your iPhone?” I always answer this way… “It’s the greatest mobile device I’ve ever owned, and the worst mobile phone I’ve ever owned.” I do drop calls frequently, i.e. network is to blame… But it’s not enough for me to give it up… 90% of the time the phone does what I want it to do, make and receive calls. It’s the 10% of the time that does cause frustration and gives the iPhone a black eye. 100% of the time the apps that I use work flawlessly and make me more productive. Again, I’m addicted to my iPhone and I don’t know what I’d do without it…


I suspect that it is an AT&T network capacity issue. Most carriers have been caught off guard by the hockey stick in data demand brought on by web friendly smart phones such as the iPhone. I’m in Canada and it took Rogers about 9 months to get caught up to the rate of growth and now be able to pace with it.

Much harder in the US as the densities are higher in the larger cities and capacity upgrades can take a lot more time for a number of reasons.


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