AT&T CEO comments on WP7

Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, has spoken about their support for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and how it hasn't been selling as well as both companies had hoped. This is a slightly more accurate picture being painted by the network operator than the previous statement from Jeff Bradley (AT&T senior vice president of mobile devices) of "just fine".

"We actually like that software very, very much. It hasn’t sold as well as Microsoft or us would want it to. I think for the first thing out of the chute it is pretty good. I think they just need to make it better… Giving customers more application choices, having a bigger app store with more functionality on the phone–I think that is all that it needs."

Positive thoughts from the CEO and a good acknowledgement that it's still early days yet. It's good to know they actually like the product, although we don't know who "we" covers in the company, and whether it's more than two personnel or not. AllThingsD carried out an interview with Ralph, asking a few questions, including one about WP7 and Nokia and another about the platform being simply hard to sell. Check out the questions and answers after the break. 

"Nokia has made this huge bet on Windows Phone. One of the reasons, they have said, is to have a bigger presence then they have in many years in North America. How interested are you in adding them to your lineup?We already have Windows Phone 7 in our lineup. We actually like that software very, very much. It hasn’t sold as well as Microsoft or us would want it to, but I think having the Nokia hardware capability with the Microsoft software capability is a really good combination. They have to prove it by bringing some great devices to market. But I would love to have a great Nokia device with Microsoft Windows Phone 7.Windows Phone 7, is it a hard sell, or are their features that are missing?Keep in mind this is the first product that Microsoft has come out with since Microsoft redid their OS. I think for the first thing out of the chute it is pretty good. I think they just need to make it better. If you listen to what Steve Ballmer is saying (Mango, the next version), is going to add about 500 features. I think they are going to make it a lot better. Giving customers more application choices, having a bigger app store with more functionality on the phone, I think that is all that it needs.Actually, I loved Windows 8. That looks a lot like a Windows Phone screen, with the tiles. I think that’s a huge win for Microsoft. Now they have their same look and feel on their PCs and tablets as they have on their smartphones."

I'm not sure what planet our dear Ralphy has been visiting lately, but he should note that if he feels that WP7 isn't selling as well as Android for example, then he should take a look at some of the WP7 users currently on AT&T. A good number are saying that AT&T staff are disregarding WP7 altogether for a start - how does a network expect to sell any devices if their staff don't recommend it to majority of customers that enter their stores?

It's worth noting his remark about Windows 8 using tiles (opens in new tab), which could prove to be an effective marketing campaign for the Windows Phone platform. Should more Windows users become accustomed to the live tiles on their desktops, tablets and laptops, what's stopping them from desiring it on their phone?

