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AT&T Pushing Additional iPhones Between Android & Apple Announcements?

My day of short blog posts continues....

The below email from AT&T ('Add an iPhone today') is interesting because:

- it arrived in my inbox a few days ago (May 15) - is in advance of the supposed June launch of the newest iPhone ... which will also supposedly be on AT&T

- it comes just a couple days after the announcement that, for the first time, Android devices are outselling the iPhone (see here) ... and AT&T's Android offering is weaker than Verizon's or even T-Mobile's

- there is no incentive whatsoever to add an iPhone - no discount, family plan, etc

- it was sent in advance of Google's I/O conference - which would obviously focus on Android

It strikes me as an attempt to squeeze in sales between Android growth, Android news and the forthcoming iPhone. Of course you could argue it is an indication that perhaps the next generation iPhone, as many hope, is available beyond AT&T???

Verizon & AT&T: Second & Third Largest Advertisers

If you're reading this blog:you likely either own an iPhone or an Android device ... and you've likely read my coverage of the marketing blitzes around Droid and around Apple's iPhone ... and you've probably seen the recent commercials from Verizon and AT&T around 3G maps:

But did you know that Verizon and AT&T are the second and third largest national advertisers respectively? Together, they spend nearly $7 billion each year - more than 3x the spend of Coke and Pepsi... combined.

And as Verizon attacks AT&T Apple with their new Droid lineup, you can bet that advertising will play an integral role both online and offline. And as you saw with their recent Luke Wilson campaign, AT&T is capable and willing to respond both aggressively and quickly:

The combatants this time around—in case you hadn't noticed—are Verizon Wireless and AT&T, the respective No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. wireless carriers. That's the nation's second-largest advertiser (Verizon's marketing war chest is $3.7 billion), up against the third largest (AT&T spent $3.1 billion last year according to the Ad Age Datacenter). Those budgets dwarf Coca-Cola's $752 million or even PepsiCo's $1.3 billion.

From AdAge's 'Verizon Vs. AT&T: Blistering Battle Raging Over Map'

att vs verizon

Also worth noting, the advertising figures from AdAge do not take into account the tangential spend from related brands, developers and/or manufacturers. For instance, Apple advertisers heavily for the iPhone (on television, in the New York Times, etc) and brands with successful applications frequently use their TV spots to, in part, promote their mobile presence.

2010: The Year of Android?

Just a couple weeks ago, I wrote that an article named "Android is About to Explode" - citing recent growth rates (up 17% from 13% in a single month, according to AdMob) and the forthcoming line of Droid devices.

This continues to be a hot topic and I participate in related conversations almost daily: - Will Android match iPhone's marketshare by end of 2010? - If you were starting today, would you begin developing on Android or iPhone first? - Is there a greater advantage to being one of the first developers on Android or being within Apple's massive distribution store?

Today, TechCrunch has run a similar article written by Kevin Nakao, the VP of Mobile for Whitepages: "2010: The Year Android Will Shake Its Money Maker".

It lists a variety of reasons that Android can (and will) succeed this year... Most importantly is that Android itself is a carrier and hardware agnostic platform - whereas the iPhone, as great as it is, is a single device on a single network. Big difference. And one that enables Android to compete - and even win - without having the best device.

T-Mobile Got It Started Right, Verizon Will Unleash the Beast

T-Mobile launched the first Android phone in the U.S., and embraced the open platform. Any other U.S. carrier might have been tempted to meddle, but T-Mobile proved that an open platform would not be riddled with malware and abuse. With Verizon now going big on Android, we will start to see significant uptake. Verizon has 89 million customers with an average Data Revenue Per User of $15.69 to T-Mobile’s 33.5 million customers and $10 in Data Revenue Per User. Sprint has the highest data revenue per user of $19 and 48.3 million customers. In short, Verizon and Sprint will attract many more customers willing to spend more money on Android applications.

... After a week in New York City, I can say that, were I NY resident, I would turn my iPhone in for a Droid device on Verizon instantly. I would easily sacrifice some hardware and software quality for network quality (which was unbearable). That said, things work perfectly fine in San Francisco!

Welcome Droid (and the Ensuing Marketing Blitz)

Droid officially launched today and, as I wrote last night, I expect Droid (and the forthcoming hardware line) to significantly increase Android's market share - and subsequently the developer attention it warrants and receives. Meanwhile, I also expect the Droid marketing blitz to to ramp aggressively. Below are a few screenshots of large, flash-based ad units across VentureBeat, Alley Insider and (a text ad even exists on Google's homepage).

