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Hey, Do Salesmen Know What They’re Talking About?

So in the pursuit of journalistic integrity (I was wearing a suit and had just gotten a really nice haircut (yes, including a double dose shampoo massage) I dropped by a Verizon dealership on Madison and 43rd today and then AT&T’s flagship store in the JPMorgan building up another few blocks to ask, starting with the Verizon guy, even if after the first few weeks or the first month or so would Verizon still be going all-out on the iPhone or would they still be or revert to pushing Android hard in addition to selling iPhones? He said with confidence and an air of authority that they definitely would continue to be aggressive with pushing Android. He couldn’t have been clearer to me in that Verizon would not get [too] distracted from Android.

All right, good to hear, though I wasn’t picking up all the confidence he was laying down.

Then I went to AT&T, asked the most with-it salesmen I knew there if once the Verizon guys down Madison a few blocks started dishing out those iPhones would AT&T go all out with Android, Windows Phone, their iPhone or what. He said that they just got some Android devices. I told him I could see them in front of me but that AT&T’s supposed to get twenty Android devices this year according to their head guy at some big computer thing somewhere. He shrugged. I asked him if they’d at least ease up on the Blackberry Torch ads – No idea, they don’t tell us anything he said.

I’m getting the feeling that throwing those questions out here would yield more reliable results, so what do you all think? Got a guess from some broker or analyst at JPMorgan Chase (just a tad ironic as I was in their building) guessing that the pre-orders clocked in at around half a million in, if I’m reading this right, 17 hours of limited online availability. Verizon said that whatever it was it was undoubtedly a record. They’ll be selling on the 10th in 2000 stores.

DSC_0048-300x450Based on reading the logs odds are against this but you may recall my last article on this in which I expressed some trepidation over what this means for Android. This isn’t helping my anxiety, this pre-order stuff and my exchange with the AT&T guy who, and this is neither here nor there, didn’t exactly make a zealous effort to inform me about those exciting new Windows Phone phones two feet away from us.

You may have been thinking, So what, he went up to a phone salesman who didn’t know anything, wow, breaking news – but I’d say it’s worth putting here as in Manhattan that’s the AT&T store and this guy is the most aggressive and charismatic salesman yet he had no idea what time it was whereas the Verizon guy was cocksure. Now while I may have a hard time believing the Verizon guy, especially when reading these new numbers, that he was saying something he thought might reassure me in the first place, a possible Verizon / Android customer that he wanted to keep in place and playing for the red team, is yet another reminder, a little ball of anecdotal evidence for you, that Verizon knows how to move phones and not only that they probably know how to take fuller advantage of their retail men and women and that there is clearly a damn whole lot of demand for their iPhone.

The ball that is a stream of juiced up Android things will be yours soon AT&T, don’t screw it up. Damnit AT&T, c’mon.

The only people in the AT&T joint were five or six employees and my undercover ass, by the way. Verizon, packed.

Doug Simmons