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  • AT&T Said to Push Staff to Sell Non-iPhone Smartphones - AT&T Denies it


    According to a report released earlier in the day by BGR, AT&T’s sales managers were reportedly been pushing the company’s retail store to steer iPhone buyers to alternative smartphones running on the Android platform or the Windows Phone platform. AT&T denied the case upon hearing about it.

    Based on the report, AT&T has said to be routinely “instructing store managers to pump the brakes on Apple’s iPhone,” specifically “handing down instructions that 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.” The site says that it “confirmed the directive with three independent sources” and it should be noted that BGR has proven to be a reliable source for news related to carriers and phone retailers, despite having a spotty record about future product launches.

    The wireless carrier responded to the report denying the accusations, stating that “the idea that we would steer any customer away from the particular device couldn’t be more farfetched. The company added “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.” At the same time, it should be noted that AT&T began publicly promoting modern Android devices after it lost its exclusive relationship to carry Apple’s iPhone in the U.S. last year. The company even announced a partnership with Nokia to promote the Windows Phone 7 Lumia this past spring (a deal which caused the carrier to lose out on $150 million.

    Apple’s iPhone currently accounts for 72% of the new smartphones activated by AT&T but BGR noted that internal sales figures from AT&T retail sources did decline among the carrier’s own outlets from a high 80% down to sales “between 50% and 60% since regional managers instructed stores to actively push other smartphones in place of the iPhone.” It’s a bit strange as to why a wireless carrier would want to do that and it isn’t a surprise for them to outright deny the allegations.

    Source: BGR
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Said to Push Staff to Sell Non-iPhone Smartphones - AT&T Denies it started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. patoons's Avatar
      patoons -
      hmmm let's see. typically, iphone users consume more data than android users. att encourages to sell android or windows phone, wonder why
    1. sobeniceguy2's Avatar
      sobeniceguy2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by patoons View Post
      hmmm let's see. typically, iphone users consume more data than android users. att encourages to sell android or windows phone, wonder why
      Good point! I couldn't agree more!
    1. Orby's Avatar
      Orby -
      Quote Originally Posted by patoons View Post
      hmmm let's see. typically, iphone users consume more data than android users. att encourages to sell android or windows phone, wonder why
      According to Nielsen, Android devices actually use more data on average a month than iOS devices. I'm not thinking this is the most compelling reason AT&T has to avoid selling iPhones heavily.

      I would personally hypothesize AT&T is steering customers away from new iPhones because of the likely larger carrier subsidy AT&T has to put down for one of those phones versus a competing OS/OEM phone--probably a couple hundred bucks more on average for an iPhone versus a competitor.
    1. cgfusion's Avatar
      cgfusion -
      Or maybe the rumors of Apple buying Sprint has AT&T second guessing.
    1. Germanese's Avatar
      Germanese -
      Also there is a less buy in for AT&T when selling Android or Windows phones.
      Which is more complicated then profitable.
      But selling Androids and Windows phones is just more profitable also.

      And I agree with the above statement. AT&T is in this Bandwidth fiasco that the iPhone users do on their infrastructure LOL.
    1. joefx13's Avatar
      joefx13 -
      It's true. I used to sell phones at bestbuy mobile and we would push for anything besides and iPhone because barely any margin is made compared to android phones. That's why he price is always the same no matter where u go.
    1. Heathen711's Avatar
      Heathen711 -
      Could also be because more people are going to apple retail stores to buy then an AT&T retail outlet so AT&T doesn't see the retail side thriving as much as they'd like
    1. Lohand's Avatar
      Lohand -
      Wait. Didn't they accuse Verizon of this a few months ago?
    1. rioswag's Avatar
      rioswag -
      not only is this true, they usually offer an incentive on the commission to sell android or windows phones. I worked there for a year and a half and I was always told to push androids and windows before the iPhone. It's common practice at AT&T.
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by joefx13 View Post
      It's true. I used to sell phones at bestbuy mobile and we would push for anything besides and iPhone because barely any margin is made compared to android phones. That's why he price is always the same no matter where u go.
      True
    1. patoons's Avatar
      patoons -
      Quote Originally Posted by Orby View Post
      According to Nielsen, Android devices actually use more data on average a month than iOS devices. I'm not thinking this is the most compelling reason AT&T has to avoid selling iPhones heavily.
      cool. info from may 2011.
    1. Chocolatesmurf's Avatar
      Chocolatesmurf -
      A tmobile says rep offered me an android!? I was like no thanks tengo una manzana haha! I just want my micro sim mr..
    1. kline1's Avatar
      kline1 -
      That *** look NICE!
    1. tongxinshe's Avatar
      tongxinshe -
      If it was 80%, it makes perfect sense for AT&T to do reduce it. That's a basic knowledge of risk management.
    1. MrNewbdude's Avatar
      MrNewbdude -
      Quote Originally Posted by Orby View Post
      I would personally hypothesize AT&T is steering customers away from new iPhones because of the likely larger carrier subsidy AT&T has to put down for one of those phones versus a competing OS/OEM phone--probably a couple hundred bucks more on average for an iPhone versus a competitor.
      Exactly right Orby. I was a manager for 4 years and the last 2 were completely "anti-iPhone", because sadly, even though I LOVE my iPhone, when your paycheck is based on the amount of profit you drive in for the company, it's about selling your most profitable products.

      A lot of people think because the iPhones sell for $199, $299, $399, that they are the more profitable, but the carriers make money 2 way:

      1. Gross profit on the sale itself.
      2. Set amount for every sale for the 2 year commitment.

      They always do ok on #2 but the subsidy on an iPhone, as Orby said, is WAY higher than any other device, about double what they sell them for. So ,at the time of sale, they are completely upside down, and that eats into #2.