Originally Posted by tcl
I agree, in fact I know some people who actually returned their iPhones because AT&T coverage is so spotty in South Jersey.
I actually waited for the 3G hoping that the rumor regarding it being opened to additional carriers might prove to be true (though it seemed unlikely given AT&T's 5-year exclusive).
Now it's a bit of a quandry as to whether to do the 3G or continue to wait - either for AT&T's network to improve, or some other alternative/improvement. I don't consider hacking the iPhone a viable alternative as I want to maintain my warranty... not to mention that hacking the phone seems like it will be extremely difficult to pull off with the new activation procedures.
1) nobody knows how long AT&T is exclusive with the iPhone. In theory Apple could renew AT&T's exclusive partnership if nobody else offers the same kind of deal. Let's face it, even people that blow off the iPhone can not name another piece of hardware that made people jump carriers like this. Verizon seems to think they can beat the iPhone with something made by LG. It's true that Blackberries outsell iPhones, but everyone has Blackberries and Treos. Even Verizon will have the Palm Centro in the next few weeks (not sure if it will be $99 though?).
2) A hacked iPhone (in the USA) will open you to T-Mobile. Not much better in this region from what i understand. A friend of mine had his AT&T phone break a few months ago and got the freebie replacement clamshell model (was waiting to see what the iPhone2 is like). His cheapo phone has a 3G symbol when he's in a 3G network, though i don't know if he has any access to it. Anyway, that could be an indicator of the 3G network's reach. He often works as a tech in hotels, and often has to go outside to use his phone. I'll have to ask him if he's seeing any improvement now.
Personally i have not jumped to the iPhone (yet?) because of the audio interference of the GSM networks. I do location sound work (reality TV to indie films) and will regularly work 12+ hour days. I *could* put the iPhone in airplane mode, but i can also take a CDMA phone (Verizon/Sprint) and stick it on my sound cart, wrap cables around it, whatever, and i will never have any problems. At&t/T-Mobile phones being too close to my kit will screw up my recordings. It's that noise you will often hear on podcasts, and sometimes TV/NPR type stuff..... or when a phone is laying near your computer speakers and talking to the tower. When i am doing reality TV type work i have to carry everything on me, so the phone will be in close proximity to equipment. Inconvenience aside, iPhone2.0 is looking pretty freakin' compelling. I would even deal with the limited coverage if i didn't have the audio issues. As much as i sometimes dislike Verizon, i really wish they had worked out the deal with Apple.