There’s one main reason I’m not going to buy the iPhone 3GS.

It’s not that it’s not enough of an upgrade. It’s a decent revision that makes the phone a heck of a lot faster. Sure most of the obvious parts of the upgrade is in the OS revision, but there are still a couple great features of the iPhone 3GS. The new camera is fantastic. The compass is great and should add a ton of functionality to maps and game controls. The extra memory, faster processor, and extra battery life is killer!

But I’m still not going to upgrade to the 3GS, even though I really want to.

The reason I’m not going to upgrade is because of AT&T.

AT&T has consistently treated iPhone users as second class citizens on their network. Not allowing iPhone applications to do things that their counterparts on Windows Mobile or Blackberry do. And the whole time, charging us more for the privilege of having less service.

They have announced that they will be adding MMS support for the iPhone in late summer. Nice of them to say that it will be at no extra charge. Tethering support will come and some unspecified time later and will be an extra charge. My guess for the price of tethering is just take the cost for Windows Mobile tethering and add $15.

Why so many international partners could be ready for the new features and AT&T couldn’t is unknown. Talking with AT&T media relations they say they need to complete an upgrade to add the functionality. Not to their network, they were very clear on that, this is a systems upgrade. Still, why can a dozen other companies be ready and AT&T can’t?

The real issue is that if I were to buy the iPhone 3GS, not only would I have to pay an extra $200 over the prices we’ve heard from Apple due to the early upgrade of their “valued customers”, but I’d have to renew my contract another 2 years. That means I’d be stuck in a contract where I’d be given less network access than Blackberry or Windows Mobile users and be required to pay more for it! No thanks. I’ll ride it out until next July.

In 2010, the exclusivity with AT&T should come to an end. At that point, my contract with AT&T will be up and I can jump ship to whatever new carrier is carrying next years iPhone model.

Please Apple, don’t renew the exclusivity with AT&T in the US. Or if you do, hold them accountable. Make them treat us, the US iPhone users, like what they are, one of the main reasons they are still in the mobile business and their main bread and butter. It’s time they treated us like that.

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