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AT&T adopting 'anything but iPhone' strategy [u]

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."



By Electronista Staff
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  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

    Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

    I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.

  1. daqman

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-15-00

    "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."

    That's the sort of thing that generally makes me turn around and walk out. I do my research on a product well before I walk in a store. Most of these in-store-drones only know what they've been spoon fed. Just sell me the damned phone I want and get out of my way.

    And another thing :

    "Still another issue may be the demand iPhone users place on its network, since iPhone users have traditionally consumed plenty of 3G bandwidth."

    This is very nearsighted because if users got with other phones the same experience they get with an iPhone (and I'm not arguing that they don't) then wouldn't the bandwidth consumption be exactly the same?

  1. gprovida

    Junior Member

    Joined: 02-14-06

    This is fundamentally ATT as well as other service providers attempt to get between customer and phone/app community. iPhone broke the model, Android and MS, are trying to restore that model. So marginalizing Apple returns to the past, yes this provides other benefits like reduced costs, less risk on one product, etc., but the fundamental issue is control of the customers.

    Unfortunately, ATT's efforts may well backfire with iPhone customers accelerating their leaving ATT to other e.g, Sprint and eventually T-Mobile, who see iPhone friendly as marketing advantage.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    I don't go to ATT. I go to Radio Shack to renew or upgrade my iPhone.... less bias.

  1. Monty Python

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-03-11

    I totally believe this story. My former sister-in-law went into an ATT store back in January to buy a 4S. She was told they were out of iPhones but tried to steer her to some sort of Andwoid phone. She stood her ground, walked out, and went to another store...where she was able to buy her 4S.

    Being an ATT customer myself, I received an email from ATT advertising what "smartphones" to get for children going back to school. Guess which smartphone was not shown? Yep, the iPhone. They were pushing some HTC BS phone and Windows.

    There are at least 8 ATT iPhone owners in my extended family, and I'll do my best to convince them to go with another carrier when their contracts expire.

    ATT = Goobers

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    Originally Posted by gprovidaView Post

    This is fundamentally ATT as well as other service providers attempt to get between customer and phone/app community.

    Unfortunately, ATT's efforts may well backfire...



    Correct.

    And note that for well over 100 years AT&T in its various incarnations has never been the consumer's friend. Sales sleaze at the retail level is just business as usual for them.

  1. aviamquepasa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-22-11

    This is nothing new, Apple has traditionally made contracts with phone operators so that if they want to commercialise the iPhone they have to put it first in the advertisements, give preferential discounts, ... than all the other types of phones. Of course, phone operators have not liked this, it is rather degrading for them, and when they see an opportunity they strike back.

  1. macmediausa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-23-05

    It's not only AT&T. Having so many issues with sprint lately with the super slow speeds in NY that I went into a Verizon store yesterday. I told them I wanted to get a Jetpack 4G wifi device so I can get reliable and faster speeds for my iPhone. Didn't want to cancel my sprint service just yet. The Verizon employee told me that I'm much better off with an Android device and he said that I should just get one of those phones and don't even look back to the iPhone.

    I just kind of brushed him off and said I'm a pure Apple guy and even though some things were better on the other platform (I still have an HTC Evo which is a bit slow but works nicely), the iOS experience was just much more better. I told him I was waiting for the next iphone to come out hopefully in the fall before I switch fully to Verizon. This guy told me he has the "inside track" in Verizon and says no iphone 5 until next Spring and that Android and especially the Samsung phone are killing that phone already. I reminded him that even most Apple employees are generally not privy to new devices.

    What kind of people are these phone companies hiring??? All they do is speculate and pass on incredibly bad info. Thank goodness that I'm relatively intelligent and understand what is bull and what is true. I can imagine other non tech people walking in these store thinking about buying one thing and walking out with something totally different.

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: 05-13-01

    So what. MacNN is advertising the Samsung Galaxy S III right at the top of this page. Go figure tha one out.

