What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

What Verizon’s iPad means for AT&T

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Oct 14, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

What Verizon’s iPad means for AT&T

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Oct 14, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: Better times are a-comin’ for iPad loyalists trapped in loveless AT&T service contracts. Verizon Wireless and Apple said today Verizon’s going to start selling iPads at the end of this month. And bigger news might be just around the corner. One of the worst-kept secrets in corporate America is that Verizon is expected to? probably will? likely going to? start selling iPhones early next year. Which means AT&T won’t have the iMarket all to itself anymore.

Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: Verizon and Apple trumpeted today’s news about the iPad. But they won’t comment on a potential Verizon iPhone.

Michael Gartenberg is research director for Gartner Inc. He says there’s good reason for the zipped lips.

Michael Gartenberg: There’s a lot of complexities to be dealt with on both sides of the equation before this deal could possibly happen or be announced.

Complexities like Verizon’s shifting technology and decisions over who would control marketing. The iPhone brought an avalanche of new customers and huge profits to AT&T. But the company’s network had trouble handling all that new traffic. Complaints of dead zones and dropped calls were legion.

Joseph Turow teaches communications at the University of Pennsylvania, and he has an iPhone.

Joseph Turow: The joke about AT&T is, you never really say goodbye on an iPhone, because the call drops before you can.

Turow says AT&T’s reputation suffered lasting damage. He says some frustrated AT&T customers would jump to Verizon.

Gary Arlen is president of Arlen Communications. He says AT&T would fight back with new deals. The company also has consumer behavior on its side.

Gary Arlen: The inertia of human nature is they’ll stay where they are. So I think a lot of people will stay with the carrier they know, they’re comfortable with. They know its quirks.

Verizon knows AT&Ts quirks, too — and will be sure to point them out for potential customers.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.