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Wireless Networking Iphone

Survey Says Most iPhone Users Love AT&T 490

Posted by kdawson
from the hoi-and-the-polloi dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "In a report sure to raise eyebrows, CNN Money claims that despite a very vocal group of detractors, the vast majority of iPhone users love AT&T. A survey released this week by Yankee Group reports that 73% of iPhone owners scored their satisfaction with the carrier as an 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale. The results seem surprising, given the pounding AT&T has taken in the media and on the blogosphere about its service-related issues with the iPhone and AT&T's recent iPad-related security glitch. For its part, AT&T says its network really isn't as bad as many people think. 'There's a gap between what people hear about us and what their experience is with us. We think that gap is beginning to close,' says Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman. 'It doesn't mean we're perfect; we still have work to do. But that's no surprise to us, because we have a great network.'" Buried in the penultimate paragraph is the somewhat alarming note that "77% of iPhone owners say they'll buy another iPhone, compared to 20% of Android customers who say they'll buy another Android phone."
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Survey Says Most iPhone Users Love AT&T

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  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by Joao (155665) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @05:53PM (#33016528) Homepage

    Obligatory [youtube.com]

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @05:59PM (#33016570) Journal

    Around me, AT&T has nearly (I'd say 85-90%) of the coverage of Verizon, and probably 130-200% more coverage than the next best. When comparing my speed to those on Verizon about a year ago, my data was twice as fast. Then again, I'm not in a major metro area. I doubt we have a lot of iGoobers streaming youtube and pandora on every cell.

    I will say that the iPhone appearance of speed in Safari is about twice that of any WinMobile phone I've had, though no faster or slower than the browser on the couple of Blackberries I've seen.

    I suspect the satifaction, aside from the Apple factor, has more to do with the particular default setup of the OS than the actual OS efficiency. Android can do a hell of a lot more, but since most (80%? 90%?) of users never change the defaults, most of the people with Android phones are missing out a lot of the potential features. iPhones, otoh, are more of a WYSIWYG experience - if it doesn't exist in the default profile setup, it simply doesn't exist.

    • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:04PM (#33016604)

      WHERE makes a huge difference. I punted AT&T in NYC due to the maddening frequency of dropped calls. Up in the burbs, I was satisfied with the service, but had to switch when I started spending more time in Manhattan due to a job change. I'm really happy with T-Mobile now, but I suspect that might not be the case if I was out in the boonies.

    • by farnsworth (558449) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:40PM (#33016896)
      Part of the reason there is so much negative buzz about AT&T is that their network *does* suck in NYC and SF, and people from these areas make up a disproportional amount of the blogosphere and media.

      Whenever I'm outside of these areas, AT&T is totally fine. But it's pretty well-known that trying to place a call on Friday afternoon in either NYC of SF is an exercise in futility.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gig (78408)

        They cobbled their network together from a bunch of smaller ones. It varies in quality depending on where you are in the country. Any arbitrary user may be in a great area or have no coverage at all. They are the newest carrier in spite of the old name.

        San Francisco is a special case. It's a very small city, but it is made up of 11 hills that are hard to cover, it was almost all built in 1906 after the earthquake, most of the city is only 2 stories tall, the infrastructure is ancient, and there is a politic

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gravis777 (123605)

        AT&T in my area is the old Cingular which is the old Southwestern Bell. I also live in Texas, which means lots of rural areas. Outside of the major cities, I do seem to get on older Edge networks, and in some cases, some stuff that predate Edge (I get voice only calls), but 3G service is expanding in many of the areas I travel to. I now have 3G coverage along pretty much all of 377 and 281 and 67. Metro doesn't cover most of that area at all, Verizon is spotty, Sprint, ha, HORRIBLE coverage. T-Mobile se

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:03PM (#33016592)
    I have an iPhone and where I live voice and data coverage is great, much better than Verizon. I go to LA a lot and I usually have a lot of problems with reception there for some reason. As for the device itself, I can compare iPhone with Droid directly since my girlfriend has one and I can tell you I wouldn't swap the phones or the providers. She would though. They both do more or less the same things but iPhone UI is much nicer. Btw I can't make the antenna problem happen at all. The best I can do is get one bar to drop and that's with holding it in a completely unnatural way.
    • It certainly does. I live in the middle of town, on the rich end of the local state university, and my iPhone 3G reception in my house is two bars. Our son's friend lives in an even more tony neighborhood two miles away and I get zero bars there.

