Mobile service carriers about to get iPhoned; AT&T expected to ring up big subscriber wins

“As Sprint’s struggles continue, some see an even steeper fall ahead,” Scott Moritz reports for TheStreet.com.

“But the Reston, Va., phone company’s next wound may not even be self-inflicted. Industry watchers and investors say the next looming threat to Sprint comes from the hotly anticipated iPhone from Apple. If the iPod-inspired phone has anything near the success that some observers expect, AT&T’s exclusive arrangement to sell the phone will ring up big subscriber wins. The way some observers see it, many of those new AT&T customers will likely be coming from Sprint,” Moritz reports.

“Sprint is the most vulnerable because it has one of the biggest groups of heavy data users, notes one investor who has no position,” Moritz reports. “Sprint isn’t alone, of course. Verizon Wireless — co-owned by Verizon and Vodafone — also has its share of trendsetters who may covet the phone of the moment. ‘This is going to cut into all the others’ net adds,’ says the money manager, who is long Verizon.”

“Some observers, however, say Sprint has a fighting chance against the iPhone with its Samsung UpStage device, which has a music player and large screen on one side and a phone on the other,” Moritz reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Some observers would be so blind, deaf, and stupid that they can’t even understand recent history or why products succeed while others fail (see: iPod vs. every other digital player). It’s not feature lists, dummies. And it’s certainly not two-faced, fugly Samsung kludges designed to divert attention from the company’s (and the entire industry’s) miserable failure to innovate.

Full article here.

22 Comments

  1. If ATT gets a flood of new subscribers is there a risk that their network will overload? I’d be pretty pissed if I got an expensive toy that I couldn’t use.

    BTW – As may be obvious, I have no idea how cell networks function.

  2. Hey! Don’t blame Verizon for not seeing the future! AT&T was in a weaker position and thought this couldn’t hurt. So they took the ugly deal Apple was offering – it would look good in their ads. So … now they get to skim the cream with a million (mostly) new customers. iPhone 2.0 – the one several of us are waiting for – may see broader distribution as well as a lower price. I’m sure Verizon will see their chance if it is offered to them a second time. That, or my phone life will get complicated.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page Pod-Cast

  3. I am hotly anticipating the iPhone, and I will probably talk my wife into switching over to AT&T wireless just to buy one. But I do have to admit that the Samsung UpStage is a pretty interesting product. It may not be up to Apple’s interface design standards, but denying that it is at least moderately innovative is, at best, unkind, and at worst, completely unfair.

    I probably won’t buy the Samsung product, but it does strike me as being the ‘best of the rest’ relative to the iPhone . . . at least right now.

  4. @ DL Meyer

    Your going to be waiting a long time for the iPhone to be on another carrier. AT&T has the contract for the next 5 years. You can forget about a unlocked iPhone as well.

    Do you really think Steve is going to approach another carrier after they turned him down with the iPhone? Get real.

    Before this is over AT&T will be paying Apple to keep the iPhone from going to another carrier.

    Looks like your phone life is going to get complicated.

  5. I’m with those who are anticipating the iPhone’s release. My contract with Verizon is up and I can switch. My only real concern is that I’ve had two really bad tries with AT&T in the past. Once in the home phone area, and another in the cell phone area. Their customer service is the absolute worst. It’s hostile and borderline abusive.

    This is gonna be a tough one. I really want an iPhone, but I can’t imagine that AT&T has fixed their customer service issues.

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