Adding further fuel to the argument that Apple should drop AT&T (or at least treat them the way Don’s hooker treats him), here’s a study showing that Verizon smartphone users use more data than AT&T smartphone users. It’s not iPhone data hogs breaking the AT&T network, it’s AT&T management’s unwillingness to invest.
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As someone who worked on CE, the notion that people would call each each other at the same rates after asynchronous comm was common seemed stupid.
But then I slept in my office after a 20 hour drive back from burning man. Apparently that was un-acceptable.
I dunno. Doesn’t their sainted Free Market say the consumers want more data? And in this capitalism Thunderdome, the company who provides the most for the least, wins?
This is like Krispy Kreme complaining their customers eat too many doughnuts.
I’ve got a year to go on my contract… but if AT+T ever decides to end their $30/mth unlimited data and start charging for data usage (as is rumored…), I’ll drop the data plan when my contract is up. I could live without 3G – free wifi hotspots are so easy to find these days – but I won’t do without my iPhone. It would be a little like the old days of looking for a pay phone to make a call, but F it and F AT+T.
…yow, I just found out AT+T DID change their plan, though I am grandfathered in under my current contract. Bastards. That must have happened when I was (way) out of town. Anyone know how I can monitor my monthly data usage? Easily?
@r€nato: Somewhere in the Settings app for your phone, there’s a page showing your cellular data usage. It doesn’t automatically reset each month, so you can either manually reset it or just let it keep accumulating data and calculate a long-term average.
@r€nato: I believe there’s an app you can download that will track your data usage and text you if you approach the limit. I check mine on the website and apparently use very, very little data. I’m also grandfathered in. I thought about switching to the uber cheap plan, but what if I suddenly decide to become a data hog?
Why do you hate the free market, mistermix? Don’t you see that blaming AT&T is peddling in victim blame? Don’t you see how all those little leeche-ahem….CUSTOMERS keep stealing and hogging the bandwith? AT&T’s hands are tied here, it’s not like they can invest in any kind of growth or infrastructure, what about their profit margins?!
The article was a little lacking, While it gave averages for users, it never gave that total data amount or total amount of users. If Verizon only has 10 customers with smart phones and ATT has 5 times that amount, then ATT would still need more bandwidth.
(Numbers are for example only and in no way correlate to the real world. )
Disclosure: I do not own a smartphone, I have no need for such a distraction.
kommrade reproductive vigor
The previous post is all be-screwed.
While I certainly agree AT&T has not invested in infrastructure (hello, NYC), I don’t think your numbers show that. They show the average data consumption, but that doesn’t show us how many people are consuming data. We’d have to know the total number of iPhone users in a given area vs. Droid/other users.
Sorry for the nickpickin’….
Settings -> General -> Usage. Then you can reset your stats and go from there.
@r€nato: On AT&T, dial *DATA# (*3282#) and you’ll get your current data consumption for the billing period.
How well integrated is the wifi on Verizon’s products? It’s seamless on iPhones. Everyone I know who has an iPhone uses 3G only when wifi isn’t available (which, where I live, is just about everywhere). Not saying AT&T doesn’t suck ballz, but there may be other reasons for the disparity.
My cats auditioned for that “can you hear me now” commercial series.
I can’t imagine why we never got a callback…
FWIW, I got my iPhone4 on Monday (not sure why it sat in HK for two days on it’s way from Shenzen to OC, but whatever). The claim of increased battery life seems legit (33 hours and still going), and the display is every bit as sweet as advertised.
Not to get all wing nutty and nostalgic, but it is true that back when there was one big regulated Bell System, there was no incentive to skimp on capex. The FCC and the state regulators set rates so that the companies would get a decent ROA, and new capex just got rolled into A, pretty much automatically.
On the minus side, Verizon is allegedly planning to implement caps on data plans in the near future as well. I suppose it wouldn’t affect me much, but I’ve also grown rather cynical of caps after AT&T announced their cap a month after the 3G iPad. Now that was a real dick move.
The study doesn’t really tell you anything. To really know what’s going on, you need to to know the total amount of data going over the network. If the average Verizon smart phone subscriber uses 1.5x the data as the average AT&T user, but there are 2x the number of AT&T users; AT&T is still dealing with more traffic.
That being said, I believe the problems with AT&T are more to do with the iPhone than with the network. My Nexus One is on AT&T and it has no problems at all.
Apple and AT&T have an exclusive contract. It was the price of getting the iPhone to market. This situation is in the same boat as Obama signing an executive order to eliminate DADT – Apple can’t just easily make it happen without a lawsuit. Besides, the lack of simultaneous voice+data on Verizon is both problematic and temporary. Wait a few months for LTE to hit.
@andrew: Verizon has 91M subscribers, AT&T has 81M. AT&T, however, has more smartphone subscribers included in the study, IIRC.
Mistermix – I’d suggest you stay away from topics you don’t seem to understand.
