There is a civil war in my family.  My wife is an iPhone fan and I am a Windows Phone fan.  For the most part we act civil but mainly its an unspoken dismissal of the other’s platform of choice.  My wife recently dropped, and subsequently disabled her iPhone 3G and needed it replaced.  I had already decided to buy her the 4G.  So In I waltz into the AT&T store and promptly greeted.  I immediately cut the introduction short and tell the salesman that I need the 16GB iPhone 4G.  He smiles and directs me to the counter.  After verifying that I am indeed authorized to make such a purpose on my wife’s account he begins his sales pitch.  What’s behind door #1?  A polite suggestion to purchase a phone case.  I decline knowing full well my wife has her eyes set on a blinged out custom case.  Next up is door #2 and what it reveals is?  A $100 accessory pack!  Complete with rechargeable cordless speakers (greatest thing since sliced bread according to the salesman).  After indulging him by giving him the chance to sell me on the idea I politely informed him i’m barely able to stomach purchasing the phone much less giving away $100 on something that will undoubtedly disturb my sense of peace.  Then as he showcases the phone while taking the screen protectors off I notice something.  The main phone plastered on their wall is an Android model.  So that prompts me to ask about my favorite item Windows Phone 7.  I figure since its a couple days away from the big joint announcement with Microsoft and AT&T that the employees would have at least began getting literature on Windows Phone 7.  Boy was I wrong!

“Have you guys heard anything on Windows Phone 7?” I ask.  No (while looking clueless), the next big push we are having is for tablets.  Umm, you do know AT&T is the premiere & exclusive launch partner don’t you? I replied.  His response, “never heard of it.”  Maybe its just me but if your premiere and exclusive launch partner has yet to inform or begin prepping store employees of a major product launch what place does it have in its product lineup?  By the way, once again I encounter someone pawning off phones knowing very little about them and I have to indulge their ignorance with a fake smile.  Leave the phone pawning to those of us who actually know what they are capable of.  Back on point, does it speak as badly for Microsoft’s chances at success as I think when the premiere partner seems to be taking such a non-priority attitude 30 days from launch?

I get home, greet my wife and she begins to use the phone.  She begins to try and restore her new fruit and get back to her regularly scheduled life.  Not so fast.  What followed was 30 minutes of grunting, stomping and sighing at the difficulty of using iTunes.  I ask her if there is an option to select only certain items (contacts, audio/video, pics, docs, etc) to cut down the time of restoration.  She tells me know and I chuckle.  With My Phone I can do all that with relative ease on my TP2.  She plugs away and finally after an hour she begins to play with her new toy.  Excitement starts filling the air as she notes how clear her screen looks, next up is a comment on , gas, a camera flash.  No kidding, she actually squealed in delight and yelled out “It has flash!”  I laugh heartily and all of a sudden she makes the comment “I don’t know why you insist on being anti, just get with the iPhone.”  I quickly reply “no thanks i’m about to rock the Windows Phone.”  So she is happy with her new toy, which does the same thing as her old toy just alot clearer and it has a flash.  I’m laughing at the thought of a million iTunes users who put up with the flaming piece trash that is iTunes just to be able to user their iPhones.  Thanking my stars that I don’t have to.  Admittedly the screen is gorgeous and those who love the iPhone absolutely love the updated model.  Unfortunately the same can’t be said for iTunes.  iTunes gets a big fat L for being the big Loser in the Apple lineup.

10 COMMENTS

  1. @RedScare: Your point is well taken. That raises an entirely different question: Does having clueless salespeople hurt sales especially considering the exclusive launch Microsoft is doing with AT&T? I think it does. Microsoft needs some enthusiasts on the ground drawing people in to the wonders of the Metro UI and Windows Phone 7.

  2. Come on man. AT&T employees barely know about the products that are actually for sale *right now*… if you are seriously trying to read anything into their cluelessness about a product (WP7) that doesn’t even have an official release date yet then you are over-reaching.

  3. I don’t know if it’s MS’s fault for the lack of product knowledge but it could also be AT&T. Granted MS does a shitty job of advertising but are they solely to blame? No, but they definately both are. I am sure they aren’t going to turn it into the whole KIN debocle…and I hope to God they don’t. To me it seems like AT&T could give a rats ass about anything as soon as they got the cash cow fruit phone.

  4. Oh I have quite a few easy to implement ideas Microsoft could do to raise the awareness and hype about the upcoming phone launch. Throwing the type of money they are rumored to be in market and advertising they can get a bunch done. They could make the iPhone buildups look like a small smattering of noise.

  5. About a year ago, my wife and I went in to get her a new phone. We weren’t looking for an expensive smart-phone, but the friendly AT&T folks sure hit us hard to buy an iPhone (we didn’t).

    Yes, the knowledge and attitudes of the sales-folks have an impact on people on the fence about what to buy.

    Bottom-line, your run of the mill AT&T store employees haven’t even had a sales meeting on WP7 yet, let alone gotten their hands on one to play with. When there are posters up in the store, and phones to touch, then what they say will count.

    Right now? Not so much.

  6. No worries. The official announcement is in a few days, but AT&T stores won’t be able to sell WP7 till the first week of November(or later), a good three weeks away. Plenty of time to receive the promotional literature, point-of-sale displays, kiosks, and display phones for the reps to play with. Too early to show sales reps something that they will forget about in a month. Go back in the 28th of October and ask the same questions. Their new mantra will be, “have you seen the new Windows Phone 7?”.

    Worked on a launch for a new razor several years back and every Walmart (pre-release exclusive) in America received their displays/product on the same day. It’s not that hard. Just requires a little coordinated effort. Hopefully Microsoft contracted with the right firm for the job,

  7. @jimski:

    I sure do hope your are right.

    Microsoft and at&t just can’t afford to make a mess of things. The Metro UI paradigm is a game changer IMO.

  8. @jimski

    You saved me a lot of typing. I’ll be there on launch day for my WP7 device.

  9. jimski definately hit it right on the head, and its not AT&T’s fault as much as people are making it out to be, its up to MS to send the promo materials and training literature for the most part, yes it is a joint effort to a degree, but the blame falls mostly on MS for this one, i mean, whats AT&T going to tell ther employees now, “hey guys, just a heads up, we havent been sent any training or promo materials for you but we wanted to let you know so you could prepare to receive them” thats pointless and a waste of time and energy at this point. a well coordinated launch is the key, even if its 2 weeks before stores receive product.

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