Are AT&T and Verizon Discouraging Apple iPhone Sales?

Maybe the idea wasn’t isolated to just Verizon (NYSE:VZ), but a new scuttlebutt has come on the scene that is similar to a months-old report from Verizon, that now AT&T (NYSE:T) is working hard to actually discourage iPhone sales. AT&T reported its Apple iPhone sales dropped 14 percent from the previous quarter, but some had believed that it was the typical wind-down leading up to the release of a new iPhone model. But if this story is somewhat accurate, the slowdown may actually more deliberate than believed.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

This latest claim apparently comes from several sources (who are unnamed) that the corporate office at AT&T headquarters sent memos to their sales staff that whenever a customer comes into a store looking for a smartphone, they were to be led away from the iPhone and towards Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android or Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows phones. And even if someone came into a store specifically looking for an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 or 4S, sales staff were told to show customers an Android and/or Windows phone as well so customers could “make an informed decision.”

What could be the motivation for this, when iPhone accounted for 72 percent of all smartphone activations by the company in the last quarter? Well, Verizon was allegedly doing the same thing before, but there may be two different reasons. In Verizon’s case, tt could have been due to its desire to get more people activated on their 4G LTE network, which iPhones don’t support and Androids and Windows do. For At&T, though, it could be just about money – the company recently expressed a desire to cut down on subsidy expenses as part of overhead, and iPhones are notorious for their high subsidy costs.

Of course, AT&T denies doing any such directing of customers. In an e-mail statement, the company said, “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.”

Well, that should discourage any further talk, shouldn’t it?

In any event, with iPhone sales dropping, whether intentional or not, this item is certainly once to watch for Apple watchers.

Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The 10 Largest Pharmaceutical Companies In the World

The 10 Most Expensive Android Apps

The 9 Most Expensive Designer Bags in the World

The 7 Most Expensive Real Estate in the World

The 10 Most Expensive eBay Items Ever Sold

The 10 Most Expensive iPhone Apps

The 9 Most Expensive Designer Shoes in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Cigarette Brands

The 10 Most Expensive Law Schools in the US

The 10 Best Wall Street Movies

The 10 Most Expensive Golf Clubs Ever Sold

The 10 Most Expensive Golf Memberships

The 10 Best Disney Characters Ever Created

The 8 Best Foods for Gaining Weight

The 10 Most Expensive Colleges in the World

The 7 Most Memorable Ad Campaigns of All Time

The 7 Most Expensive High Schools in the World

The 10 Electric Vehicles with the Longest Range

The 10 Cities with the Worst Drivers in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Dresses Ever Created

10 Islands to Visit Before You Die

10 Famous Celebrities Who Needed Rehab

The 15 Countries with the Largest Oil Reserves

The 10 Most Overused Excuses in the World

The 5 Best iOS Apps You Can’t Get on Android

5 Companies Damaged By Social Media Blunders

The 10 Most Legendary Blues Songs

The 10 Most Lawless Places in the World

4 Reasons China is a Threat to the US

The 17 Most Sugary Drinks in the World

The 10 Most Ruthless Rulers in History

The 10 Greatest Generals in History

Top 8 Travel Destinations for 2015

The 10 Safest Dog Breeds for Children

The 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in the US

The 7 Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings

The 10 Best LoL Teams in the World

Top 10 Worst Marketing Campaigns Ever Produced

Top 5 Diets that Help You Lose Weight

The 10 Best Ways to Stay Awake

7 Artists That Switched Musical Genres

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in New Jersey

The 10 Best High Schools in New York

The 10 Countries With the Least Gender Inequality

The 6 Biggest Musician-Manager Feuds

The 10 Countries with the Cheapest Gas Prices

The 7 Most Theatrical Bands of All Time

The 8 Worst Band Breakups of All Time

The 10 Most Important South American Leaders

The 7 Most Successful Casting Show Winners

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!