A recent survey by Yankee Group reports that 73% of iPhone owners are actually happy with AT&T. As a point of comparison, 69% of smartphone users are happy with their providers, which suggests AT&T has a higher satisfaction rate than its competitors.

These results might come as a surprise, especially if you read tech blogs who never miss an occasion to raise their voices against AT&T. Yankee Group explains why…

“Consumers transfer the high gloss of their Apple iPhone experience to AT&T,” says Carl Howe, Yankee Group analyst and author of the study. “The iPhone creates a halo effect that rubs off.”

In other words, iPhone customers’ praise for their network may be a result of the famous “reality distortion field” that surrounds Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his company’s products.

To AT&T, there is a perception problem:

“There’s a gap between what people hear about us and what their experience is with us. We think that gap is beginning to close,” says Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman. “It doesn’t mean we’re perfect; we still have work to do. But that’s no surprise to us, because we have a great network.”

Personally I’ve never had any problem with AT&T. You can say I’m one of those 73% of happy AT&T customers.

What about you?

[CNN]