The rumors just won't quit that the iPhone is finally coming to Verizon by January. For those watching Verizon and AT&T's every move, the clues are piling up that it just might be true. See what you think.
1. Verizon is reportedly doing a major hire up through its third party call centers of choice, Ryla and Teleperformance. Both are posting hundreds (Ryla is actually advertising 1700 positions across four states) of jobs for a "major wireless carrier". Primary duties include explaining new rate plans and providing technical support for smartphones, computers and mp3 players.
2. Meanwhile, AT&T is showing signs of a spouse preparing for a breakup. The word of this holiday season will be diversify. AT&T has gone from about 10 smartphones in their line-up to now doubling that to 20 different models. More importantly, it is now the only carrier that carries every smartphone operating system available on the U.S. market; including Symbian, Blackberry, Android and Windows Phone 7 (and even Palm still).
3. Along those lines, AT&T is retraining 25,000 of its sales staff to equally push all of those above mentioned smartphones. In fact, its offering as an employee incentive a free smartphone to reps who sell one of each operating system.
4. Expect AT&T stores to look a little differently by the holiday season, as well, with equal emphasis on a display for each smartphone OS.
AT&T now claims over half of its new customers request something other than an iPhone with their new contract. A year ago, non-iPhone customers signing up for the first time made up 36 percent of the grand total.
AT&T will need that shift to continue if they see a significant exodus of subscribers who love their iPhone, but hate AT&T service. Given the chronic complaints over dropped calls and bandwidth limitations over the past few years, its a worry that's not so farfetched.
Stay tuned and as always you may follow me on Twitter @oricchio.
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