News Analysis: AT&T has been called the worst mobile phone carrier by Consumer Reports. While Apple shouldn't end its relationship with AT&T, it's time for Apple to distance itself by moving the iPhone to other carriers.
it comes to mobile phone carriers, AT&T
is the worst
according to Consumer Reports. The company examined the overall value of
service, customer support, voice and data service quality to make its
recommendation. In every category, AT&T placed behind the
review is obviously bad news for AT&T. But it's also bad news for Apple.
For years now, the hardware company has maintained an exclusive agreement with
AT&T to sell the iPhone in the United States.
This keeps Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile customers from acquiring the popular
iPhones. If consumers and enterprise customers take Consumer Reports' review to
heart, it could have a direct impact on their decision to switch to that
carrier just to get their hands on the iPhone.
that in mind, Apple needs to distance itself from AT&T. It shouldn't stop
offering the iPhone on AT&T's network-that would be a huge mistake. But it
adds urgency to its decision to bring the iPhone to at least the Verizon
network. Apple's link with AT&T is simply too strong and it needs to be weakened.
Apple should also make it clear that it's AT&T's service that's getting the
bad marks from Consumer Reports, not the iPhone.
The "worst carrier" allegation
most obvious reason why Apple
needs to distance itself from AT&T
is the Consumer Reports review.
Apple is well-known for its outstanding products that deliver a sense of
quality and premium feel. AT&T isn't the same kind of company. The more Apple
aligns its brand exclusively with AT&T, the worse it will be for the
Apple is a premium provider of a premium product
mentioned, Apple is a premium provider of a premium product. It delivers
products that consumers covet, and it does it with a sense of flair that no
other company in the space can match. But by being linked so closely with
AT&T, the company's brand perception could be hurt. It should in no way end
its business relationship with AT&T-that would significantly impact its operation-but
it should ink a deal with another carrier soon and make it clear that AT&T
is only a partner, not a key ally.
It makes the iPhone look less desirable
face it: If AT&T's service really is the worst in the business, the iPhone
is a less desirable product today to some customers. Sure, the device might be
a leader in the smartphone market, but consumers don't want to use a device
that has poor data and voice service, thanks to AT&T. AT&T has been
(remember iPhone 4 order issues?) and now will definitely continue to be a
major thorn in Apple's side as it tries to sell more iPhones to consumers.
It makes consumers wonder when Verizon will get the iPhone
the latest review from Consumer Reports, one can be sure that consumers are now
hoping that Apple
will be bringing the iPhone to Verizon store shelves sooner rather than later
Since the iPhone's launch in 2007, it has been available only to AT&T
customers. Some folks are getting tired of waiting for the smartphone to come
to Verizon's stores. If this isn't enough to get Apple to do it, some might
wonder what will be.