Apple and AT&T: A Rocky Road

Evan Selleck - Jul 19, 2010, 9:26pm CDT
Apple and AT&T: A Rocky Road

Wired recently released what some might call one of the most exposing pieces ever written. Why? Because it’s tearing open what an entire industry has been aching to see: how AT&T and Apple have worked over these last few years. And while no one had their illusions about the two mega-corporations getting along all nice and pretty all the time, there probably wasn’t anyone out there that would assume that it was this bad, as often as it was. And, truth be told — its’ bad.

And just as many people would love to see the iPhone off of AT&T’s network, there’s twice as many folks that would like to see it on Verizon’s network instead. And, thanks to the exposé that the publication released, we finally get to see how close that really was to happening. A couple of times, to say the least. According to the report, things like network congestion, the iPhone itself and the software inside of it, all the way to features like tethering came into play in constant negotiations that have been pretty much ongoing since the beginning. It sounds like the battlefield for the iPhone is an ever-changing one, and despite the fact that that contract exists, the tables could have been turned on the second largest wireless carrier at any given moment.

When things like tethering come up, Apple seemed to be fighting tooth-and-nail to get the feature included in that all-inclusive $30 per month charge that iPhone owners were already accustomed to paying. Of course, AT&T wanted them to pay more. And, as we now know, the latter company won, and the service is indeed an extra fee. And, one of the largest complaints about AT&T (their network), in conjunction with the iPhone’s release in 2007, has made the wireless giant spent upwards of $37 billion in network equipment and capacity, and it’s expected to spend another $13.5 billion just this year.

There’s plenty more to read in the report, so we definitely think you should get to it. To see what’s going on inside Apple and AT&T, even if a lot of the problems have been solved one way or another since then, is pretty interesting. What makes it more interesting are all the rumors that the iPhone is still coming to Verizon, and as soon as next year. With all of this just now showing up, it looks like those rumors might have a lot more foundation than anyone could have imagined.

[via Wired]


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