      But it will get five bars in most smalls town in Idaho on a tiny two-lane highway.
    • by Kenja (541830)
      So your comparing a brand new iPhone 4 (based on your comment about the antenna problem) to an old, discontinued Android phone. Sounds like a fair and unbiased comparison all right.
    • It also depends on what you want your phone to do. I can't stand not having control over my phone and not having a physical keyboard, so the iPhone would not be a phone I would really even consider.

      And also you are comparing phones of different generations, you are comparing a high-end phone of 6 months ago with a high-end phone of today. Comparing the iPhone 4 to the Droid X would be a fair comparison, but 6 months is a year or so when it comes to mobile devices.
  • I believe it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:07PM (#33016626)

    I write apps for the android, I've compared 5 different models in my office full of engineers. I continue to stick with each iPhone version because I find the android interface and integration with my computers to suck frankly. I do not have reception problems, I've never been bricked.

    I keep hoping android will do better, but the carriers are acting like music companies and screwing up the products in ways I find problematic. I'm not basing this on news, but on evidence from personal experience.

    Am I in the reality distortion field or are you?

    • Re:I believe it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ceraphis (1611217) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @07:06PM (#33017092)
      There's a lot to attract you to an android phone, but I find it's major "flaw" is the middle ground it tries to find between being a simple smartphone and a complicated one. The iphone is and has always been a simple smartphone, and Apple has found success in this previously niche area. For most users, the locked down simplicity has been "enough" and for the more technical users, there's always been a jailbreak either around the corner or immediately available. The boosted user base provided by targeting the average user with the official "simple" phone attracts developers (official and unofficial), and the additional developer support attracts the technical users.

      The added general complexity offered by stock android phones does (arguably) nothing to attract the average user away from the iphone's installed base and headstart, which doesn't attract as many developers, which in turn may not attract as many technical folks unless they really dislike Apple and AT&T.

      Anyways, it's not a perfect argument on my part, but it seemed to make sense as I thought about it while reading your post.
  • It's actually true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RafaelAngel (249818) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:09PM (#33016638)

    The vocal minority bitch and moan. The majority of people like the service. It can't be all bad otherwise people would flee. Also, Apple would have nothing to do with a company that its consumers don't support. If Apple is happy then the majority of people are happy.

  • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:12PM (#33016650)
    After all, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and in addition to that, satisfied customers usually don't go to great lengths to praise service they're satisfied with.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:13PM (#33016658)
    Its not like they had the opportunity to try an iPhone with another carrier.
    • A month before I made the switch to AT&T (from a local), I bought an AT&T prepaid and a Verizon prepaid, then tracked the signal strength in the 8-10 counties I frequent, including call quality. There was one county that had pretty much exclusive Verizon coverage, but it's rare I do business there; even then the coverage was less than 30% of the county, though AT&T could have claimed about 5-8% from spillover from neighboring counties. (Now, it's more like 30% V / 20% AT&T since AT&T ha

  • by painandgreed (692585) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:13PM (#33016672)

    I think phone companies are much like banks. They're fine until something happens that causes the user displeasure, and then they become the most evil thing on the face of the earth causing them to change their service to some place else. The new place is fine, or even great, until something bad happens there, and then there are two most evil things on the face of the planet.

    I'm with AT&T (and an iPhone). They have good service in my area ( I did ask around first for people's opinions of various phone company's service in my city), they had the phone I wanted (pre-iPhone), the store next to my house where I bought my phones, they give my company a discount, and I've never had any issues with them. Why shouldn't I like them?

  • by IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:15PM (#33016684)

    Buried in the penultimate paragraph is the somewhat alarming note that "77% of iPhone owners say they'll buy another iPhone, compared to 20% of Android customers who say they'll buy another Android phone."

    It's a throw away comment at the end of the story, but I don't believe that 'statistic' for a second.

    The only way I can make sense of it, is perhaps the idea that only 20% would buy another Android phone from the same manufacturer. Due to the number of options, the grass always being greener and the effective 'arms race' between Android manufacturers etc that sounds vaguely plausible. But 80% ready to abandon the platform? That has to be nonsense. Apart from anything else, where are they gonna go?

