When Cingular acquired AT&T in 2004, former AT&T CEO John Zeglis asked in a press conference: “Hey, Verizon–can you hear us now?” Brash and bold. The two companies have since battled hard for subscribers. AT&T won the Apple iPhone contract and then Verizon’s DROID DOES commercial paved the way for Google’s Android. Then they fought over who had the better, faster service and more coverage and AT&T attempted to revive Luke Wilson’s career. With Verizon’s iPhone being released this month, we’ll actually be able to test which is the better service. A few things to consider:
1. I visited an AT&T store on a Saturday in January (post Verizon-iPhone announcement) and there were 12 associates in the store. Three were engaged with clients and the other nine were sitting idly
2. I asked my AT&T salesperson what the company line was for users who asked about the differences between Verizon and AT&T iPhone 4 devices, and he responded with the following: (a) you cannot multi-task on the Verizon iPhone, and (b) our speed is faster.
3. They are right about multi tasking; similar to the original IOS software on AT&T, you can’t make a call and surf the web / use online apps at the same time. Given that our generation lacks any and all attention, this might deter a few users from making the switch as the current AT&T iPhone software has multi-tasking capabilities.
4. But nothing will adversely impact AT&T more than when users have tangible evidence that AT&T has worse coverage. AT&T is correct in saying that they have faster speed. But to access speed, you need signal. And Verizon has more coverage in more areas which means better signal than AT&T’s notoriously awful signal. We now know that in spite of their commercials and their customer service promising to improve, AT&T is inferior to Verizon.
Let the exodus begin.