The iPhone on AT&T is like putting lipstick on a pig

In fall 2009, Verizon was pummeling AT&T with a series of “map” ads, claiming that AT&T’s spotty 3G network was to blame for poor service. Even if AT&T had wanted to respond with iPhone ads, Apple would have refused. “We would have been letting them use the iPhone to put lipstick on a pig.”

Wired repeatedly tries to blame Apple for AT&T’s network problems. Steve Jobs refused to cripple YouTube on the iPhone. Apple didn’t advertise for AT&T. Apple wanted tethering. Apple used nonstandard chips. All these things caused the AT&T network to collapse under load.

AT&T: it’s your network and you need to get your shit together. Don’t blame the iPhone for your issues. The iPhone works great in other countries off your system, and you have done nothing but ruin the experience for us here.

AT&T has raised prices, killed unlimited plans, and simply not kept up with the demand on their network. These days, I actually use the Skype app to make calls when I’m at the office. My iPhone fails as a phone because of AT&T.

AT&T has become a mere toll-taker on the digital highway, an operator of dumb pipes that cost a fortune to maintain but garner no credit for innovation or customer service. Meanwhile, the likes of Apple and Google will continue to pump out products that push the limits of what the carriers can provide, training customers to use more and more data.

Oh boo hoo. This is the way it should be. Let me pay AT&T (or another company) some amount of money for a data feed and then let me do anything I want with it. The old system where carriers have all the power is coming to an end.
Decouple the devices from the service. I want to see data providers battle and innovate to bring me faster and cheaper data. And device makers innovate to use that data feed in great ways. Let innovation in phones come from companies who can innovate.
Wired: you think training customers to use more data is a bad thing? You think AT&T will have to raise prices continually to keep up? I call bullshit. Don’t try to make AT&T the good guy here.

The fact that people are using more data is a great thing. AT&T should rise to the occasion and give people what they need. They should see this as a time to get a ton of new customers and significantly increase revenue. Figure it out.
When building the iPhone, Apple innovated in every way they could and built the first true smart phone. If they had let AT&T cripple the device to keep network traffic low, they would have ended up with a dumb phone plus iPod.