The messaging across the campaign and its various states are: - Droid is Dropping - Droid has Arrived - And my favorite, Compromise Officially Deactivated

droid launch alley insider droid launch venturebeat

droid launch verizon site

Android is About to Explode: 17% of Smartphone Traffic, Droid Launching

On the eve of Droid's much anticipated launch on the Verizon network, Android is poised to take off and grab challenge the Apple's recent dominance. Even with Droid's launch, Android saw significant market growth in September - representing 17% of smartphone activity vs. 13% in August. According to AdMob's September 2009 Mobile Report:

Devices running on Android accounted for 17% of smartphone traffic in the US in September 2009, up from 13% in August 2009. The HTC Dream (G1) was the number three device and the HTC Magic was the number 10 device in September 2009 in the US. As with the iPhone OS, much of the Android traffic in AdMob’s network came from applications.

The iPhone still represents 48% of smartphone activity, but Android has moved ahead of RIM (14%). And the future for Android is bright considering:

- Droid's rave reviews - Droid's multi-handset product line and low prices - Android's carrier agnostic approach (while Apple is currently tied exclusively to AT&T)

android vs iphone

Also noteworthy, the iPhone now represents a staggering 60+% of AT&T's smartphone activity. If Droid, for instance, reached even a fraction of that dominance on Verizon (which is dominated by RIM AT ~35%), Android will realize serious growth.

att iphone

My Verizon Envy is Gone - AT&T Unveils $99.99 Unlimited Voice Plan!

When Verizon released their plans for a $99 all-you-can-talk plan, I instantly wrote that it was tempting enough to lure me away from AT&T. I concluded that I'd wait a little to see AT&T's reaction... and here it is: unlimited voice for $99.99.

I assume that it will be a lengthy, confusing call to AT&T customer service to get them to switch my account over - but the threat of leaving for Verizon should we powerful enough... right?

$99.99 unlimited voice + $20/$30/$40 data package $20 = unlimited data and 200 texts $30 = unlimited data and 1500 texts $40 = unlimited data and unlimited texts

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 19, 2008 -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today new unlimited voice plans targeted to wireless users who want the predictability of flat rate pricing for unlimited minutes. The plans will be available to new and existing wireless subscribers for $99.99 a month for unlimited U.S. calling on all devices with no domestic roaming or long distance charges. The plans can be combined with any current wireless data plan to give customers the ultimate in wireless freedom.

The new plans, available Feb. 22, can be ordered at one of AT&T's 2,200 company-owned retail stores and kiosks, at, or at one of the thousands of authorized AT&T retail locations. Existing customers can choose unlimited calling without extending their contract. New customers have the option of a month-to-month, 12 or 24 month contract.

As with other voice calling plans, AT&T customers can choose from a variety of MEdia Net and messaging plans to meet their needs. For example, customers with standard wireless phones* can choose a data plan such as $5 for 200 text, picture, video and instant messages or $35 for unlimited messaging and MEdia Net access.

"We are pleased to offer our customers these great new plans that deliver value and simplified pricing," said Ralph de la Vega, president & CEO, AT&T Mobility. "This is a highly competitive market and we're committed to moving fast to meet customer needs."

AT&T customers benefit from the nation's largest digital voice and data network, with 3G broadband available in more than 260 major metropolitan markets. The company recently announced plans to expand its 3G network to 350 markets, including all of the top 100.

For the complete array of AT&T offerings, visit

More reading: USAToday, Valleywag, BoyGenius

Do I now have Verizon-Envy? Verizon Unveils Unlimited Voice Plan for $99

I never thought I would say this... but I officially have Verizon envy.

Don't get me wrong - I love my Blackberry Curve, AT&T has great customer service and, in the bay area, the service is consistently good....

BUT - AT&T is ridiculously expensive. Compare the voice, data and sms packages to T-Mobile and other carriers and it's rather sickening. And while T-Mobile has great prices, their service in the bay area is spotty to say the least... leaving me with AT&T for the last four years. But now Verizon has unveiled an unlimited voice plan for $99 / month and that makes me start to wonder what it would take to move my business over.

My three biggest priorities in choosing a carrier: 1) reliability of service 2) cost 3) flexibility (I despise two-year contracts and would pay a premium for freedom)

I'll wait to see if AT&T gets competitive... but have already started thinking about what a switch would entail.