iPhone growth ‘stunted’ by AT&T deal

Cupertino (CA) – Apple’s exclusive deal with AT&T might not be having the desired effect on iPhone sales.

Apple cut a deal with AT&T to lock its iPhones so that they only ran on the company’s networks. The deal was controversial and has resulted in ‘pirates’ writing lots of software to unlock the iPhone from the network.

However, a survey conducted by PriceGrabber.com suggests that more people would buy or use the iPhone if it was available through another telco.

PriceGrabber conducted a poll of 2,411 respondents asking them about why they have not bought the iPhone 3GS. More than ten percent of those polled owned an earlier version of the iPhone, but said they would not upgrade it because of the bad experience they have had with AT&T.

The survey did not ask why people thought AT&T was so bad. However, the media has previously reported on user criticism of the AT&T network for dropped calls and spotty coverage.

It seems, however, that Apple likes the control that the AT&T relationship gives and is not likely to drop the outfit for a small thing like customers or sales. During Apple’s conference call announcing another record quarter, chief operating officer Tim Cook said the relationship with AT&T was strong and he was happy.