Originally Posted by samab
AT&T is perceived by Americans to have an inferior network (whether speed or coverage) only because Americans compare AT&T with Verizon.
People are going to complain no matter what. When O2 was announced as the original iphone carrier in the UK, plenty of Brits were complaining that Apple picked the wrong network carrier.
It is just the matter of the public perception. When you hear it every single day, you start believing in it.
In conclusion, I really doubt that other carriers around the world have much superior networks than AT&T. It just feels that way to people because you keep on hearing about Americans complaining about how AT&T's network is inferior to Verizon's network.
I know what you are saying about perception and undoubtedly it plays some part, but overall I think you are assuming a lot here and for that reason could easily be dead wrong on this. You have no actual data other than a hunch that it's perception driven.
I think the antenna issue is a good example of (somewhat) hard data. It's an observable physical flaw that seems to occur with much higher regularity on American networks vs. International ones. The data that exists is mostly anecdotal of course, but I have yet to find or hear of anyone in my country having any problem at all on any of the five main carriers of iPhone. Anecdotally, I'm hearing the same from friends and acquaintances in Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. I don't know anyone personally in Japan, but I hear it's the same over there.
So yeah, most of the evidence is anecdotal and some of it is questionable, but it's interesting that there seems to be a clear difference between the experience of users in the USA and users in other countries. It does correlate to the superior coverage and the newer systems in those countries. These are all very suggestive facts even if nothing can be categorically proven from them.
I think the case for the networks being a real physical difference between cases of fail and non-fail is better than the case for it all being perception based at this point.