Why does AT&T stumble? Maybe it's because they are doing more than anyone suspects. If you read about DCSNet, the FBI's wiretapping network, you'll learn that Sprint provides a network for the FBI so that they can track and trace all sorts of communications of the sort we mortals participate in.
What if the reason we all can't have FaceTime right away everywhere is because AT&T has obligations to the government to make all of their networks available for the domestic surveillance needs of the FBI and Homeland Security?
Think about a little history. Bell South Cellular and AT&T formed a joint venture called Cingular. Cingular was by far the premier cell network in the country just 7 years ago. Verizon was Bell Atlantic, fer chrissake - the absolute worst of the Baby Bells. Cingular then got folded into SBC which was the other excellent RBOC, and then SBC all reverted back to AT&T. So did they somehow forget everything they learned? Well, that's possible. But there's also the other possibility I suggest.
Just a thought.
While you're thinking about it, is Steve Jobs *that* stupid? I think not.