The big, big, big surprise is that no one didn’t fucking riot when Steve Jobs announced it was doubling down and sticking with AT&T for both the WiFi and 3G for its beloved iPad. I would have expected everyone to have rushed the stage and burn him at the stake.
Was everyone in a coma? Did Moshe pump nitrous oxide into the auditorium? Was the Reality Distortion Field hyped up to infinity plus one, so the crowd didn’t personally tear Jobs into 2700 little pieces that no bar of Lever soap would ever wash again? Hello, wake up, people! This is AT&T we’re talking about. The iPad prototype I had worked exclusively on Verizon’s experimental 4G network.
So, what gives? Money, honey. Despite the lousy service, people still bought iPhones and still bought AT&T’s lousy service, which Apple gets quite a kickback. It was one of AT&T’s best damn financial quarters, as well as Apple’s, remember? Despite the publicity and futility of Operation:Chokehold, it did force the evil munchkins to do something for publicity’s sake, so as to not lose momentum.
So, they admitted their service is lousy in some areas and paid Luke Wilson a lotta cash, but he needed the work, to bash Verizon in some goofy aw shucks TV ads and continue putting out the message they have the best 3G network in the nation. Is it true or not? Who cares? An interesting thing did happen, I noticed. Yes, I’m an AT&T customer. Shut up! It’s a long story, but shut up! Their customer service in some areas started improving a thousand percent. What problems they could take of, they took care of, quickly. They offered credits. They were nice to customers. They actually started putting up more towers. They’re throwing $2 billyuuuuunnn of them Xmas profits into expanding the mobile network. So, for now, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt.
But until then, I’m sure Apple is going to make future generations of iPads (and possibly iPhones and iTouches) compatible with Verizon’s technology or at least hold that over AT&T’s head when the five year agreement is up.