Instructions handed down from corporate state that customers seeking smartphones at AT&T retail stores should be steered away from Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and towards Android phones or Windows Phone handsets like the Nokia Lumia 900 instead. BGR has confirmed the directive with three independent sources.
Even when customers come into stores specifically looking for the iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, staffers have been instructed to make an effort to show people Android and Windows Phone devices as well, so they can "make an informed decision."
In addition, some locations have reportedly told employees that they can't obtain iPhones as their company device. These changes are said to have dropped iPhone sales by 20-30%.
AT&T has responded to these allegations saying, "The idea that we would steer any customer away from a particular device couldn't be more farfetched. Our reps do what it takes to align customer needs with the best device for them. iPhone remains one of our most popular devices, which doesn't happen by steering people away from it. Our reps are encouraged to try all devices so they are more knowledgeable on our industry-leading smartphone lineup."