AT&T Has Done Exactly Nothing Right

Today, the new iPhone 3Gs was announced. It’s pretty cool, and I want one. The barrier? AT&T’s inane pricing. I would have to pay 200 USD more for the iPhone 3Gs than a new customer.

Sure, their thinking makes sense: they subsidized the iPhone 3G, and amortize the loss over two years. If I want a new phone before then, I should have to pay “full” price. Except for two minor details: I’m damn sure that the iPhone, amazing as it is, is not worth 699 USD. Second, iPhone users are some of the more profitable customers AT&T has.

At the base package, we bring in 60% more revenue than the average non-iPhone customer. And while we also consume more bandwidth, bandwidth is generally cheap. And if AT&T was keeping it’s network up-to-date, it largely wouldn’t have this problem (AT&T is a large part of why broadband in the US lags behind other countries).

As MG Siegler of TechCrunch notes, if I decide not to upgrade because of the 200 USD unsubsidized surcharge, AT&T stands to lose a lot more than 200 USD, even assuming I have the cheapest possible plan (and my family and I definitely don’t).

And AT&T isn’t doing itself any favors by having it’s already spotty network unprepared and unusable with any of the iPhone OS 3’s new features not having it’s already-spotty-network ready for any of the new

Nicely done, AT&T. You just alienated your biggest competitive advantage in the mobile space with your actions. Even Apple’s executives seem nonplussed. You pretty much suck.


~ by Nocturnal Discourse on 9 June 2009.

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