The Loveless Marriage of AT&T, Apple
AT&T faces network problems, customer wrath
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2010 6:43 AM CDT
FILE - This file photo made June 7, 2010, shows a close up view of the Apple iPhone 4 during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – AT&T and Apple are stuck in a "loveless celebrity marriage," publicly praising each other while they bicker constantly behind the scenes. The dysfunctional relationship sets the stage for the industry as phone manufacturers design phones that suck ever-more bandwidth, while strained wireless carriers try to crack down on usage, according to a lengthy Wired profile of the problems in the iPhone marriage.

AT&T's gobs of iPhone profit may ultimately be outweighed by the damage its reputation—irate iPhone users tweet "#attfail" to vent about its network problems. "In a fate that will soon befall the rest of the wireless carriers," Fred Vogelstein writes, "AT&T has become a mere toll-taker on the digital highway, an operator of dumb pipes that cost a fortune to maintain but garner no credit for innovation or customer service. Meanwhile, the likes of Apple and Google will continue to pump out products that push the limits of what the carriers can provide, training customers to use more and more data."