“iPhone activations at AT&T grew by just 3% in the second quarter this year, and many industry watchers pointed to the flood of next-generation iPhone rumors as a likely culprit for the slowed growth,” Zach Epstein reports for BGR. “BGR has exclusively learned that this is not entirely the case, however, and the stalled iPhone sales at the nation’s No.2 wireless carrier may in fact be by design.”
“Regional retail sales managers at AT&T have been instructing store managers to pump the brakes on Apple’s iPhone,” Epstein reports. “Instructions handed down from corporate state that customers seeking smartphones at AT&T retail stores should be steered away from Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and towards Android phones or Windows Phone handsets like the Nokia Lumia 900 instead. BGR has confirmed the directive with three independent sources… [Regardless] Apple handsets still accounted for 72% of all smartphones activated by AT&T during the second quarter this year.”
In an update, Epstein reports, “AT&T contacted BGR via email and supplied the following statement: ‘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.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Nice non-denial denial, AT&T.
Nigam Arora reports for Forbes, “From our multiple checks, it is clear that if a consumer walks into one of the several stores where we checked with an open mind, the consumer is not going to walk out with an iPhone.”
“If BGR report is true, understanding AT&T’s reasons for such a directive is important for investors,” Arora reports. “If the main reason is that AT&T does not have enough inventory of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S ahead of iPhone 5 launch, it is bullish for Apple stock. On the other hand if the reason is the amount of subsidies AT&T provides on iPhones, it is a huge negative for Apple stock.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple CEO Tim Cook needs to at least remind AT&T exactly who’s boss, if not tear them a new orifice.
FYI: It’s not just AT&T, either: Hard sell: Verizon Wireless clerks pushing Android phones over iPhone – May 5, 2012
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jax44” for the heads up.]
AT&T commits to Google Android phones and tablets – February 7, 2011
J.P. Morgan analyst: Verizon iPhone pre-order sales exceeded 500,000 units in 17 hours – February 07, 2011
RUMOR: Verizon moved one million iPhone units before suspending pre-orders – February 04, 2011
New Verizon iPhone ad debuts: ‘It’s beautiful. It’s intelligent. Even genius.’ (with video) – February 04, 2011
Camping begins for Verizon iPhone; are you in line already, too? – February 04, 2011
Verizon iPhone pre-orders sold out; most successful 1st day sales in Verizon history – in 2 hours! – February 04, 2011
Bloodbath: 54% of Verizon’s Android, BlackBerry users likely to upgrade to iPhone on day one – February 03, 2011
Baig reviews Verizon iPhone: Doesn’t drop calls like AT&T; Best smartphone now on best network – February 03, 2011
Pogue reviews Verizon iPhone 4: Doesn’t drop calls; it’s the holy grail – February 03, 2011
Gruber reviews Verizon iPhone 4: Verizon’s network better for voice, slower for data than AT&T – February 03, 2011
Mossberg reviews Verizon iPhone 4: Better voice, but slower data – February 03, 2011
Canalys: Verizon iPhone will cause dramatic shift in smartphone landscape – January 31, 2011
AT&T CEO: Loss of iPhone exclusivity will be ‘rocky, volatile’
Verizon iPhone fallout begins: Motorola warns of first-quarter net loss, shares fall – January 26, 2011
AT&T quietly offering unlimited data for AT&T iPhone to limit defections to Verizon – January 26, 2011
Two is better than one: New Apple iPhone 4 TV ad touts both AT&T and Verizon – January 23, 2011
Verizon Wireless debuts first TV ad for Apple iPhone (with video) – January 21, 2011
Android who? Verizon shifts marketing muscle to Apple iPhone – January 12, 2011 – January 27, 2011