Monday, September 10, 2007

Baird: AT&T reps still often leaving the iPhone out of their smartphone pitch

- Baird's William V. Power has some interesting comments on handset trends after the firm visited 24 Big Four retail locations. Overall, the firm observed an uptick in store traffic and an increasingly strong emphasis on smartphones.

* From conversations with reps, the Motorola (NYSE:MOT) RAZR is still popular at all carriers. This week, Sprint storereps were heavily pushing the RAZR 2, a sleeker version of its predecessor that will soon be available at all carriersbut is currently only available at Sprint.

* The emphasis on smartphones continues to grow at retail wireless stores. Verizon reps are
recommending their recently updated Motorola Q as well as the BlackBerry World Edition, while AT&T reps are recommending the BlackBerry Pearl and Curve. Sprint reps were pitching the Palm Treo 700WX as well as the BlackBerry World Edition, while T-Mobile reps recommend the BlackBerry Pearl and the T-Mobile Dash (manufactured by HTC). Additionally, some T-Mobile reps suggested that the carrier may be cutting its $19.99 monthly BlackBerry data fee down to $9.99 next month.

* AT&T reps were still often leaving the iPhone out of their smartphone pitch, which is consistent with previous channel checks. Mysteriously, reps generally only talk about the iPhone when asked about it directly, though perhaps the announced price cut will make this a stronger option. The in-store iPhone displays, however, are still commanding customer attention.

Notablecalls: Is it just me or do you find the comments regarding lack of iPhone support at AT&T surprising? The word on the Street is that iPhone sales have been disappointing over the last 45 days. Baird's comments seem to verify that view. This coupled with the iPhone price-cut announced last week make me wonder if AAPL can hit the high ests. On the other hand, I'm hearing that Macs are flying off the shelves, which indicates overall results will likely be fine.

Btw, we have Lehman downgrading PALM this AM to Underweight from Equal-Weight. Despite healthy Sprint sales and solid Verizon volumes, the firm believes sluggish sales at AT&T will hold Palm to the low end of expectations for the first quarter.

Note to Lehman: Low end of ests is all that PALM needs here.

4 comments:

DAILY MINDBLOG said...

First APPLE has never sold a phone before so trying to read so much into their price cut move lacked objectivity.

Second, word on my streets, which depicts the real world, is that IPHONE is flying like 'it is hot' all over the place.

Third, APPLE just sold their 1 millionth IPHONE and we still have a few days to go in the month of SEPT........

I know you are a very credible person so please share your thoughts with us on this question: Do you still think APPLE cut the price just so they meet their 1 mil target or they did it for another strategic reason which is over and above your head?

newequity said...

They definitely cut price due to demand dropping. This will no doubt hurt the stock in the near future. Sell APPLE.

TRB said...

Apple fucked up. Expect their stock price to be range bound for the next couple of months.

Vinny said...

1 million sales since launch...a lower price...and an awesome product...i think apple is going to do very well in the coming two quarters and i think they will hit the 1% market share they are aiming for. As for all the buzz around week sales and the price drop. What about the consideration that there is going to be a 3G version and that will be priced at 599! I think RIM is going to be losing market share in the non-corporate portion of its sales. Food for thought