If you're the kind of person who loves quoting that ".5%" number given by Jobs at the press conference a few weeks ago as proof that AT&T's reception problems are overblown, you'll love this. A new survey released by Yankee Group says that 73% of iPhone users polled are actually "very satisfied" with their cell phone service. In fact, only 69% of smartphone users in general say they're happy with their provider, so not only is AT&T's service satisfactory according to this survey, but it's actually better than other services. Why is AT&T so hated when their service is actually good?
Yankee Group explains: it's not that the service is great, it's more that the phone is awesome. Customers really love their iPhones, and so even when the reception isn't very good, the overall experience scores high. AT&T says it's just a perception problem: "There's a gap between what people hear about us and what their experience is with us. We think that gap is beginning to close," according to a spokesman.
I'll say this: I carried my iPhone all over San Diego at Comic-Con last week, and the reception I got was just plain terrible. My net connection barely worked, calls were dropped, and I couldn't check email even when I needed to. But I'll admit that the AT&T problems exist in a strange place -- not only does the iPhone's otherwise shining example of user experience helping to outweigh AT&T's problems, but customers' high expectations for the iPhone probably have something to do with all of the complaining as well.