If all the tutting, clucking, and yakking about the iPhone has made you reach for your lover's purple pills, here's a remedy for your malaise: Most people who have an iPhone are very happy with the service they get from AT&T.
No, this is not my conclusion. Though my sense is that the iPhone is largely a wonderful thing (even though I don't use one) and that AT&T's service (which I do use) is, well, not all that different from that of other providers.
The Yankee Group, people who ask people about people and things for a living, decided to find out just what iPhone users really feel about their phone service. And what they discovered was a remarkable level of comfort with AT&T.
CNN reported that The Yankee Group's questioning elicited positive responses from 73 percent of iPhone users. As a whole, 69 percent of smartphone users say they're happy with their service provider. So this might suggest that AT&T is performing above the average as far as iPhone users are concerned.
However, Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe offered CNN a sobering explanation of why the often-criticized AT&T might be getting a relatively glowing review from those in the outside world: "Consumers transfer the high gloss of their Apple iPhone experience to AT&T. The iPhone creates a halo effect that rubs off."
This seems entirely at one with the idea of human beings being prepared to put up with certain rational deficiencies when they are being emotionally satisfied. It is a phenomenon true of so many human relationships, in which an emotional uplift entirely circumvents say, a nose that is too big or a walk that is too ducklike.
AT&T, for its part, believes it really isn't all that ugly. Company spokesman Mark Siegel told CNN: "There's a gap between what people hear about us and what their experience is with us. We think that gap is beginning to close. It doesn't mean we're perfect; we still have work to do. But that's no surprise to us, because we have a great network."
None of us is perfect. And we don't expect perfection from anyone or anything in life. We merely hope for it. However, when something that is far above average grips us by our feelingful parts, we are more than a little grateful.
Correction 2:42 p.m. PDT July 26: An earlier version of this post quoted CNN saying that while 77 percent of iPhone users would by another iPhone, only 20 percent of Android users would buy another Android. CNN has since published a correction, saying that in fact all smartphone users said they would buy an Android phone. There were no separate statistics for Android users.