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Checks: AT&T staff still recommending iPhone over Lumia 900

updated 03:20 pm EDT, Wed April 11, 2012

Small check shows Nokia coaching not swaying minds

Early investigations have suggested that Nokia and AT&T attempts to have staff use the Lumia 900 may not be having an impact on actual recommendations in the short term. A tour by CNET of five Manhattan-area AT&T stores just after launch showed that staff not only didn't know much about the Windows Phone flagship but were actively steering users to the iPhone. A companion check by IDC researcher Ramon Llamas in Massachusetts showed one Windows Phone recommendation, but most recommended Android hardware like the Galaxy Note.

"Windows Phone is alright, but it's no iPhone," said one of the New York City store staffers even after being prompted about the Lumia 900.

Microsoft's Windows Phone senior product manager Greg Sullivan reconfirmed that Nokia and Microsoft were working to train staff, but that covering all of the 2,200 was "not something that can be accomplished overnight." Training would go on past the initial period.

The inability to get voluntary recommendations reflects an ongoing reversal of fortune for Microsoft, which has been put in Apple's old position from the 1990s at retail as staff recommend an Apple or Google platform while omitting or even downplaying Microsoft's own. Windows Phone's late arrival into the smartphone market has left it facing an Android and iOS duopoly and store staff that have only ever known one of the two platforms.

AT&T may have unwittingly created its own obstacles to endorsing Windows Phone. By making Apple offer the iPhone as a four-year exclusive to its network, AT&T inextricably linked its name with the iPhone's and kept it the majority iPhone carrier even after Verizon and later Sprint signed on. Even its collective Android sales have so far stayed clearly behind those of the iPhone.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +12

    no extra $$ for salesfolk?

    I thought they were going to be offering bigger commissions to anyone who can sell Lumias. Microsoft is after all offering money to developers who write apps for them no?

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +13

    Not paying them enough

    Re: "... Nokia and AT&T attempts to have staff use the Lumia 900 may not be having an impact on actual recommendations in the short term."

    Hey Ballmer. You're not bribing them enough.
    Must be holding out for more $$$.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    Turn about is fair play...

    As the article stated. I can remember when store staff, without thinking would recommend WIndows anything over Apple. What goes around when one misbehaves, comes around.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Nokia Blew It From the Get-Go

    "Early investigations have suggested that Nokia and AT&T attempts to have staff use the Lumia 900 may not be having an impact on actual recommendations in the short term."

    - Therein lies the problem. Nokia actually had the AT&T staff *use* a Lumpia 900. Nokia should have had their sales staff just tell the AT&T sales staff what it could do and asked for some of that salesman-to-salesman "I believe everything you say" professional courtesy.

  1. freddymac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    What happened to?

    "We are going to crush iphone sales records with this phone." Isn't that what AT&T, Nokia and M$ were saying last week? How did that work out for you guys? Can't wait to see the actual sale numbers. But I don't think we will. Only that they SHIPPED 500 million phones and took over the market...... I smell a fire sale in the air. Do you? :-)

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