AT&T is replacing T-Mobile as the Wi-Fi provider at 7,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S., starting in the spring. Even better? Customers who pay with a Starbucks gift card get two hours of free Wi-Fi. Now, I could tell you how this benefits iPhone sales, or takes pressure off AT&T's overcrowded cell-phone networks, but I'm more concerned about how many more people are going to be leeching free Internet at my local Starbucks.
The $10/day price that T-Mobile charged was a price barrier that kept out the riff-raff. Now, every Paul, Owen and Nicholas with an iPhone or a laptop will be clogging up my third place. Thanks a lot, AT&T.
AT&T Wireless customers don't get the love yet, but AT&T spokesman Brad Mays says "this is a strong advantage for AT&T and it only makes sense for us to leverage this network for our entire customer base, including Mobility customers." Translation: Free Wi-Fi for AT&T customers, maybe. Here's hoping. I don't know anyone who raves about their AT&T DSL, but I know plenty of iPhone users who would love this. And yes, iPhone + Starbucks + Land Rover makes me the ultimate yuppie.