AT&T prepares to battle ‘The End’ of its Monopoly in iPhone Exclusivity
Having dominated Smartphone sales for a long time now and in that achieving large revenue from the sale of Apple’s iPhones, AT&T could face some problems in the near future. These problems could be the result of alleged rumours indicating the closure of AT&T’s contract of bearing exclusive rights to sell iPhones. Another gossip that is doing rounds is that Verizon Wireless will take over the exclusive rights from the incumbent store AT&T to market and sell iPhones and this will happen from the first quarter of 2011. Keeping this in mind the AT&T store has gone ahead and readied itself by broadening its product portfolio and also struck a new deal that could delight Smartphone users.
AT&T’s Plan of Action
America’s second largest wireless operator AT&T has pulled up its socks to overcome a downfall post loosing iPhone exclusivity by launching quite a few Smartphones like Microsoft Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, Google Android, Samsung Focus, HTC Surround, Motorola Bravo and Flipside, and many more top-brand Smartphones. There has also been huge amounts of money that is being spent on advertising in order to promote the sales of the new Blackeberry Torch which is apparently the first QWERTY/touch screen BlackBerry to use the latest BlackBerry OS 6.
AT&T has also cracked a new deal with GetJar and this shall open doors for a new set of subscribers, wherein AT&T customers will be able to gain access to as many as 75,000 and more mobile applications; which will be made available to users by GetJar. Speaking of AT&T’s new ways of battling the iPhone contract loss Charles Golvin, principal mobile analyst at Forrester Research said “The message they want to convey to consumers is that whatever you’re looking for, AT&T has. If you want the iPhone they have that. If you want Android or the new Windows phone they have that, too.”
Though AT&T has launched latest Smartphones of top brands and signed a deal with GetJar to avoid the ill effects of the consequences of loosing iPhone contract, there are certain numbers that could worry the store owners. Here are some numbers and statistics that suggest why iPhone exclusivity was and is very essential for AT&T:
- Official sales figures haven’t been reported, but initial press reports suggest that the new Smartphones aren’t flying off the shelves.
- There was a long queue of customers who lined up in the San Francisco AT&T store not for the Windows Phone 7 Smartphones but for tickets to the Maroon 5 concert promoting the new devices.
- Despite running campaigns to drive Blackberry Torch sales, there has not been a positive response yet.
As against other Smartphones, iPhone has repeatedly done well for AT&T and has brought in large amounts of income for the AT&T stores. Some reports state the following quote “During the third quarter, AT&T reported it had activated a record 5.2 million iPhones. In total, AT&T said it activated more than 8 million smartphones during the quarter, which means that the iPhone accounted for roughly 65 percent of its new smartphone sales. Of those 8 million smartphone activations, about 24 percent of them were new subscribers to AT&T.”
Yes, AT&T has various challenges that it needs to face post loosing iPhone exclusivity, yet hopes are high on the fact that AT&T now has a diversified product portfolio.