AT&T experienced a slow second quarter for selling iPhones, total iPhone activations for AT&T only rose 3%. And it looks the reason is because corporate has ordered managers at AT&T retail stores to show customers Android and Windows phones, and to keep them away from Apple’s iPhone. Even when customers come into the store looking specifically for the iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, retail employees are supposed to direct them to phones like the Nokia Lumia 900 or the Motorola Atrix HD.
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Also AT&T employees are not permitted to have an iPhone as their company-owned device. Instead employees have to choose between Android and Windows phones. Interestingly enough, Apple’s iPhones accounted for 72% of all smartphones activated on AT&T’s network during the second quarter of 2012.
AT&T did send the following statement to BGR:
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.
So it looks like AT&T is denying that they are demanding retail employees to sell anything but the iPhone. They are also saying their reps try their best to steer customers to smartphones that best fits there needs, whatever that means. So hat do you think is going on here?