updated 01:02 pm EDT, Wed August 1, 2012
Carrier allegedly trying to boost sales of other phones
(Updated with official AT&T statement) AT&T is deliberately trying to steer retail shoppers away from the iPhone, according to three sources for the Boy Genius Report. Regional sales managers have allegedly been handing instructions to store managers, telling them that people looking for smartphones should be directed towards Android or Windows Phone devices instead. Even if a person comes into a store looking for an iPhone, workers have reportedly been told to show shoppers other options so they can "make an informed decision."
At least some retail staff have supposedly been banned from using iPhones as their company-owned devices. AT&T spokespeople have yet to comment on the issue. One source comments, though, that the iPhone used to represent as much as 80 percent of the smartphone sales at his region's stores, but that the number has since dropped to between 50 and 60 percent.
The iPhone still represented 72 percent of all AT&T activations during the second quarter of this year. The carrier may be upset, though, at having so much of its profits riding on one device, and/or the unusually high subsidies it pays Apple for each iPhone sold. Still another issue may be the demand iPhone users place on its network, since iPhone users have traditionally consumed plenty of 3G bandwidth.
Update: An AT&T representative has issued the following statement to MacNN: "The idea that we would steer any customer away from a particular device couldn’t be more farfetched. Our reps do what it takes to align customer needs with the best device for them. iPhone remains one of our most popular devices, which doesn’t happen by steering people away from it. Our reps are encouraged to try all devices so they are more knowledgeable on our industry-leading smartphone lineup."