Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ATT's Chances Without iPhone Exclusivity

I don't know if I'll ever go back to ATT in the condition they're in. I mean with T-Mobile and G1 and T-Mobile with EDGE and iPhone, I'm pretty happy.

But I have wondered where ATT will be once it loses its exclusive deal with Apple or when it will have to share the iPhone with someone else. What will happen then?

At Onxo, I've gotten into it a bit but I want to say something a bit different here. The iPhone 3GS is a fantastic mobile device. It is second to none. Only the iPhone 3G comes close.

So, what are you to do if you're on another network but aren't so sure about ATT? I've been calling for Apple to bring the iPhone 3G (I doubt they'll do it with the iPhone 3GS) to T-Mobile because ATT hasn't held up their end of the bargain with them dropping the ball on MMS and tethering, not to mention the crappy 3G coverage and signal. On T-Mobile's GSM, it's easy for Apple to make iPhone work on it than with Verizon's CDMA.

So, I'd say wait and see what Apple might spring on us through 2009 and 2010 as far as picking up another carrier. But if you really want the iPhone, go for it now. There simply isn't anything wrong with the iPhone so long as you can put up with ATT and prices.

And you can still pick up an iPhone or iPhone 3G on eBay, unlock it and use it on a GSM network though you will not be able to get 3G speed. This is a popular enough option that T-Mobile is even unofficially providing support to its own iPhone customers.

I suppose what I'm saying is some in my circle and a lot of you are keeping ATT going by going with the iPhone. It's a wise decision as far as pick up the best mobile device. And yet, given the chance to get a fully functional iPhone with another wireless network, a lot of us will do it without a second thought.

ATT will lose iPhone exclusivity one day. And when that day comes, I hate to see what happens to its stock price. I would hate to be a member of its executive team.

As with a lot of executives today, I don't think they're thinking too far down the road as they are only concerned about their short-term bonuses and padding their nest while the getting is good. And it's certainly very good at ATT now. They know people want the iPhone and are will to pay a lot for it in monthly fees. ATT can also take its time in beefing up their 3G network and work on their LTE network because for the sake of the iPhone, users will tolerate the substandard services. Less expenses mean better profit.

But just ask GM's stockholders and creditors how they feel these days. The old GM execs were looking down the quarter rather than ahead in terms of years. SUVs were selling hot so why worry about the days when people might not want to buy SUVs anymore. Now, ATT will no go bankrupt when their deal with Apple is over. But just watch the performance of the ATT stock the day Steve Jobs lets the world know that Apple has secured a second carrier for the iPhone in the US.

Then see how many subscribers ATT is likely to lose that quarter and the quarter after that. At Onxo, I mentioned that maybe there isn't anything ATT can do about that. But who knows. Maybe somebody there will wise up and realize how good they have it and finally come up with a plan to create a better network.

At the end of the day, it's about us, the iPhone users and having the best mobile device today.

No comments:

When are the Macs Getting M4 Chips? Prediction: MacBook Pro With M4 At the WWDC

What are the new M4 chips? Presumably, Macs could get the M4 chip tomorrow if Apple decides to pull the trigger on them.  First, let's a...