Google could have the iPhone team dialing 911


In the heart of the holiday phone-buying season, AT&T (T) handed Google (GOOG) a fabulous present and partner Apple (AAPL) a lump of coal. Both were wrapped in one spectacular network failure. On Friday and parts of Saturday, AT&T's network went down in San Francisco, stranding thousands of the Web's most vocal and demanding iPhone users.

This came on the heels of another PR disaster when senior AT&T executives told analysts that the phone giant was trying to figure out how to "incentivize" heavy bandwidth users to use less of AT&T's unlimited data plan in order to improve network quality for all. Or as Fake Steve so aptly put it, AT&T was trying to figure out how to get its customers to buy less of its products.