Three sources have confirmed to the Boy Genius Report that AT&T is intentionally trying to get retail customers to buy anything but the iPhone. Instead, store managers have supposedly been told by regional sales managers to steer shoppers towards Android or Windows Phone handsets. Even if a person is specifically looking for an iPhone, staffers have allegedly received instructions to fill them up on other options so they can make a “reasonable choice.”
One source claims that the iPhone market share in their region, previously at around 80%, has dropped to 50-60% following the company’s new iPhone-hostile policy. In addition, the carrier has reportedly prohibited at least some retail employees from using iPhones as their company-owned devices.
During the second quarter of 2012, the iPhone still accounted for 72% of all AT&T activations. Things that could have prompted the company to downplay the leading device are thought to be the carrier’s reluctance to get most of its profits from sales of one product as well as the untypically high iPhone subsidies. Another reason may be the demand placed on its network by iPhone owners, who have historically been known for active 3G bandwidth consumption.
In an official statement on the matter, AT&T called the rumor “far-fetched,” saying that if they had directed customers away from the iPhone it wouldn’t have been their best-selling device. According to the carrier, they encourage users to try different devices to show them the bigger picture and allow them to make a free, unbiased decision.