Cringely: Apple imposed a gag order on AT&T because I said so

“Last weekend a story in the New York Times blamed the bad reputation of AT&T’s wireless network on iPhone technical problems, not the AT&T network at all,” Bob Cringely writes for I, Cringely.

“Going further, Global Wireless Solutions, a network testing company, said the AT&T network is actually faster than Verizon’s, backing to a certain extent AT&T’s now-aborted legal effort to silence Verizon Wireless commercials that said otherwise,” Cringely writes.

MacDailyNews Take: Wrong. AT&T’s now-aborted legal matter was based on Verizon’s maps failing to show AT&T’s full coverage areas, focusing only on 3G coverage.

Cringely continues, “I doubt this is actually the case. Last summer as my family and I wandered across the United States in our old Winnebago motor home equipped with two iPhones from AT&T but also cellular data from Verizon, I can say with some certainty that Verizon coverage was consistently better, no matter what the Times has to say.”

MacDailyNews Take: The Times didn’t say it, a networking testing company that performed the testing while covering more than three million miles of roads this year, while running almost two million wireless data sessions and placing more than three million voice calls said it. And that trumps your anecdotal Winnebago motor home story by approximately 2.999 million country miles, Bob.

Cringely continues, “But the real issue here, it seems to me, is the obvious gag order successfully imposed on giant AT&T by Apple. Now that part I believe.”

MacDailyNews Take: Cringely gets everything wrong and then expects us to believe whatever bullshit he’s about to shovel this week? Puleeze.

Bob’s full fantasy (“AT&T apparently isn’t allowed to refute Verizon’s network performance claims even if AT&T has contrary data”) constructed upon no foundation whatsoever – Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: Verizon is not making “network performance claims” that AT&T would need to refute, but even if Verizon were doing so, AT&T obviously isn’t being gagged at all as every single AT&T press release issued for years contains the following boilerplate statement, “With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services.” Try harder next time, Bob.


  1. Dear Cringely,

    I hear the reason Steve Jobs is getting so sick all the time is because he’s personally doing iPhone signal tests in every state. It’s true! I read it on the internet.

  2. Again, and for the umpteenth time, there is no single person writing as Robert X. Cringely. That pseudonym is the pen name of both technology journalist Mark Stephens and a string of writers for a column in InfoWorld.

    . . . and all of them are asswipes. Always have been.

  3. MDN: The Times didn’t say it, a networking testing company that performed the testing while covering more than three million miles of roads this year, while running almost two million wireless data sessions and placing more than three million voice calls said it.

    Also, that company disclosed that they were hired by wireless providers including AT&T;and not including Verizon. So…. really AT&T;said it.

  4. Seriously, the coverage is bad. I live right outside of Washington DC, have almost 0 coverage at work, and rarely any 3G or edge network at home. I will lose the connection at least 3 times on the way home (6.5 miles).

  5. again, not the iPhone. I live in Canada, my carrier is Roger’s (who are criminals).

    I rarely have dropped calls, once every 100 calls or so. and I almost always have 3G coverage, I’d say in the high 90s percentile.

    calls are clear, network is solid and available… that’s in Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal and outlying areas.

  6. My anecdotal evidence is this:

    At my office, AT&T;customers are lucky to get a single bar of signal, while Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon users are all at full strength. This is in the heart of the Loop in Chicago. It sucks, as half my department has iPhones, and they can’t make a phone call with them without getting up and walking to a window, while the other half, with mainly Blackberries of one model or another, have no problems at all.

  7. @PC Apologist

    That Cringely Naked Family Christmas card is whacked! Naked and Family Christmas should never go together. That one image completely undermines his image as a consultant and proves he’s a nut-job and a kook. I would never listen to anything from a man so out there that he thinks naked-christmas is cool. Ugh.

  8. Not only in the greater Orlando area where I live but also in rural Florida (the Avon Park area, for example) and Southwest Florida where I sometimes travel, I have never had any problems whatsoever with AT&T;cell phone reception in the 12 years that I have been with them (or Cingular, briefly). I even get good reception on a remote barrier island that is only accessible by boat!

    I don’t doubt that there may be problems in some of the major metro areas but please don’t make blanket statements about AT&T;on that basis. Just like in real estate, with respect to cell phone reception quality it’s location, location, location.

    Incidentally, I noticed several large AT&T;ads with maps in the Orlando Sentinel today that tout AT&T;’s 3G coverage in the Orlando area. They also make light of Verizon’s now infamous maps as well as Verizon’s inability to support voice and data at the same time.

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