There’s a very palpable irony to using the iPhone. The name itself is a misnomer, since it’s so feature-heavy the telephony function is one of my minority use-cases on a daily basis. I use Maps more than Voice. Heck, I use Urbanspoon more than Voice. This is not necessarily because of these apps’ inherently superior utility. (That may be true at first, but my usage plateaued to somewhat equal use of the primary functionality after the first month).
Rather, the reason I go out of my way to avoid using Voice on my smartphone is because AT&T is making a damn good case for me not to. I’m aware of the data drain on the network, but AT&T’s dropped calls and delayed voicemail delivery (sometimes up to 12hrs) just lead to me counting down the days when I can take my smartphone business elsewhere. At this point I have 4,000 rollover minutes because I’ve been conditioned by AT&T not to use their service. Nothing will ruin your day like wishing a parent happy birthday only to be cut off again and again.
Note that I said I’d like to take my smartphone business elsewhere – I used to think that once the AT&T exclusivity contract ran out on the iPhone, I’d just switch plans and retain the hardware. But Apple’s looking worse for the company they keep, and other offerings (like Motorola’s recent suite of phones) are looking better every day.
Consider this analogy. I’ve always said the iPhone is one of the best electronic devices out there, fulfilling 95% of my wishlist of features. But AT&T’s 20th-century coverage is akin to being given a flying car and told the engine only works 10% of the time.