iphone 3gsIf there was ever any question that AT&T isn’t the right carrier partner for Apple’s iPhone, it’s pretty much been proven today.

While other countries were able to offer Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) the same day the iPhone 3G S launched on June 19th, it was known from the day the product was announced that AT&T would be late to the party. The belief was that the ability to send media via text messaging would show up some time in July, but it has now been confirmed that the feature will not show up until September at the earliest.  Why in the world it is taking a minimum of three months to get a feature a goodly portion of the world got on launch date is unkwnon.

The second missing feature at AT&T is tethering.  This is the ability to connect your iPhone to your computer via Bluetooth and use it as a modem to connect to the Internet.  Again, this is something the rest of the world is already enjoying, but it is still currently missing from the American version of the device.  To add to the pain of the missing ability, rumors circulated today that AT&T was going to charge an extra $55 a month for the ability on top of the current data plan.  The company contacted SlashGear to say that tethering to let them know that there would be an extra charge to use the feature, but that the price had not yet been decided upon.

Is it any wonder that both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice want to look into exclusive phone deals to see if they violate anti-trust laws?  AT&T is a perfect example of how lack of competition can lead to a lack of innovation and unfair pricing.  So what if AT&T hasn’t added MMS yet?  What are you going to do, switch to the iPhone over at Verizon?  Think AT&T is charging too much for tethering?  Might as well get the iPhone Sprint is offering!

Oh, wait… you can’t do either of those things.

While the iPhone is the most obvious example of the problem with mobile carrier exclusivity, there are of course plenty of other examples: the Palm Pre at Sprint is probably the other most notable case that people bring up.  Will it would solve all of our problems if exclusivity ended?  Probably not, but it would sure make a lot more sense since we are in a capitalist society supposedly.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of other problems in this country at this time, and a lot of things the government needs to be working on, but this is a situation that will definitely need to be addressed at some point.

Categories: Apple, Mobile Phones, Opinion   
 

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