updated 04:20 pm EDT, Wed May 30, 2007
ATT iPhone Hype and Screen
AT&T feels it worthwhile to drum up anticipation in the few weeks ahead of the iPhone's release, the company's COO (and future CEO) Randall Stephenson said at a conference today. The executive was convinced that the Apple device would be a "game changer" for the cellphone business and make many customers -- and operators -- rethink their approach to phones. Many casual users were now more receptive to smartphones and other multi-purpose devices than they were in the past, Stephenson said, which reportedly merited far more publicity and praise than had already been given so far.
"I don't know what your expectations are for the iPhone, but I would tell you they're probably too low at this point," he claimed.
AT&T as a whole is also said to eagerly anticipate the iPhone for more than just phone sales. The company is counting on the device to not only attract more longer-term contracts, such as the two-year deals that may be required, but also to earn more revenue from Internet access. Most phones typically consider data as only a secondary feature, but the iPhone will place e-mail, web, and widget access at the heart of its strategy.
In separate news, Asian suppliers have noted today that the iPhone's touchscreen is likely being mass-produced by two unnamed Japanese firms, according to industry sources. The choice reportedly deprives Taiwan of the business it often receives for such devices. A single Taiwan firm will serve as a backup supplier, the contacts said.
Reasons for the unconventional choice weren't explained.