AT&T's handset lineup is shrinking as the carrier turns to selling services

AT&T's handset lineup is shrinking as the carrier turns to selling services
According to a report from Bay Street Research, AT&T has drastically reduced the number of handsets that it is offering to its subscribers. In 2015, the nation's second largest carrier had 42 Android powered handsets in its lineup. That has been cut in half. BayStreet Research’s Cliff Maldonado says that AT&T's new strategy is based on the concept that consumers will buy either an Apple iPhone, or a Samsung Galaxy handset.

Madonado points out that Verizon added the Google Pixel series, and three different Moto Z models. He also notes that alone among the big four, AT&T hasn't concerned itself with "BOGOs, bundles and discounts." Apparently, the wireless operator no longer feels that by offering a wide range of phones, it will attract traffic into its stores. It also hasn't had good luck with exclusives after the one it had on the iPhone came to an end. AT&T did not fare terribly well as the only stateside carrier to sell the Microsoft Lumia 950 and the Amazon Fire Phone.


AT&T's purchase of DirecTV has allowed it to concentrate on selling services like satellite television content. Its streaming video app DirecTV Now is only $10 to those who purchase an unlimited data plan. And with an $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner on the table, the carrier's menu of services to sell could eventually grow. As for smartphone buyers who like a wide choice of devices to pick from, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint continue to use handsets, and deals for such handsets, as a magnet to attract consumers.

via FierceWireless

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10 Comments

1. aegislash

Posts: 1476; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Wait a minute...AT&T actually sold Amazon's Fire Phone? Feeling such secondhand embarrassment for them right about now.

2. k9luvr

Posts: 122; Member since: Oct 17, 2016

Smart folks are buying their service thru MVNO's. They are buying devices from places like Amazon, BestBuy, Ebay, etc. where they are getting discounted prices. Why pay retail price for a phone? Why pay higher prices for service when your on the same network at half the cost. AT&T is just see the handwriting on the wall.

4. Quicksword_Phantom

Posts: 180; Member since: Jun 15, 2015

Any service through an MVNO is never the same quality as being a direct customer from the network. You do not get the "same" network. Try long ping times, capped data speeds, throttling, delayed texts, missed calls etc.

7. k9luvr

Posts: 122; Member since: Oct 17, 2016

I've been on Verizon and Their MVNO's. Can't tell a bit of difference.

8. Quicksword_Phantom

Posts: 180; Member since: Jun 15, 2015

All verizon mvno are capped at 5mpbs data speeds. Try again.

3. darkoman4

Posts: 183; Member since: May 30, 2014

I don't see how TMobile has better selections of phones. They sell only iPhones, a couple of LG sets, one Alcatel, one ZTE and 2 Galaxy models. That's it. No Moto, HTC, Huawei, Pixel, Sony, Blackberry or even last years LG and Samsung flagships.

5. Quicksword_Phantom

Posts: 180; Member since: Jun 15, 2015

Yea right now their selection is s**t.

6. niteiknight

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 02, 2012

AT&T hasn't done BOGOs? Then explain to me why they're doing a BOGO promotion at Best Buy and have done so at various points over the last year?

9. Foxgabanna

Posts: 587; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

They have a BOGO going on right meow matter a fact.

10. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

It wasn't just the number of handsets they used to carry, it was the variety. Windows Phone, Blackberry, WebOS, iPhones and all the top end Androids. Rugged phones, feature phones, flip phones. AT&T had them all. If they truly feel this is the way to compete going forward, then it is obvious they see wireless as a component of the bigger picture and no longer a profit leader among their investments.

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