I seriously doubt the 9800 would be blowing the iPhone into the next room, let alone oblivion, regardless of carrier. To understand the popularity of iPhone, it helps to have context. Here is some: According to the most recent presidential polling numbers, 53% of voters are brain dead. Also, where I live, work, and play, Verizon coverage sucks, T-Mobile is a cruel joke, and Sprint's bureaucracy is un-navigable. So as much as I despise everything about ATT, they are the only practical solution for my communication needs. To be fair, they have done ok by me this go 'round.
"You. My room. 10:30 tonight. You. 10:45... And bring a friend."