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Verizon this week defended its commercials in court, calling AT&T's lawsuit against them ridiculous. It says that for AT&T "the truth hurts."  (Source:

The commercials seem to be working -- in recent months Verizon's image has soared, while AT&T's has sank, according to YouGov, which tracks brand reputation.  (Source: Apple Insider)
The nation's largest wireless provider fires back in court

AT&T and Verizon, the nation's second largest and largest telecoms, respectively, are at open war.  With Verizon's new Droid phone looking to challenge the iPhone as the reigning media smartphone, the pair wage battle in the court room over Verizon's commercials which depict AT&T's poor 3G coverage.

It has been reported that in some areas, such as New York City, that AT&T's call drop rates are as high as 30 percent -- or that it merely has no 3G service at all.  However, AT&T does have broad coverage under its older EDGE network, and it claims that Verizon's ads are deceptive.  AT&T's argument basically boils down to a claim that the average viewer is fooled to believe that the Verizon commercial's maps represent total coverage and not 3G coverage -- despite several textual and audio clues.  Thus it claims the commercials are misleading and damaging.

Initially AT&T only sued over Verizon's "There's a map for that" series, which introduced Verizon's rich red map and AT&T's lacking blue map to viewers, all while poking fun at Apple's iPhone slogan ("There's an app for that").  AT&T recently expanded the suit to include Verizon's new Christmas themed ads "The Island of Misfit Toys".

Verizon has flatly refused to stop airing the commercials, and to AT&T's dismay, the dispute seems unlikely to be resolved until well into the holiday season.  AT&T had hoped to quickly get Verizon's ads pulled from TV.

In court this week Verizon filed new documents, according to Engadget, which blast its competitor, saying that the lawsuit is a weak attempt from a player that just can't compete.  States Verizon's filing, "AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon's "There's A Map For That" advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon's ads are true and the truth hurts."

Continues the filing, "In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon's side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T's confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly. AT&T may not like the message that the ads send, but this Court should reject its efforts to silence the messenger."

As it sees its hopes of a favorable court ruling in jeopardy, AT&T has tried to set the record straight among its own customers, writing them a letter asking them to ignore what it perceives as lies in Verizon's ads.  It writes that the Verizon commercials are "so blatantly false and misleading, that we want to set the record straight about AT&T's wireless data coverage".  In the letter, the company highlights what it sees as abundant mixed coverage on its older EDGE and new 3G networks.

Regardless of whether AT&T's dreams of silencing Verizon's commercials come true, evidence indicates that the damage has already been done.  In recent weeks Verizon's brand image has soared while AT&T's has sank, according to recent surveys market researchers at BrandIndex.  The surveys looked at whether customers would recommend the respective telecoms to their friends.  AT&T scored less than a -2 in the most recent study -- indicating not many customers would recommend getting an AT&T phone.

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RE: Droid
By Motoman on 11/17/2009 10:37:39 AM , Rating: 3
I was *this* close to just ordering a Droid online, but decided to be prudent and check out a couple things...

1. Despite articles on the intarweb, including here on DT, Verizon does not support tethering on the Droid.

2. The keyboard is bad. The entire keyboard is flat, with the buttons perfectly square and butted right up against each other with no space in-between. While that's "better" than an on-screen keyboard, it's vastly inferior to other phones that have been around forever that have raised buttons with space between them. The keyboard on my ancient LG Envy is wonderful to use...the Droid one killed the deal for me.

Hopefully the Droid 2 has a better keyboard. Or maybe somebody else will create something very much like the Droid with a better keyboard. For now I guess I'm staying with my Blackberry and it's cramped keyboard, smaller screen, and tethering capability.

RE: Droid
By bradmshannon on 11/17/2009 2:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
I was a long time Env user and I now have the Touch. I wasn't sure about the keypad either at first, but I liked it.

Tethering is coming on Verizon...

RE: Droid
By Motoman on 11/17/2009 2:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
My wife now has an Env Touch...I like it. The whole Env line should be the model for others to follow from the keyboard standpoint.

RE: Droid
By kmmatney on 11/17/2009 6:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree on the keyboard. I played with a droid for about an hour yesterday (my father-in-law bought one). One thing I didn't like it that you forced to use the pull put keyboard in landscape mode (at least by default). The screen is also not as responsive as the iPhone, and overall the phone is a little harder to figure out. The screen resolution is amazing, though. As an iPhone user, I really missed using multitouch to zoom in and out and web pages, but you can probably get used to the zoom buttons, and many websites zoom in correctly with a double-tap (although sometimes this didn't work correctly).

The screen is already awesome, I can can see this phone being really nice after a few updates (e.g. making the screen more resposive) and once a few more apps are out there.

One thing we could not figure how to do is to save location on the google map application.

RE: Droid
By kmmatney on 11/17/2009 6:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
Also, one big problem we had with the Droid is that is would not connect to the wireless LAN at my father-in-law's house. My iPhone doesn't have any trouble, but the Droid couldn't hook up (using WPA encryption). It works fine using 3G, though (and the Verizon network does seem faster than AT&T). We are still working on the Wifi problem...

RE: Droid
By highlandsun on 11/17/2009 11:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
On the initial release of the G1, this was a limitation of both the wifi device driver and the Android UI. On a subsequent release the wifi driver was fixed but the Android UI still has no support for WPA-EAP. However, if you root your phone you can edit the wpa_supplicant.conf file and manually add the config for any type of network and use it without the Android UI. That's what I've been doing on my phone... Also the Android UI actually edits the wpa_supplicant.conf file in-place, and disables networks it doesn't know how to handle when you attempt to connect. So the trick is to turn off wifi, then edit the .conf file, then enable wifi, and then use the wpa_cli enable_network command to enable your WPA network, and then the wpa_supplicant will authenticate and everything else will work from there.

Also, the adb command in the Android SDK can be used to establish a session with the phone. It also has a ppp command but as-written it is mostly useless. I've posted a patch for it that allows you to establish a ppp session between a PC and the phone over USB cable. That way you can tether and then either use the phone's network from the PC, or use the PC's network from the phone, as needed. I posted the details here:

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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