So far, the plan seems to be falling short in meeting consumers' expectations. "They haven't fixed the network and they're going to see a huge exodus to Verizon"
when it gets the iPhone, says Charter Equity Research managing director Edward Snyder.
But AT&T says its past problems with the iPhone have been a learning experience that any new carriers also will have to go through. AT&T is "managing volumes that no one else has experienced," points out CTO John Donovan, and he says it will continue to make improvements in coming months. Apple itself has re-jiggered the iPhones so that they put less of a load on the AT&T network for some simple but frequent tasks such as finding the closest tower.