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iPhone 3G and AT&T: Imperfect Together?

CNET’s Tom Krazit and Marguerite Reardon have publishing a lengthy and interesting story reporting on widespread gripes about the iPhone 3G losing its connection. The article provides no definitive conclusions on what the root of the problems might be–or even just how pervasive they are–but theorizes that the iPhone may do a poor job of switching between AT&T’s 3G network and its older and slower EDGE network on the fly. It’s important that a phone be able to do that as seamlessly as possible, since AT&T 3G is so far from universal.

It’s always dangerous to come to any conclusions about a technology product or service based solely on one’s own experience with it, but my own experience with my own iPhone 3G hasn’t seemed any glitchier than the time I spent with an A&T Tilt, the phone I used immediately prior to buying the iPhone. Almost of all my first month with the iPhone was spent in the Bay Area; there were plenty of times when I could only get an EDGE connection, but I don’t recall any instances of phone calls or data connections conking out on me.

On the other hand, I just got back from a weekend in Las Vegas, and there I did have AT&T issues there. The very first call I made as I walked through McCarran Airport got cut off, and even though my iPhone consistently told me I was on AT&T’s 3G network, the connection was often excruciatingly, unusably slow. On Saturday, I happened to be in the Fashion Show mall on the Strip, and was amazed to see that the Apple Store there still had a lengthy line of folks waiting to buy iPhones; I felt like asking for their attention and telling them that my experience with an iPhone in Vegas had been less than satisfactory…


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