AT&T is claiming that twice as many smartphone users are choosing its service in the United States than other competitors, which include Sprint and Verizon Wireless. AT&T, which continues to have exclusive rights to the Apple iPhone, claims in its May 15 report that more than 30 percent of its postpaid subscribers use a smartphone, such as the BlackBerry Bold or the Nokia E71x.
AT&T is claiming that twice as many smartphone users
are choosing its service in the United States compared to competing options
from the likes of Sprint and Verizon Wireless.
In a May 15 statement,
AT&T claims that "independent market research" showed that twice as many
smartphone users have picked its service plan compared to other carriers. In a
statement, AT&T did not mention which firm conducted the research, however,
a spokesman for the company later wrote that M: Metrics, which is owned by ComStat,
conducted the survey.
AT&T, which is best known for its exclusive
contract with Apple, did not specifically mention the iPhone in its release. Instead,
AT&T cited the success the company has had with Research In Motion's BlackBerry
Bold smartphone and Nokia's
What might be more interesting than AT&T's
claims against its competitors is the fact that about one-third of its
customers now own an integrated smartphone
device, which shows how popular these handsets are becoming to both consumers
and business users.
AT&T said its customers are not only interested in
smartphones that use an operating system, such as Microsoft Windows Mobile or
Symbian, but also in devices that the carrier calls "quick messaging phones."
These types of phones offer a QWERTY keyboard and allow for text messages, IM
chats and picture sharing.
The second half of 2009 is expected to be a busy one
for both device makers as well as carriers. Palm
is expected to launch its Pre smartphone on Sprint's network
in the coming
weeks and Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone along with a revamped OS as
well. (AT&T is, of course, the iPhone carrier.)
Later, RIM is expected to roll out more BlackBerry
devices, including a follow up to its touch-screen Storm model. Samsung
just announced the heir to its BlackJack device,
which is also coming to
AT&T, would hit the market by May 19.
The fact that AT&T did not mention the iPhone in
its release is somewhat surprising considering the amount of sales it has generated
for the carrier. In the last month, stories have spread that not only is
AT&T interested in renewing its relationship with Apple, but Verizon
has also approached Apple about a possible partnership for the iPhone or other
In 2008, AT&T claims it invested more than $20
billion in its network, and the carrier is expected to invest another $17 billion to
$18 billion this year.