Yes, AT&T might be a company that deserves some bad press (after all, it did blame customers for pushing its network to the limit, instead of admitting that it needs to invest more in its network), but Apple is culpable too.
Apple is a well-respected company. It provides some of the best products on the market. It offers up some of the finest software experiences we have ever seen. It rightly carries the torch for all other companies that are trying to provide users with products that don't simply match a standard, but set them.
But it isn't perfect. Too often, Apple gets a free pass from those that only look at the good the company has done, rather than some of the poor decisions it has made.
That's not to say that Apple is always to blame-it isn't. But when it comes to the iPhone, the hardware company has made some serious mistakes that have led to issues for consumers, the enterprise and developers. With better decision making, some of the issues so many folks have with the iPhone wouldn't be so damaging.
Let's take a look at why Apple harbors blame for the iPhone's flaws.
1. Apple entered into an exclusive contract
It's easy to talk about AT&T as if it's a company that doesn't understand the desires of the user, but it was Apple that decided to enter into an exclusive agreement with the carrier. I'm willing to bet that any carrier would have been happy to offer the iPhone. Apple could have brought it to multiple networks. But AT&T gave Apple a sweetheart deal that Steve Jobs couldn't decline. Since then, we've been forced to deal with AT&T's poor network.
2. Apple sets App Store policy
Although AT&T has asked Apple to institute some rules for the company's App Store, it's Apple that has set its App Store policy, not AT&T. So when neat apps get rejected from the store or useless apps make their way into the marketplace, it's Apple's fault. And it's important not to forget that.
3. The company has never played well with developers
Apple has a long history of having problems with developers. With Mac OS X, Apple still limits third-party involvement, citing concerns over the stability and security of its operating system. That may sound like a prudent policy, but let's face it; the more third-party apps, the richer the experience. Considering third-party developers continue to gripe over the iPhone, should we really blame any other company but Apple for it? I don't think so.