    FWIW I have an iPhone, never owned an Android, blah, blah...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BasilBrush (643681)

      Apart from anything else, where are they gonna go?

      iPhone.

    • by SimonInOz (579741) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @08:16PM (#33017606)

      Well.
      I have an Android phone - an HTC Legend, running Android 2.1
      So - what's it like?
      Coverage issues aside (I am on Vodaphone in Australia and cannot get any reception at the desk where I work, it's infuriating. I actually have my number forward to another phone just for that problem), it's ok.
      Not fabulous, just ok. As a phone it is average - I previously had a Sony Ericsson K660i which I loved, it was surprisingly capable (I could get GMail and sync my contacts, but not calendar unfortunately) and the battery lasted ages. Great little thing. Keypad starting to wear out after 2 years of light use.

      The HTC/Android software feels mostly average. Not brilliant. It feels a bit - well - clunky. I find myself with iPhone envy.
      Battery consumption - pretty high - if I actually use the phone, I need to recharge every 1-2 days.
      WiFi - reception is not great. In my front room I can use a laptop on wireless, but not the HTC.
      The main phone apps could be so much better. When I look someone up, I may want to phone them, or I may want to message them. This takes far, far too many clicks.
      The games are great - and I love the app store with a lot of useful things. Bit hard to find actual good ones, but such is life.

      Am I satisfied - yes. Am I overjoyed - no. Am I looking forward to 2.2 - yes. Would I buy another Android - maybe. Hopefully it will improve a lot!

  • by endus (698588) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:24PM (#33016744)

    I started out with Sprint, then Nextel, neither of which was any good. Could never hold on to calls, mad dead spots, problems with reception at home, etc. Then I got verizon and loved it (but hated the phone). Verizon's service was rock solid, but their data plans were way too much. Then my iPod (which I live and die by) broke and I didn't have the cash for both a new phone and a new ipod, so I changed to ATT and got my 32 gb 3gs. The service in the boston area is on par with verizon. I can't speak to the data network, but there are no significant dead spots, I can talk on the phone and move around, etc. The internet is fast enough for what I need it for when Im out.

    Even when I drove out to western ny on 88/86 we mostly had (edge) service. A few dead spots between towers, but good enough.

    I think NYC has it much worse than I do anywhere I've been.

    So I think it just depends on where you are, and also what your expectations are. If you're a wicked heavy internet user and you travel all over the country, yea, obviously verizon is going to beat the shit out of everybody. But if you mostly stay in a place where att has decent coverage and is not overloaded too bad then it will be fine.

    • Verizon actually has cheaper data plans for phones when compared to AT&T. Verizon's is $30 unlimited, AT&T is $25 with a tiny 2 GB cap. While 2GB -might- be enough for current usage, I can't see bandwidth needs dropping but rather increasing with more and more ways to get high-quality movies streamed to your phone.
  • by Erbo (384)
    I'm in Denver, and I've been with AT&T since they were originally AT&T (before they were Cingular for awhile). My fiancee and I both have iPhone 3GSs (32 Gb).

    We haven't experienced a lot of trouble with the service. I get the occasional dropped call when I'm driving, but it's not enough to be more than a nuisance. I did see a significant network slowdown in terms of data while I was at a Rockies game, but, well, it was at Coors Field with thousands of people there, and many of them probably had

  • Hold the Phone! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:30PM (#33016798) Homepage Journal

    Ah, the "Yankee Group".

    Let's take a look at the "independent research organization" called the "Yankee Group" who was the publisher of this rather surprising "study".

    The single-sentence introductory paragraph to the rather glowing Yankee Group Wikipedia entry reads as follows: "Yankee Group, a Massachusetts company, sells advice and market-research information relating to information technology".

    The Yankee group makes a considerable amount of it's income from the "consulting services" it offers to corporations. Consulting about what? About marketing products.

