Maybe AT&T Really Should Limit iPhone Sales

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Is it just me, or is it not morally wrong for a company to sell products it can't support? I mean, if AT&T is unable to provide good iPhone service in New York City, shouldn't it stop selling the iPhone there?

I am writing this in response to the "if only they could have been true" rumors surrounding the temporary unavailability of iPhones to New York customers on AT&T's Web site.

One of the first explanations--guesses, really--was that AT&T had taken the action to help prop-up its NYC data service, which is perpetually slammed by iPhone users.

I think the rumor was such a good idea that it's something AT&T should seriously consider. And not just in NYC.

Limiting sales might be the best thing AT&T could do to address the service mess iPhone data usage seems to have created. And if it works in New York, can San Francisco, that other hotbed of the AT&T customer rebellion, be far behind?

If AT&T cannot meet demand for data service in these two digital capitals, stopping additional sales seems like the only thing to do until network build-out and other technical changes can improve the situation.

Sure, it's a brute force approach, but at least service wouldn't continue to decline a smidgen every time a new iPhone is sold in NY or SF. Improving AT&T's reputation in those two markets would also do wonders for its reputation nationally.

I live about 60 miles from San Francisco and really can't complain about my iPhone service. Sure, I get occasional dropped calls, but not huge numbers of them. My 3G data service works when I need it, and there are an increasing number of free hotspots around the city where I live. Overall, I am a happy customer.

I am not saying AT&T doesn't deserve the knocks it gets, especially when the company seems almost to go out of its way upset people. But, if the carrier were to actually address the "demand" side of iPhone data service supply and demand, it would be a good thing for current customers.

David Coursey has been writing about technology products and companies for more than 25 years. He tweets as @techinciter and may be contacted via his Web site.

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