AT&T = Rodney Dangerfield & Why They Charge So Much

AT&T is the Rodney Dangerfield of the mobile tech world. It just can’t get any respect. You may have caught MG Siegler’s restrained opinion on AT&T’s status in TechCrunch over the weekend…

AT&T Is A Big, Steaming Heap Of Failure

When AT&T announced…

AT&T to Offer New Suite of Mobile Broadband Netbooks Online and in Stores Nationwide

…Gizmodo covered the news with this poke in the ribs…

AT&T Rolls Out Barely-Subsidized Acer, Dell, Lenovo Netbooks Across the Country

Then, MacRumor’s extracted this note about AT&T’s #1 product from a Wall Street Journal article…

Apple Estimated to Account for 20% of Cellphone Industry Profit

Note that this is despite the fact that the iPhone only has 1% of worldwide phone sales. It is also more than likely AT&T Wireless’ #1 profit engine. You can imagine what would happen to that profit margin if Apple either sells the iPhone 3GS or a completely new iPhone model through, say, Verizon next year. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that AT&T’s netbook deal is not much of a deal. And, we shouldn’t be surprised if iPhone tethering is priced at a premium too (think total iPhone monthly bill going way over $100 with the tethering option). AT&T has to make as much profit as possible before another U.S. mobile phone carrier gets the iPhone too.