OK, I'm sitting on a plane at BNA, Nashville's airport. I have 5 bars of 3G signal. I also have no data access. No Twitter. No Facebook. No net by Safari. Nada.
So being the good boy I am, I launch Mark the Spot, AT&T's iPhone app to report service problems.
I tap data failure. Send. Watch the spinner spin. Leave the phone on the seat while window boy takes his seat. Finally after spinning through 4% of my available battery life, I receive a message to try again later.
That answers my question. The app is just a mechanism by which AT&T can appear to be doing something productive while actually doing little or nothing to make the freakin' piss poor data network better.
If this were a serious attempt to collect data regarding network failures, the app would queue the pertinent information and send it later when a decent connection could be made, like when I get on WiFi somewhere.
-- text tapped from a virtual keyboard.