Beneath the gritted teeth and backhanded compliments, AT&T and Apple secretly hate each other! It's the sticky details that make Fred Vogelstein's crisp expose of their dysfunctional relationship worth reading. Like how badly AT&T wanted to the gimp the iPhone.
Behold, AT&T's plans for the iPhone, when they realized it was a data-gobbling demon, eating 50 percent more than AT&T expected:
Of course AT&T was planning to upgrade its network to handle the increased demand, [AT&T Senior VP Kris] Rinne's team told Apple executives, but that was going to take years. In the meantime, would Apple take measures to help throttle back the traffic? Perhaps Apple could restrict its YouTube app to run only over Wi-Fi. Maybe the iPhone could feature a smaller, lower-resolution videostream or cut off YouTube videos after one minute.
You know, on top of no MMS, tethering, 3G (at the time), video streaming or VOIP.
Apple wanted to ditch AT&T mere months after the first iPhone launch. In fact, Vogelstein reports, "One Apple source says that Jobs has discussed dropping AT&T at least half a dozen times." Apple started looking at Verizon after just a couple of months. The problem is that the network chips would've required completely re-architecting the phone. So why hasn't it happened? A source tells Vogelstein, "Every time the issue of switching came up, it always seemed to cause as many problems as it solved."
Salvation might come in the form of a new chip that "Qualcomm began working [on] with Apple" that would allow for a combo AT&T + Verizon iPhone. Not to mention, AT&T's exclusive contract may finally be ending. So hey! Maybe that Verizon iPhone could happen, someday.
Of course, AT&T has its own share of problems with Apple. Vogelstein's sources, from Apple and AT&T, heap shit on the iPhone's buggy baseband software, which was a huge contributor of dropped calls, along with the Infineon networking chipset inside. Oh, and AT&T just wanted them Apple executives to wear suits to meetings, dammit.