Over the last few days a rumor has spread through the various corners of the Web that iPhone users are planning to bring AT&T’s network to its knees this Friday in what can only be called ‘memetaliation’ — or ‘Operation Chokehold’ to those who are most familiar with it.
The idea, which started as something of a joke, has won time on the likes of the Wall Street Journal — and offers simple instructions for taking down one of the world’s most well known networks.
“Subject: Operation Chokehold
On Friday, December 18, at noon Pacific time, we will attempt to overwhelm the AT&T data network and bring it to its knees. The goal is to have every iPhone user (or as many as we can) turn on a data intensive app and run that app for one solid hour. Send the message to AT&T that we are sick of their substandard network and sick of their abusive comments. THe idea is we’ll create a digital flash mob. We’re calling it in Operation Chokehold. Join us and speak truth to power!”
What’s most interesting to us about it is that well after Verizon and AT&T dropped lawsuits against one another consumers are picking up the ball. This probably means that AT&T customers’ frustrations run deeper than anyone previously imagined — a fact that could turn the brand into a case study on how to manage expectations. While AT&T’s revenue sky-rocketed through the iPhone, Verizon was building up its network and waiting for the market to provide an alternative smart phone. Whether that was the plan all along we aren’t sure, but if I’m their PR guy, that’s what I’m spinning. Verizon may not win tons of AT&T customers but they’ll retain many of those who would have migrated for the iPhone.