Monday, October 12, 2009

AT&T -- and the new order

I dropped my Motorola Razr 3G last Thursday. Broke the LCD seal, pretty hard to read it. Jenny said, "let's go get you a new phone". I have an i-Phone, but the sound isn't so hot. I think if the title says "PHONE" it means that it isn't a good one. True, it is fabulous for all those apps, and it has great finger spreading graphics, and a million wonderful reasons to love it, but the phone quality sucks.

Now, I had bought the Razr for a Motorola client meeting in April 2007; it pleased the visitors, who subsequently invited me (and 41 others) to Schaumberg, IL for a Research Advisory Council meeting the first week of September. The i-Phone, you may recall, came out in July that year.

So, when I got to the meeting, I asked at dinner "why didn't you guys invent the i-Phone? Aren't you worried?" Their quick answer: "We did invent this, and we're selling it in China; have been for eighteen months. But it is hard to work with Verizon and AT&T, etc." But the clincher was when they said, "they predict selling one million this year; we sell one million a week".

The next day, I asked the group -- 36 of the 42 raised an i-Phone in the air, six weeks after it came out. And we suggested as a group that M look at Twitter. The answer: doesn't do much.

At the AT&T store last week, there were two Motorola phones on display, amid nearly a hundred from other vendors. Our associate told us that the i-phone accounted for 50% of the store's 2,000 phones sold in September, and RIM Blackberrys were another 24%. Motorola phones were 0.1%. Quite a lesson in broken strategy.

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