Is AT&T Shaking In Its Boots?

The rumor on the street is Verizon Wireless will start carrying the iPhone in early 2011. While that has yet to be confirmed, it appears that AT&T, the current exclusive provider of the iPhone, is preparing for Verizon to enter the market.

Typically mobile phone providers lock you into their service for 2 years when you take advantage of their free phone offers, but that is not the case with the iPhone. When I purchased the iPhone and set up my AT&T coverage, I was never locked into AT&T’s service. This makes it easy for current AT&T iPhone customers like myself to make the switch to Verizon. With millions of iPhone users and many complaining about dropped calls, it could put a small dent into the country’s largest telecommunications provider.

Just yesterday, I received a direct mailer from AT&T. The offer was for a free Samsung Strive multimedia phone. According to the mailer this is “NOT a phone we would normally offer for FREE.” And to sweeten the deal, AT&T makes it easy to get the $219.99 FREE phone. You simply call a toll-free number and they mail it. No mail-in rebate required. The hook is you have to sign a 2-year contract with AT&T.

I never remember receiving any type of direct mail, email, statement stuffer, etc. offering me a FREE phone from AT&T, and I have been a customer for more than 2 years. Plus the focus on the fact that this was a multimedia phone worth $219.99, which is slightly higher than the iPhone, immediately leads me to believe AT&T is beginning to unleash its marketing weapons to keep it’s current iPhone customers.

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