For Apple, the A in AT&T “stands for albatross,” said Therese Poletti in Marketwatch. iPhone customers have never been thrilled with Apple’s exclusive contract with the “increasingly maligned carrier,” but the “griping” about AT&T has become nonstop since Apple unveiled the iPhone 3GS this week. The newest iPhone is made for speed, tethering to your laptop as a wireless modem, and sending media files over IM—but AT&T customers will get none of those things, at least not yet.

It’s hard to tell if AT&T and its network are really inadequate for the demands of the hot smartphone market, said Scott Mortiz in, or if its angry iPhone customers are just “tech-adept gadget fans who bring oversized expectations.” Either way, AT&T’s exclusive iPhone deal is up for renewal in a year, and with the growing chorus of complaints, competitors such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint “are no doubt eager to come off the bench.”

Please, please make a Verizon version of the iPhone, said Brian Kraemer in ChannelWeb. The iPhone has been the rare “bright spot” in AT&T’s earnings reports, so it’s “baffling” that it isn’t taking this griping seriously. With the new features, Apple is showing that it’s responding to its customers’ wishes while AT&T is “sleeping on the job.” It’s a good bet that Verizon “would be ready to support every feature the iPhone 3GS offers from day one.”

It “fascinates and amuses me” that all the anger is directed at AT&T and other carriers, while “Apple gets a pass,” said Michael Parsons in Wired. “It’s a stunning tribute to Apple’s marketing power” that so many customers seem unable to face the “psychological pain” of considering that maybe it is their trusted “authority figure,” Apple, who is “shafting them.”