Source: AllThingsD (opens in new tab), via: WMPU (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • When a friend and myself went in to purchase two Focuses, we went into AT&T and the rep tried to do all she could to turn us away from it, only speaking about its negative qualities being 1st generation devices and software (like no multitasking). Really not surprised sales are lower than expected given my experience.
  • Wonder what excuse these sales reps will use come October.
  • While I would love to blame the reps, and do to a large extent, this is mostly on Microsoft's shoulders. You want to break the Apple/Android juggernaut? Then you better be savvy with understanding distribution channels and who controls the point of sale. MS has to step up it's game from advertising to in-store rep training.They have completely gotten developers on board to produce apps at a record pace and that same commitment is desperately needed on the sales end.
  • great point about the salespeople. i wish somebody'd say that to these CEOs when they interview them. I was SO refreshed by Best Buy when I walked in to buy my HTC Trophy and the salesperson was rocking a Focus and said he loved it. 'bout damn time these people take off their blinders and start giving credit where it's due.
  • MS need to put some of their experts in these stores. I don't go to them anymore, but when i did, misinformation was in abundance.
  • Unfortunately, go into any AT&T Dealer in Austin area and the agents there know about as much as my mother does as far as WP7 goes. They don't want to sell what they don't know about and that doesn't help AT&T or Microsoft's case if a customer goes into wanting to buy a WP7 but the agent knows nothing and instead pushes Andriod or iOS on you (of which I've every generation minus iPhone 4).
  • I tend to agree, while my sales person on launch was at least somewhat knowledgeable about its existance and was excited about the Focus, I knew way more than he did. I am not sure any of the sales people "push" people to WP7. Not sure if they get more credit on sales of the other phones or not, but WP7 is a great package of hardware and software that is being undersold. Most people only heard the negatives at launch (e.g. no multitasking) versus how good of a phone OS this really is. Unfortunately with the more restritive approach to the OS, they turned off a lot of WM fans, but you can't argue with the overall stability and performance.
  • If only things like this were being said by people at their level about 3 years or so ago. As it was, WM enthusiasts were making those kinds of statements at the time. Now the mobility world has passed them by :(
  • When I purchased my WP7 Trophy at Verizon I went there knowing what WTF I wanted and when I asked one of the reps where is the WP7, he seemed a little reluctant and ambivalent about the whole WP7. I took a minute amd educated the dude why I wanted a WP7 and not a droid or iphone. I took a droid phone, I think it was the Thurderbolt and broke it down on him why the WP7 would be a better phone for me. I then took an Iphone and I broke it down on him again why the WP7 would be a better phone for me. I mean, my WP7 has been working great for me right out of the box without any apps as of yet and everyone that see my phone all they said is wow, this phone is nice, including the Verizon rep after I lectured him. Ohh, I was at the barber shop yesterday and I connected my phone with their speakers system and I was jamming the place and everyone was like, wow, all of that is from your phone. Yes, my WP7 jamming it up with Zune and at at work with Office. Ohh, and how about a Skydrive, that is another story in itself. Loving my WP7 and wanting a juice Mango.
  • I've seen the same problems with the sales reps by me. I'm still rocking a Droid X, but have been interested in WP7 since release. Verizon finally has a WP7 phone, but I have yet to walk into any of the local Verizon dealers to find a working unit. The sales force is more interested in selling me a crappy iPhone or another Android device and knows very little about WP7 product.
  • Maybe AT&T isn't everyone's favorite carrier, and that might be why WP7 isn't doing so well lol. If only t-mo would get a couple more models, I might actually buy one ;-)
  • Guys, Check it out…Microsoft previewed the next major release of Windows Phone, code named ‘Mango’. This new release brings numerous improvements to the software platform and developer tools. Click link for details. Check this out: beta releases of the Windows Phone Developer Tools that support Mango are now available for download. Developers can use this beta release to get ready for the upcoming Windows Phone OS release. The new application platform capabilities coming in Mango deliver the top features.
  • I went into a new ATT store (Jacksonville, Fl) about 2 weeks after launch looking for a cover for my focus and asked one of the sales staff, "Where are your cases for the Samsung Focus?", he replied, "who makes that phone, Android?". I said no, "its the new Windows Phone 7 device that just launched". He still had a hard time understanding.All AT&T wants to sell is iPhone, starting from their website all the way down to their outlets. Thats all you see, oh yeah even when you call their 1800 number they are trying to push and iPhone down your throat.Microsoft will come out on top becsause WP7 is so ahead of the game people will not be able to ignore it much longer. Its just sad that ATT is blaming Microsoft for low sales. Its your fault ATT!!!
  • Hard to sell?? When I got my phone, I asked for it by name, and the AT&T store manager practically tried to talk me out of it. He had nothing good to say about the phone at all, tried to talk me into getting an Android instead, just kind of looked at me with this WTH face while I showed the phone to my wife, then wandered off and had someone else check us out. They also didn't have one in stock, I had to have it mailed to me.
  • Alot of people enter stores wanting "what other people have." i use a Samsung focus, 1 of 2 phones. Objectively, windows has a longer set up process due to creating the live account, if you don't have one already. Now after creating the live account, its different UI has to be demonstrated, most notably the tap quickly and tap N hold gestures. The reason you want to demo as any good salesrep would tell you is to reduce churn rates. Its no brainer why "Droid" has gained popularity is BC of the ads screaming "Droid" in a movietrailer fashion. Anywho, there is alot of benefits to Wp7, i won't reiterate ita benefits as i love my wp7. Funny how droid fragmentation is not mentioned either!!