We should probably make an important distinction to clear up this "anecdote" argument.
There is nothing wrong with anecdotes when used simply as anecdotes. Duh
The problem (and a quite frequent one on the internet) is when people use "anecdotal evidence" to try to prove their point or defend a sweeping, general claim.
For example:AT&T has terrible service, wherever I go I fall back on EDGE or don't have an service at all. Sometimes I have to go to the end of my driveway to make a call. AT&T obviously doesn't care about improving its network or its reputation.
That is using "anecdotal evidence" to support your claim. Not very effective among intelligent people.I like having simultaneous voice and data. I don't know how many times I have been driving in the car, talking on the phone, and needed to look up directions to where I was going. It was definitely helpful there.
That's simply an "anecdote". Nothing wrong with that.
As far as the iPhone goes, I have never really thought that Apple set out to make the best "phone" out there. I don't think anyone would ever try to say that it was the "best reception device", even when only compared to other devices' performance on the AT&T network. The iPhone is about everything - phone, apps, speed, fluidity - all coming together in one device. That being said, I really do believe that the iPhone was made with the strengths of AT&T's network (and other GSM/UMTS networks) - speed, simultaneous voice and data - in mind. The experience on Verizon will invariably be less when viewed in light of what Apple's goal is - a fluid experience.
Prediction - the defections from AT&T to Verizon will not be as large as expected.
Prediction - a large portion of iPhone users that defect will get to Verizon and realize that they are giving up significant amounts of speed and capability (SV&D) and many will return to AT&T.
Prediction - negativity towards Verizon will rise significantly after launching the iPhone. iPhone users are generally a very demanding bunch. One of AT&T's PR problems right now is that their iPhone users expect different things, fair or not, from their network than those on Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile do... partially due simply to the fact that Apple tends to rank very high in customer satisfaction themselves. I don't believe Verizon will be able to live up to these expectations either.