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ATT Wireless Stops Selling iPhone New Yorkers

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by editor

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In The News

ATT decided to sell the iPhone once again to New Yorkers on Monday, after consumers had no option of buying the Apple cell phone from the ATT website throughout the previous weekend.
Customers trying to purchase an iPhone, with the new iPhone model recently released, were out of luck: consumers were entirely unable to purchase any iPhone cell device from AT&T's website during time periods extending between December 27 and December 28. Consumers entering zip code addresses for New York City, NY, or surrounding areas on the ATT website were promptly informed that the iPhone device was currently unavailable in that urban market. Instead, New Yorkers were instructed to choose another phone to purchase from the ATT site.
What does ATT have to say? Pretty much nothing. In fact the cell phone provider won't directly address the issue. ATT's keeping mum is turning into a big complaint on blogs across the internet, fueling the theory that ATT simply can't handle the iPhone traffic of its own customers. The virtually non-existent explanation from AT&T for the sudden halt in iPhone availability has been limited to it's representative statement of: "We periodically modify our promotions and distribution channels." Not exactly the explanation ATT customers, wanting to buy the latest iPhone from their provider, are looking for. And it's making people angry.
The ATT company has already been under close scrutiny due to its exclusive contract with Apple for iPhone service. That's been going on for nearly two years now. And that Apple/AT&T deal may possibly come to an end soon, with guaranteed Apple's exclusive iPhone contract to ATT set to expire in June 2010. Apple currently receives a $400-$450 subsidy from AT&T for every iPhone it sells. iPhone customers use about 40% of the overall ATT network, through web usage, downloads and watching videos. With iPhone customers using far higher data rate usages than consumers with other phones, the ATT network seems unable to adequately handle those usage rates by customers, especially in the most packed cities like New York and San Francisco, where dropped ATT calls are frequent.
Since the iPhone's release through ATT about two years ago, consumers have complained of increasingly worse cellular network problems. The ATT network issues have become so severe, the issues have become the butt of jokes, with ATT's iPhone dropped calls even becoming subject of a popular Saturday Night Live skit. The ATT network problem is so bad that competitor Verizon directly criticizes ATT networks in its advertising campaigns.
AT&T admits its cell phone network requires improvement in certain U.S. cities. But with ATT lack of quality such a known fact, the company doesn't have a lot of other option than to admit what is already well known by ATT customers. Cities including New York and San Francisco require cell towers to be positioned closer together. "While there's more to be done...[in] places like Manhattan and San Francisco, I want to assure you that we have a high sense of urgency," said AT&T Mobility Chief Executive Officer Ralph de la Vega.
It's unclear what that 'high sense of urgency' is geared toward, since the problem has been ongoing for the better part of two years. With so may iPhone sales, new models, and increasing customer growth and popularity over the past couple years, it's unclear as to how ATT is suddenly going to be able to accomodate that network when it hasn't even been able to play catch-up.
Now there's a new iPhone coming, meaning bigger sales with release of the newest iPhone version. That of course is going to mean even bigger demands on the ATT network, when the network hasn't even been able to meet current customer network demands for quality and usage.
Now there's rumors that ATT plans to work around network issues by raising its data-plan prices for iPhone customers. ATT denies any decision on changing pricing, but also isn't stating that iPhone plan price increase won't happen. Right now iPhone users pay a monthly, flat rate for unlimited internet and data access.


ATT Wireless Network New York, NY
United States
40° 42' 51.3684" N, 74° 0' 21.5028" W
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