You’re quoting a ‘study’ referenced in a 5-para blurb, with no underlying data or methodology.
A quick google search turns up many examples where AT&T management says they are investing $20billion in 2010, mostly in wireless.
I’m not saying AT&T is anything other than what they are, but hack-tastic posts like this just seem to be put up to make you feel better, not provide any understanding of the topic at hand.
AT&T pays Apple $350 for every i-phone sold. Part of their problem has been that i-phones are much more popular in big cities like NYC. I’m surprised that they haven’t added bandwidth faster in those places and I don’t understand why they are charging more to heavy users, unless it is to free up more bandwidth.
This should have been a big moneymaker for AT&T, but somehow this isn’t reflected in their balance sheet.
Anecdotal, but this is actually the opposite of my own usage. I check email constantly, surf the web here and there throughout the day, but I almost /never/ use WiFi to do it–turning on WiFi just devours the battery even if I’m not actively doing anything, simply to maintain the connection.
I used to have WiFi on while I was at work to pick up the corp wireless, and my charge would be almost gone by the end of the workday. I turned off WiFi and a full charge lasts for a couple days even with constant email checking.
I’d like to have it on, because when it works it works a hell of a lot better than the shitty-ass 3G network. But I pretty much have to leave the thing plugged in in order to not drain the battery, which defeats the purpose of a mobile device.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my iPhone for a couple years now and I love it, but I love it the way I love democracy and capitalism: as the shittiest option out there, except for everything else. It has a list of shortcomings a mile long and when it eventually dies, I’m probably going to look at a Droid.
my phone is so old it doesn’t even take photos. I feel so….Amish…
Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people)
@r€nato: I was grandfathered in but switched from the $30/month unlimited plan to the $15/mo 200MB plan when I realized that I mostly use my iPhone with WiFi networks and never use up to 200 MB/mo on 3G. It hasn’t been a problem and AT&T sends you a text message when you approach 65% of your max data usage. I haven’t gone over 75%.
The article really doesn’t tell you anything. As others have mentioned, it only compares average data consumption per smartphone user, but doesn’t tell you how many smartphone users each has.
Then there’s this:
They’re not even comparing data consumption of typical smartphone users. They’re comparing data consumption of typical smartphone users if you exclude the Verizon smartphones which don’t consume that much data, giving the justification that otherwise, it would mess up the result.
What is about cell phones and the widgets and gadgets they come with that makes them worth these incessant discussions? Seriously, I am puzzled. It’s a cell phone, you make and receive calls on it, maybe take a pic or shoot video of a cop shooting a kid in the back, but all this angst over a phone and its apps?
It’s amazing to watch marketing at work, because now data streams and the ability to mock McCardle, send a tweet and sext message your girlfriend simultaneously are the most important technologies in the world, while just a few short years ago you were happy to not have the call interrupted by dead areas.
On the other hand, in the “good old days,” the telephone companies owned the telephones, and the closest things to smart phones were mocked-up dream gadgets in Disneyland’s Tomorrow Land.
But it’s unlikely that the old telephone companies would have done something as stupid as Apple in designing a phone that would drop calls if you just held it the wrong way.
The good old days were never really as good as we misremember them.
As is so often the case, you have read far more into my comment than was actually there. Wish you would stop that shit. Find your own straw man – at my hourly rate, you can’t afford me.
Dude, it wasn’t that big a deal, and my comments were not directed at you personally. I was using your comment as a jumping off point for the general discussion.
And for an attorney (as I recall), you strangely misuse the term straw man.
Also, too, I could probably afford you two or three times over. And still have change left over.
@Catsy: Powering an antenna with signal 300 feet away (WiFi) is way cheaper than powering an antenna miles away. The concept is known as .Attenuation.
In other words, power usage goes up exponentially(ish) as distance increases, so hop onto the closest antenna when you can.
@bago: While true, I don’t see how this bears on the point I brought up. Are you saying that the phone should consume less power while using WiFi than 3G? Because whether or not it should, it doesn’t. The battery drains considerably–measurably, noticeably–faster on WiFi. It’s not even close.
My usage patterns haven’t meaningfully changed–if anything, I use the internet more now that it doesn’t mean draining the battery in a matter of hours. The difference is that I turned off WiFi altogether.
Pulling data from a wifi node is way cheaper because it is only a few hundred feet away, is what I’m saying. When you aren’t joined to a network, the polling for availible networks is a cost you don’t have to bear with wifi on, granted. However, byte for byte, it is FAR cheaper to network over wifi than some cell technology requiring transmission over greater distances.
Download the app “My Wireless”. It’s free. It will tell you exactly how much data you have used and how many days you have left in the billing period. It will also tell you how many minutes you’ve used and how many texts you’ve sent/received. You just need to have an account on ATT.com.
Are you saying this is what people use these devices for, or that this is what people should use them for? Or are you just being snarky?