¶ It's All in the Family

I really enjoy my iPhone. A lot. I’ve owned the iPhone 3G, and an iPhone 4 (two of those if you count my wife’s). When buying both iPhones over a couple years, AT&T was the only outfit selling them. It wasn’t until about 9 months ago when we in the US had options for carriers when it came to the iPhone.

AT&T has been fairly decent as far as I’m concerned. I live in the Midwest, in a city of about a quarter-million people, covered by AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. There isn’t much in the way of congestion on any one carrier. Sure, there’s a couple dead spots, but every carrier has their weaknesses. I know for a fact that Verizon isn’t fantastic in my apartment building. I have no issues with AT&T because there is a tower just down the road.

To be honest, though, if I would have had a choice in 2008, I probably would not have gone with AT&T as a carrier. They didn’t have enough coverage to the places I travel to (this was fixed in early 2011, when they dramatically expanded coverage in the upper Midwest).

Now, with Verizon and Sprint being legitimate options, I’m not 100% sure I’ll stick with AT&T when my contract is up next year. Like I said, I don’t have a bone to pick with AT&T, I receive the service I expect, and whenever I have had an issue, their support has been fantastic and kind. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t be wooed away by another carrier. For me, the iPhone is all that matters.

For instance, The Verge reports Verizon will be offering family data plans in 2012. I use data far more than voice minutes. My wife & I share voice minutes, why not data? AT&T offers two tiers for data, 200 MB and 2 GB. My wife, being at home on Wi-Fi most of the time, has the former, and I have the latter. Honestly, if there were a 500 MB plan, I could easily fit into that. My usage is around 400 MB every month. My wife, on the other hand, toes the line of 200 MB often. She hardly uses her iPhone when Wi-Fi isn’t available for fear of going over her allotted data.

That sucks. Customers shouldn’t have to experience any sort of fear in a service they pay for. It would be far better if my wife & I could share that 2 GB plan. I’d wager the two of us would hardly touch 1 GB in a month. My wife wouldn’t have to forego actually using her iPhone the way she wants when away from home.

I’ve noticed Verizon and AT&T tend to do the cat & mouse game quite often. One does something, the other follows suit. AT&T has until June 2012 to offer family data, or they may lose my account.