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Apple Store Safe Haven from AT&T Mediocrity

So I did some extensive and very repetitive speed testing in Manhattan around 5pm today and last week. Trying to uncover a conspiracy on the part of AT&T and Apple to deliver good performance to customers in the flagship Apple store to mislead those customers into forgetting about all the AT&T sucks blogging they’ve read by somehow beefing up performance in and around the store just log enough to keep the people happy before they exit the store with their new device and walk a quarter mile north (or in any other direction) and encounter the sordid truth of AT&T’s performance.

The store, as usual, was packed. And this was in midtown Manhattan during peak business hours when AT&T especially sucks. Again, the place was swarming with people screwing around with mobile devices — in contrast to a relatively quiet Central Park where I performed subsequent tests while connected to another tower — with all sorts of radio waves flying around the place. Not so easy to ensure good coverage in such an environment with wifi let alone cellular. But failing to deliver decent carrier performance in the flagship store of the company that makes your flagship phone, well, that would be bad for business.

I’ll shut up momentarily and let these two pictures do the talking.

Woah, hi ladies! Guess I was too busy speed testing to enjoy the view. Anyway, a ten minute stroll later…

Hey AT&T, neat trick, whatever you did to cover the dense Apple store ten times more effectively than the park. Maybe it would work in other places, like the rest of the city and while you’re at it Frisco too and wherever else you still insist on sucking. On the other hand, who knows, not sucking as much would mean drastically changing your business model and given that you’re making money, I guess something like this, pleasing your customers by delivering what you advertise, could backfire somehow. Better sit back another few years and let your competitors continue to experiment with that approach first.

Update: Went back today and an Apple Genius confirmed that AT&T installed a system inside the store to boost performance, so there you go.

Doug Simmons