When I talk with my friends that don't have iPhones (and want them), the usual answer I get these days is "I'm just waiting for it to come to Verizon." There seems to be a lot of "I hate AT&T" sentiments out there. For the record, and I'll say it again – I don't have a problem with AT&T and even if the iPhone were offered on Verizon tomorrow I'd probably stay right where I am. First off I live in Michigan and although I travel the world for work, my AT&T service in my area has actually been quite good. I get 4 bars in my basement. I don't drop a lot of calls and the only time I do have issues is when I travel to known problem areas (such as Times Square NYC and the Tampa Bay FL area). So no I'm not an AT&T hater. I don't love them or hate them. They provide a service that has worked out for me. When I travel outside the US I need a GSM based phone and at that point I'm roaming on the local carriers anyway. Nonetheless, AT&T doesn't have a good reputation and certainly the Apple/AT&T relationship has been a bumpy one at times. Only Apple and Verizon know for sure when they will join hands and release an iPhone on the much praised Verizon network (everyone now says 2011 – keep in mind that these were the same people that swore it would be 2010 and 2009 before that), but I had a thought about Apple & Verizon…
What if Apple Bought Verizon?
Apple is all about "control." They like to control every aspect of their products and services. Certainly not being able to deliver data tethering and MMS for so long was a pain for them as well as other things that had to wait for AT&T's network to get up to speed. So that got me to thinking that a Verizon buyout by Apple would probably be a good thing (at least for Apple). They would be buying a popular network and then be able to completely control the user experience on the iPhone. While I'm sure this would piss off not only AT&T, but the whole industry (especially Droid handset makers), it's an interesting thought. It's also not the first time that Apple would have pissed off the whole industry 🙂 While we'll probably never see such an acquisition take place, I bet the thought has crossed Steve's mind at least once. In any case I anxiously await the iPhone adding additional US carriers for a few reasons:
- With the iPhone on more than one carrier it will force AT&T to be more competitive (a win for us all). Right now they are the only iPhone game in town and therefore they can do things like charge a $25 (just because we can) tethering fee on top of your data plan without adding any more data.
- A multi-carrier iPhone would relieve some of the stress on having everything iPhone fall on one carrier (AT&T). Honestly, I'm not sure that Verizon would have done much better if they suddenly had an influx of millions of data hungry users. We'll never know, but it's easy to say your network is the best when you don't have the same volume of traffic.
- Lastly it will shut people up 🙂 I get a little tired at times of Verizon users telling me how they never ever drop a call ever and how Verizon bows down to their every wish. Keep in mind that I do have a Verizon data card and I know for a fact that just like any other carrier their service is great in some areas and not so great in others. However, I don't argue. I just smile, because I really don't care one way or the other. I'm fine with my service and you're fine with yours, great! It's phone service, not a religion.
Understanding that you would probably wait till your contract was up if you have one, but what would you do…