AT&T tells customers to buy anything except the Apple iPhone?

AT&T tells customers to buy anything except the Apple iPhone?
Anonymous sources who work on the frontline for AT&T say that they are being told to push any phone to customers except the Apple iPhone. This doesn't make sense considering that for years, AT&T had the exclusive rights to sell the device in the States. Once Verizon started selling the Apple iPhone 4 on February 10th of last year, the floodgates opened and now even pre-paid carriers like Cricket offer the iconic smartphone.

The number of Apple iPhone activations at AT&T increased by only 3% in the second quarter and while some figured that this drop off is related to the new model coming out, it also would make sense if the carrier's reps were told to push the HTC One X, which is an AT&T exclusive, as is the Windows Phone powered Nokia Lumia 900. But that model has lost sales momentum and recently had its price sliced in half by AT&T. The word to move customers away from Apple's smartphone purportedly comes from regional sales managers and was relayed to BGR by a trio of sources.

According to the sources, if a customer walks into an AT&T store seeking an Apple iPhone, he is supposed to be shown Android and Windows Phone models with the rep telling the customer that this is being done so that an informed decision can be made. Additionally, AT&T staff are no longer allowed to own an iPhone as their company owned device and must choose an Android or Windows Phone model.

One of the sources said that since the instructions came down from the regional managers like Moses with the tablets (that design pre-dated Apple!), Apple iPhone sales have declined fairly sharply. Once comprising 80% of AT&T smartphone sales in his area, this AT&T time card puncher says that the Apple iPhone now has between a 50% and 60% share of AT&T smartphone sales in the area, which is a substantial decline. To put that number is perspective, 72% of the carrier's smartphone sales throughout the company were iPhone related.

AT&T has sent out an email to BGR that calls the idea that the carrier would steer customers away from a particular device "farfetched." The carrier also said that the Apple iPhone remains one of AT&T's most popular models which it wouldn't be if the operator was steering customers away from it. Since we've been so wrapped up with legalese this week, we might feel more compelled to believe this with a smoking gun like a copy of a memo or an email coming right from the regional managers telling reps not to push the model that was once their bread and butter.

source: BGR

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB

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123 Comments

2. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

It's probably because they are trying to get ppl off their 3G network and on their new Lte network.

5. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

You actually did believe it was AT&T?

8. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Another reason would be Apple's profit margins. Carriers make more money off of Android and WP.

14. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

Thats exactly the reason Verizon and AT&T did do everything to get it...?

28. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

That's because some people will only buy the iPhone. If the carrier doesn't offer it they lose those customers. Even though they make way more money on WP and Android they still make some on iOS.

72. MeoCao unregistered

Of course ATT does not discourage people from buying iPhone, they just tell them to look at other options and the result is obvious: who would buy a inferior yet more expensive phone?

29. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

"We do have the iPhone here, but take a look at the line of Android we have." Carry the iPhone but offer something else. If the customer grabs the iPhone then it's a new subscription, if the customer grab something else then we make more money plus a new subscription. Having a subscription is better than having no subscription at all. Just my guess on the carrier's mentality.

60. OSFantasma

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

I can't believe non had a little support for you above. to answer your question though. the reason was to attract the mass of sheep they can lol. see its like fishing you buy expensive bait to get the big bite. so basically you need to do this in business. then again i don't think this story is true and take it with a grain of sand. either way i hope it does happen as the iphone was one of the causes to higher plan rates including sprint with there 10 fee add on, if it was otherwise they would have removed that fee by now realising that customers are unhappy with it.

95. moronman66

Posts: 162; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

It's a popular phone for reasons I disagree with, but they all wanted it because so many people want it that it gives them the option of having a better network with a phone that is popular. Android and WP have more types of phones and so they get a lot more money off of all of those phones being sold with higher profit margins than all of the iPhones being sold with lower profit margins. You get what I'm saying? That, and 4G is a big marketing scheme, and while it's faster, it's a good selling point for a lot of cheaper Android and Windows Phones

17. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

34. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

36. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

It is only someones opinion and nothing more. In other words based on nothing.

67. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Um... One is CNN, another is a no name man's blog... I wonder which is more of a valid source...

68. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

That's opinionated, my article states facts

88. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Android was supposed to die already, starting in 2010. Where have you been the last 2+ years?

75. darkkjedii

Posts: 31258; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

iPhone accounts for 50-60% of AT&T sales and was at 72%. iPhone is a cash cow far AT&T.

80. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Actually if AT&T sold an Android or WP device instead of those iPhones they would receive greater profits.http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/08/technology/iphone_carrier_subsidy/index.htm

119. shiftmobile

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

That is exactly what it is. Now that everyone has the iPhone AT&T doesn't have to push it. Better margins on the other devices.

3. a1000smiles4u

Posts: 84; Member since: Apr 24, 2012

Apple to blame Samsung for that Another legal suit coming up

7. jaoowolabi

Posts: 201; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

its funny cuz apple gets sued more then they sue ppl

15. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Are you really this stupid. Please show me one suit, outside of the PROVIEW suit, that wasn't a REACTIONARY. Please, I would love to see it. Stop trolling. ATT may be doing this, but chances are it's because they lost the exclusivity, and they have to spend more to on iCr@p contracts than that of other phones.

38. TheRetroReplay

Posts: 256; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Nokia vs Apple US Government vs Apple Kodak vs Apple Elan vs Apple

9. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Apple could add this to their plate of evidence against Samsung and try to claim more loss, even tho Samsung was no where mentioned on the article.

11. CivicSi89

Posts: 349; Member since: Jul 23, 2011

I work for VZW and i downsell the hell outta the iPhone 4 and 4S

18. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Now if you could just get verizon to stop screwing me on my unlimited grandfathering we would be all set.

22. CivicSi89

Posts: 349; Member since: Jul 23, 2011

there are some things that us employees cant control. so take that up with the higher ups. haha. dont shoot the messenger.

32. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Yeah, I know. I've bitched as high up as I can go. Not that it will make a difference.

35. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Explain your issue with VZW and your Unlimited plan. Just saying they are screwing you and point out nothing leads me to believe you have no idea what you are being screwed on. Please share with the rest of us, I have an unlimited plan with VZW and it's grandfathered in also I have a new every two left on my contract as well. No problems to report with my unlimited and the only real issue is that my Data app from VZW doesn't auto update anymore, not like I care all that much but for those who aren't on unlimited this might count as an issue.

41. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Yep, clearly I have no idea what I'm talking about. With "subsidization" going away, it RAISES YOUR MONTHLY BILL by ~25 dollars in order to keep your unlimited data. (IE, ~400(the subsidy)/18=22 dollars a month) They are taking away a subsidy that is already built-in to what we pay every month. (see Tmo's value plans compared to their other plans) That's PER line. So, if they want to give me a 20% discount for not taking a subsidy, that's fine, (approx 40 a month for my two smartphone lines and two dumbphone lines), then I will no longer consider myself being screwed. Now, please off yourself. Then, add in the fact that we are indirectly locked into a contract because MOST of verizons phones are carrier locked and can't be used on another carrier. (you have a few world phones that can be hacked to work on the GSM carriers, but not that many) So, I have to pay 600+ dollars for a phone that if I decide and leave for another carrier I have to sell for a loss and buy another phone on that carrier. If we were talking about phones that I use on any network(like how the European networks are) then I might not be quite as aggravated about it. So, clearly I have no idea what I am talking about.

45. CivicSi89

Posts: 349; Member since: Jul 23, 2011

Yeah dude. included in those plans are also Unlimited Talk and Text plans. you know what. Tell me what you have and ill tell you if you save money or if your bill goes up. Because theres only been 10% of people who have switched over the the new tiered data plans and their bills have gone up. People are so damn afraid of loosing their unlimited data because of one word. "Unlimited" and most of those people only use at most 1 to 1.5GB per month. Hell i had a customer come in yelling that she was gonna loose her unlimited and she was only using 500MB per month. and when i switched her to the new Share Everything plans she saved $86 a month off her bill! you want someone to blame? Blame the people who abuse the unlimited data and ruin it for everyone else. but personally. People who have switched. have either saved or their bills have been made simpler. Unlimited data is gone. But with the tiered data come Unlimited Talk. Unlimited Text. Sharing data so you dont have to have a data package per phone. and Tethering now. you dont even have to pay extra for that.

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