OK, I'm totally fired up from FSJ's post about AT&T yesterday. Time for some unsolicited advice to AT&T:
You will not have an exclusive on the iPhone forever. Sure, you're the only GSM 3G network in America now (sorry T-mobile, yours does not rate at such), but there's this 4G thing around the horizon, and Verizon is going to beat you to it by a country mile. In summer of 2011, Apple will probably release a 4G iPhone model, and that will be the end of AT&T exclusivity. So you've got a year and a half to get in gear. So how should you spend that time?
1. Build. Some. Damn. Towers. Yeah I know it's easier said then done, what with NIMBY folk not wanting to look at a tower and what not. But you know what? I don't buy it. Because every little podunk town has a fire station, park, village center, etc. that you can put a tower up on. Every single one. Do you really think they're going to turn down money so you can put up a tower, especially in these recessionary times? Hell no. Get to work!
2. Get 4G going now. It's game over if Apple releases the 4G iPhone while you're still putzing around with 3G build out. You have to move right now, aggressively, because infrastructure doesn't build itself over night.
3. Quit with the damn Luke Wilson commercials already. Look, Luke Wilson doesn't make your fundamental problems go away. Building towers does. Spend your money there. If you have to show commercials, why don't you show some proletarian putting up a tower somewhere in the vast tracts of the country where you have no 3G service?
4. For the love of God quit threatening to punish your customers. What are you, the music industry? You did see how that turned out, didn't you? Do you really think subcharging iPhone users is really going to get you more customers? Look AT&T, your rep is shot as it is. You don't need anymore bad press right now, mmmm'k?
5. iPhone tethering. Sometime next decade? Just sayin'.