    You might remember the Yankee Group because they were the ones who Microsoft hired to do a study showing that Windows 2003 was superior to Linux "in terms of quality, performance and reliability and that the Windows users are more satisfied than Linux users (think about that). Who did Yankee Group hire to do the actual "study" part? Ah, well, they hired "Sunbelt Software, a vendor of Windows utilities, which publicised the survey solely through a mailing list called W2Knews, billing itself as "the World's first and largest e-zine designed for NT/2000 System Admins and Power Users"."

    So, the impartial study about Windows vs Linux was solely published in a Windows user group's online forum.

    When Yankee Group was criticized for the many press releases that they put out trumpeting Windows obvious superiority over Linux, this is what happened:

    Laura DiDio, an analyst at the Yankee Group who has been at the receiving end of much of the criticism from Linux advocates, claimed the radical elements of the community could damage the reputation of open source software.

    "There's an extremist fringe of Linux loonies who hang out on forums and are disrespectful and threatening because you disagree with them," DiDio told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. "That can hurt the Linux community."

    This according to ZDNet.

    So, at a time when Microsoft was engaged in a FUD campaign against Linux, pushing their "revolutionary" 2003 Server, they hire the Yankee Group to frame "radical" Linux users as "extremist fringe" and "loonies" and are "disrespectful" and "threatening".

    So you're an IT manager and you read that. You want "disrespectful and threatening loonies" working for you or do you want to hire the more satisfied Windows administrators whose platform is "superior" in terms of "quality, performance and reliability"? That was exactly how the press releases from the Yankee Group read.

    So, all you iPhone users are just thrilled to death with AT&T? Fascinating...

    • Linux loonies (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iceperson (582205)
      I think we have a pretty good example of what she's talking about here in the comments section. I own one apple product, an iphone 4. I'm happy with it. I've looked at my co-workers android phones (including the EVO) and I still prefer my iphone but I'm constantly ridiculed as a "sheep", fanboi, etc...
      • Re:Linux loonies (Score:4, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday July 24, 2010 @07:26PM (#33017278) Homepage Journal

        I own one apple product, an iphone 4. I'm happy with it.

        Good for you, iceperson, but the point here is that the Yankee Group, the outfit that did this "study" showing how iPhone users love AT&T are known to do greasy things with their "studies". It has nothing to do with whether or not you like your iPhone.

        The study they sponsored, showing how Windows Server 2003 is "superior" to Linux, was done using a survey that was only published to a Windows user group.

        It would be like publishing a survey in Mac Life asking whether OSX was superior to Windows and Linux, and then publishing the results as evidence that OSX is clearly superior based on an "independent study".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anxiety35 (943402)
      I don't know who paid for this survey, but you have heavily implied it has a positive outcome for AT&T because it was funded by them or a similar party. This seems unlikely if only due to this quote:

      "Consumers transfer the high gloss of their Apple iPhone experience to AT&T," says Carl Howe, Yankee Group analyst and author of the study.

      If I were paying to have my company come across positively, I would not want the reasoning for it explained quite like that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        Maybe. OTOH it might be that, despite such legitimising quotes, the desired message gets through just fine.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:36PM (#33016856)
    ...that sheep love their shepherd. Film at 11.

    Seriously, AT&T and the iPhone are probably good enough for the majority of people for what they need it to do. People know nothing is perfect and, so, good enough is fine.

    Be more satisfied with what "is" than dissatisfied with what "could be".

    Me? I own a Qualcomm QCP-1900 from around 1997 using PrimeCo/nTelos. Don't use it a whole lot, but the phone still works like a champ and I have *never* had a call dropped. I say "bah" to your fancy text and web-enabled phones, mine actually works as a *phone* :-)

  • In a shocking development today, it was learned that 97% of the US population actually does not live in New York City or San Francisco.

  • by Solandri (704621) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @06:44PM (#33016928)
    Um, if you do a subjective survey of only people who use the service, of course it's going to get high marks. The people who are dissatisfied with it have mostly left for a different service. This is why you do random samples. So you get a representative sample of the entire population.

    The only way the stat they measured carries any weight is if you compare to an identical survey of customers with other phone networks. The relative satisfaction rate between different providers can carry some statistical meaning. e.g. If AT&T's satisfaction rate is 73% and Verizon's is 90% (made up as an example), that tells you something. Otherwise, all you're doing is measuring the degree of self-selection of a self-selected population, which is pretty useless for market analysis.
  • I had no idea Android phones' ratings were so low; I'd like to see some other studies to make sure this isn't a fluke. That said, anyone who is spinning these numbers as good for Google is self-delusional. If you're claiming a 20% "Would buy again" rating as proof that Android is superior to iPhone, you've crossed into Baghdad Bob [wikipedia.org] territory.

