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AT&T: iPhone non-exclusive no issue as 2 of 3 already loyal

updated 01:10 pm EDT, Tue September 21, 2010

ATT downplays iPhone non-exclusive again

AT&T chief Randall Stephenson talked down the impending loss of iPhone exclusivity again today at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York City. The executive this time focused on loyalty and noted that about two thirds of iPhone owners had already been long-term AT&T users before they signed up. Many of these are unlikely to switch away, he claimed.

He also hinted at big sales and mentioned that there was a "record number" of subscribers upgrading to the iPhone 4 this summer. These would be locked into an extended contract that would make it difficult to switch, Stephenson said. The statements also gave an opportunity to reiterate beliefs that corporate and family plans would save AT&T, as 80 percent are in non-individual plans that are costlier or more impractical to leave.

Device mix was important. Apple had set the tone for smartphones with the iPhone, but there's now an "extended array" of smartphones to pick from, according to the CEO. Stephenson pointed to the iPhone 4 and Samsung Captivate as some of the biggest drivers, but he went against statements by the company's Western regional president Fred Devereux on disappointing Torch sales by claiming that AT&T was "really pleased" with the new BlackBerry.

While outwardly confident, the statements reflect an increasing defensive posture at AT&T that has been widely interpreted as knowledge that its period of exclusivity with the iPhone is coming to an end and runs against customer reactions. Unofficial studies have shown that almost a quarter would jump to Verizon once an iPhone was available on the network, with a small percentage also willing to switch to Sprint or T-Mobile. Most expect large-scale defection in New York City and San Francisco, where AT&T's burdened 3G network has sometimes made the iPhone unusable for 3G.

A CDMA iPhone is believed to be in development and could soon go into production for a launch as soon as early 2011, when AT&T's exclusive is thought to end.

By Electronista Staff


  1. iggyfan66

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010



    yeah right buddy...... can't wait for Verizon to pick up the iphone!

  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    In other words...

    33% of people will jump ship from day one... Count me as among them. s**** you ATT.

  1. drbroom

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2006



    Ok. Let me just say this... I have 3 iphones, a microcell and an extended family on AT&T. That is 8 phones it total...

    Investors: Please note... as soon as our contracts are up and Verizon has iphones were gone; and every person I have spoken with says the same thing.

    We love the iphone but HATE the bad service! While their customer service has gotten better their service HAS NOT!!!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    not me

    I'll stick with ATT. But it has nothing to do with the iPhone or the network or I get to unlock my phone or any of that c***. It's their rollover minutes. That's the reason I switched from Verizon, when I doubled up my cell phone bill two months in a row for going over my monthly minutes (which happens rarely). Why pay for more minutes when you'll only use them once or twice a year?

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    half full, half empty?

    Loyalty due to no other options.

    This reminds me of the Wendy's Svim Vare (Russian Fashion Show) commercial from two decades ago.

  1. rauls4

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2007


    Bwah ha ha ha ha

    ha ha ha ha... arrr... ha haa bwahh ha ha ha!


    Bwah ha ha!

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Watch and Learn, Randy ...

    .... watch and learn.

    Kind of hard to tell what deals, plans and/or incentives the Big V (or any other carrier) might dangle in front of all of them AT&T loyalists at this point. But rest assured that dangle them they will!

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003


    Verizon iPhone......

    Verizon iPhone will not come till LTE, because who wants an internet/data device that can't do data and voice at the same time???? Would be totally useless!

    - A

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