Apple Must Move iPhone to Other Carriers

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-12-07 Print this article Print


5. Any changes in sight? 

Apple needs to determine if AT&T will be doing all that it can in the coming year to change the perception of its brand as the worst provider of mobile service in the United States. If it's clear after talking with AT&T that the company won't do enough, Apple should weaken its strong bond with AT&T as quickly as possible. After all, why should Apple's brand be tarnished by AT&T's poor service? 

6. It helps Google 

Now that AT&T is considered the worst carrier in the United States, it will probably take little time for Google to exploit the iPhone's exclusivity on AT&T's network for further proof of why Android is more viable. After all, Android-based devices are available on all carriers and not just AT&T's network. That's an important distinction that Apple cannot allow Google to capitalize on. 

7. Android smartphone makers also benefit 

If Google can benefit from the Consumer Reports review, it's entirely possible that Android smartphone makers can do the same. Companies like Motorola, HTC and others are currently offering the top iPhone competitors, including the HTC Droid Incredible and Motorola Droid X, on Verizon's network. If they can use that to their advantage, they might be able to capitalize on the iPhone's AT&T exclusivity. 

8. Enterprise concerns 

The iPhone might not be the most enterprise-focused smartphone on the market, but it is making some strides in that space, thanks to interested IT decision-makers. However, with AT&T being called the worst carrier in the United States, some companies that might have been considering moving to the iPhone on AT&T might think twice. If they're already AT&T customers, it won't matter. But if they aren't, those companies will likely stick with their current carrier until the issues are worked out. That's something that Apple should keep in mind. 

9. It hurts sales 

If one combines many of the previous factors for why Apple should distance itself from AT&T, one result becomes immediately apparent: Sales of the iPhone will be hurt. AT&T plays a role in iPhone sales. In some cases, it helps them, and in other cases, it hurts them. With a poor rating from Consumer Reports, this is one of those cases where AT&T will hurt iPhone sales. If Apple can distinguish its smartphone from AT&T more effectively than it has in the past, the company can probably go a long way in salvaging some potentially lost sales. 

10. It's ditching exclusivity anyway 

As Apple has done in so many countries around the world, the company will eventually end the iPhone's exclusivity in the United States. And when it does that, it will be free to deliver its smartphone to any other carrier. Considering it will be doing that anyway, perhaps now is the best time for it to announce a new partnership. With AT&T on the ropes when it comes to service quality, the last thing Apple should want to do is reinforce that it's exclusively in AT&T's corner over the long haul.


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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