    I think Google has done a great job with Android as an operating system, but they really need to start thinking about the Android "experience". As much as people obse

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      In fact Android is a trademark, there are requirements for its use, like for example having standardized hardware buttons and minimum performance specs. The iPhone meanwhile does not have a standard screen resolution (retina display, hello!), nor are capabilities or performance consistent across the different devices. In fact the same version of the OS may offer wildly differing capabilities depending on what hardware it's on.

      The differences between Android and iOS are blown out of proportion by the media.

  • by jht (5006) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @07:43PM (#33017378) Homepage Journal

    I was on the old Cingular network when I first went into business. My first smartphone was a Treo 650. It sucked. Switched to a Treo 700p on Verizon a couple of years later when it came out. Network was a little better, phone sucked worse. Far worse.

    After debating it with myself for a while, I bought the first iPhone when it came out in 2007. I still wasn't impressed by the AT&T network, but the phone worked so well I didn't care. When 3G came to pass I was unimpressed enough that if Verizon had an equivalent phone then that could have done simultaneous voice and data I might have switched.

    Starting in late 2008, the AT&T network in my area's gotten a lot better. Good enough that I'm not tempted to switch anymore. I upgraded to the iPhone 4 last month, and antenna problems or not it improves reception even more for me - drop spots I had with older AT&T phones (going back to my Treo 650) are not a problem anymore. 3G speeds are excellent. When my VZ contract expires for the data card I have with them next month I will cancel it and just use tethering on my iPhone to save more money.

    Basically, I pay less than I used to, have a better phone, and next to no network issues anywhere I go regularly. On the rare occasion I've had to call customer service they've been helpful and easy to reach. More than once they've called me back to follow up and make sure I'm happy. Bottom line for me - I'm happy with AT&T, and I see no reason to change. And I'm a happy iPhone user as well. As long as they don't screw it up, I'll stick with AT&T.

  • by grocer (718489) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @07:48PM (#33017402)
    No surprise there...Android has been adopted by T-Mobile and Verizon (and Sprint) as an iPhone slayer...AT&T has imposed its firmware restrictions on its Android phones to limit options and because of the way the spectrum is cut up in the US, none of T-Mobile's 3G devices work on AT&T's network and vice-versa...so it's not like they're are a bunch of G1s and MyTouches running on AT&Ts network...those people would be with T-Mobile...so basically, if you're asking AT&T customers about Android, odds are, they're not happy with it and didn't look at phone first and carrier second...
  • by cbuskirk (99904) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @07:53PM (#33017430)

    Everybody's service sucks. I hear Verizon customers bitch all day long then someone mentions iPhone and all off a sudden they love Verizon and AT&T is the devil. I have had many carriers and they all suck. I tolerate AT&T's suck because the iPhone is better than any other phone I have tried.

  • by kriston (7886) on Sunday July 25, 2010 @01:58AM (#33019104) Homepage Journal

    It depends on the market, for sure. Here in the Washington DC area, AT&T is the combined 1900 MHz AT&T and 850 MHz Cingular. The service has provided superior voice coverage, moved to the higher-coverage 850 MHz band, with data in the 1900 MHz band. People tend to notice problems more on the voice network so it's top-notch here in DC.

    On the other side of things, the New York City market is where AT&T coverage suffers. In the past, T-Mobile and Cingular created a network called "GSM Partners" which created a powerful, market-saturating 1900 MHz network for Cingular and T-Mobile, while the also-ran AT&T competed with a spotty, pathetic 1900 MHz network with hardly any 850 MHz coverage. When Cingular and AT&T merged, that network was required to be divested to sole owner T-Mobile. As a result, T-Mobile is solid coverage in New York City, but AT&T is a pathetic, spotty player.

    It really depends on where you live. Los Angeles market has a similar situation. Here in DC, we love our AT&T network with solid 850 MHz voice and 1900 MHz data. It's too bad it's not so good in NYC and other markets.

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