  1. noibs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-09-07

    You know this story is true, regardless of what AT&T says. What's now needed is for someone to go into an AT&T store looking for an iPhone and to record the resulting conversation.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    "Anything but iPhone" strategy?? It's worked for me so far. Oh and I LOVE that Samsung Galaxy SIII ad on the page. What a gorgeous looking phone. I would have bought that one if I didn't have my Galaxy Nexus.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    I use an "anything but Apple" approach, but it's not always possible. Tech support....

    Oh, and guess who supported the Garlic Festival, Samsung... not even Apple showed up.... Galaxy SIII Booths up the wazooo.... hooray for Samsung, they are taking the market so serious, they deserve exponential growth bursts; & only apple gets in their way which is why Apple cries like a baby... Samsung has the advantages in every way. They support the communities... and saw that they don't need to lock folks down with technologies, either. Apple is getting the short end of the stick here, and soon it will go pretty far up their.... you get the picture.

    And Jobs says "go thermo..." that is baby talk for big nerds. Jobs just couldn't sleep at night cuz someone else is drinking his baby formula. I can see Apple losing traction, then right when they're conflicting board interests, due to desperation, they open their software/hardware up to gain back confidence of the ol' Apple community; but by that time.... it will be too late. 1984, is already looking like 1984. Break from your master, break from Apple, 1984 2.0: Age of Linux... Open Source/ Open Info is what the community whats, and the Quickening is spreading like a virus.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by Monty PythonView Post

    I totally believe this story. My former sister-in-law went into an ATT store back in January to buy a 4S. She was told they were out of iPhones but tried to steer her to some sort of Andwoid phone.



    OK, they tried to sell her something else. What should they have done? "Oh, I'm sorry, we don't have that in stock. You should leave our store right now." Gee, if you go into a restaurant and ask for the London Broil, and they say "We're out of that." what do you expect them to do next, say "You might want to go down the street to Fred's. They might have that. We certainly don't want to try to offer you something else you might like.".

    Or go to a car dealer and ask for a Corvette, and they don't have one, I guess the salesperson should just say "Sorry'. I mean, it isn't like their job is sales or anything. Oh, wait, it is, just like at the apple store!

    She stood her ground, walked out, and went to another store...where she was able to buy her 4S.

    Well good for her. She stood her ground! Um, what does that mean? Were they forcing other phones on her? Did they insist that she would not like an iPhone and so she should get something else? But I'm sure you were so proud of her.

    Being an ATT customer myself, I received an email from ATT advertising what "smartphones" to get for children going back to school. Guess which smartphone was not shown? Yep, the iPhone. They were pushing some HTC BS phone and Windows. There are at least 8 ATT iPhone owners in my extended family, and I'll do my best to convince them to go with another carrier when their contracts expire.
    ATT = Goobers


    First off, ATT makes far less money from iPhones then they do from any other phone. Second, everyone knows iPhones "sell themselves", so why should they send you an email offering you iphones. Third, I'm sure they were offering sales on those other 'smartphones', and then don't put the iPhone on sale.

    But why look at any of that. I'm sure it's all part of AT&T's anti-iPhone, anti-Apple strategy! Yep! (Gee, and this from the company that everyone so loved because they 'believed' in the iPhone before).

    And what other carrier are you going to send them to? Verizon? Um, they push other phones too! And they dissed the iPhone years ago, don't you remember!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by noibsView Post

    You know this story is true, regardless of what AT&T says. What's now needed is for someone to go into an AT&T store looking for an iPhone and to record the resulting conversation.



    Yeah, and if the salesperson asks "What are you looking for in a phone" and "Well, you know, if you get this phone, you can save yourself money on the cost and on the monthly fee", they'd be villified for daring to try to help a customer out with their actual needs.

    And what if someone went into the store to buy an Android phone and the salesperson kept trying to sell them on an iPhone? Would you be decrying their forceful tactics? Or saying he was just trying to help the poor customer out?

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    Originally Posted by macmediausaView Post



    What kind of people are these phone companies hiring???



    Where do you think the sleaziest of the salespeople went when Circuit City closed?

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    Originally Posted by testudoView Post

    ...what if someone went into the store to buy an Android phone and the salesperson kept trying to sell them on an iPhone? Would you be decrying their forceful tactics?



    Yes.

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