Remember Who Owns the iPhone

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-12-14 Print this article Print

4. Apple makes hardware decisions

Those that wish the iPhone had a physical keyboard can't blame AT&T for that. Those that wanted a camcorder prior to the iPhone 3G S' launch couldn't take AT&T to task. When it comes to hardware problems, it's Apple that deserves to bear the brunt of those criticisms. The company is in full control over the design of the iPhone.

5. Apple makes software decisions

The same can be said for Apple's software. When users begged for copy and paste, it wasn't AT&T that held it up, it was Apple. The iPhone is littered with software quirks that need to be improved. But that won't happen until Apple decides to update the software with those improvements. No other company can do it.

6. At any point, Apple can work with other carriers

Let's not forget that there are several other wireless carriers competing against AT&T that would welcome the iPhone. There are also millions of Verizon Wireless subscribers, Sprint subscribers and T-Mobile subscribers that would love the opportunity to use the iPhone. And many AT&T users want to switch. So instead of blaming AT&T for not being able to compete with Verizon Wireless, maybe we should blame Apple for not bringing the iPhone to other carriers

7. It's Apple's iPhone

In the end, it's important to remember that the iPhone is Apple's product. The device isn't owned by AT&T and it hasn't been modified by the competition. Any issues users may have should be directed to Steve Jobs and Company.

8. Steve Jobs isn't infallible

Speaking of Steve Jobs, he isn't infallible. He doesn't always make the best decisions. And in the moments when his decisions impact users, it's too easy to point fingers at AT&T or other companies. If Steve Jobs makes a poor decision, it should be recognized for what it is. And blame should be placed where it belongs: on his shoulders.

9. Apple knew what it was getting with AT&T 

When the iPhone hit store shelves in 2007, it was no secret that AT&T wasn't the best carrier in the market. Coverage was a little suspect, 3G data was practically nonexistent. Regardless, Apple decided to form an exclusive partnership with AT&T that, two years removed, has caused many users to wish for an iPhone on other networks. 

10. Would Verizon make the problems go away?

As we consider where the blame for iPhone flaws can be placed, we need to determine if those flaws will be gone if the iPhone was made available on Verizon Wireless' network, rather than AT&T's. It's a hard sell. A network can't change Apple's App Store policies. A new carrier can't improve the virtual keyboard. A new provider can't even deliver the features iPhone owners are waiting for. We need to keep that in mind.

It's easy to blame AT&T. Maybe it's time to point some fingers at Apple too.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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