Tag Archives | Apple. AT&T

Verizon Wireless: The iPhone is a Misfit Toy

Once again, Verizon is bashing away at the iPhone in a commercial–one that places an animated iPhone lookalike on the Island of Misfit Toys from the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special:

For entertainment value and diligent recreation of the Rankin-Bass studio’s stop-motion puppetry style, this ad gets an A. I do wonder, however, just how effective a marketing strategy it is to paint the iPhone as an unloved loser–we’re talking about a gizmo with astounding levels of consumer satisfaction. The Droid is a nifty phone overall, but it has a long way to go before it matches the iPhone’s sales stats and consumer approval.

Of course, the real message of this ad is pertinent and straightforward: Verizon has far more 3G coverage than AT&T. Wonder whether AT&T will feel like suing over this spot, too?

Verizon also has a couple of other Christmas-themed AT&T-attacking commercials, which you can see over at Engadget. The gist is similar, but they’re nowhere near as amusing as this one…


Please, AT&T, Just Tell Me How Much You Want For an iPhone 3G S

AT&T FrownyI swear that I’m not trying to turn Technologizer into an AT&T bashfest. But I’ve spent part of my afternoon girding myself to get an iPhone 3 GS. I’m ready to pre-order and pay up. So far, though, I’m just confused.

I started at the AT&T Store at my local shopping center. A helpful rep looked me up in the system and said that I didn’t qualify for a discount–I’d have to fork over $599 for a 16GB 3G S or $699 for the 32GB model. He stood there expectantly. But I arched an eyebrow and asked him if he was sure I didn’t qualify for some sort of discount.

He told me that I might, but said that I needed to dial 611 on my phone to find out. Why didn’t he mention this until I asked? How come he couldn’t determine it himself? I don’t know.

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Please, Apple–More iPhone Carriers!

Verizon iPhoneI’m a little behind on this, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that AT&T’s exclusive deal to sell the iPhone in the U.S. expires next year, and that the carrier is working furiously to get an extension until 2011. The company is selling millions of iPhones a quarter and luring plenty of customers from its rivals, so its interest in remaining the only source of iPhones makes perfect sense. But I can’t wish it well here–I think it’ll be a fabulous day for consumers when iPhones are available from one or more additional carriers.

I’m not engaging in AT&T-bashing here (you can find plenty of that elsewhere on the Web). I just like competition. I think that happy Verizon and Sprint customers shouldn’t have to dump their carrier to get iPhones. I’m hopeful that multiple carriers would mean lower prices for both the handset and the services associated with it. I believe that AT&T would have the greatest possible incentive to fix some of its network problems faster if its goal was to be the best iPhone carrier rather than the only iPhone carrier.

Unfortunately, consumers don’t get a say in the negotiations between AT&T and Apple. The wheeling and dealing will presumably boil down to whether AT&T is willing to wave enough money in Apple’s face to prevent it from striking deals with other carriers. If it does, the iPhone will remain an AT&T exclusive. But I hope that Apple asks for a boatload of money, and that AT&T blinks. And I’m curious to know just how hard it would be for Apple to have an iPhone ready that would run on the Verizon and/or Sprint networks.