by Dave LeClair
May 6, 2012
Everyone knows that the iPhone is a big seller. When it was exclusive to AT&T a few years ago, every carrier under the sun was looking to get their hands on the hottest selling smartphone ever. So, now that Verizon Wireless is selling the device, they must be pushing it like crazy, right? You would think so, but you might not be correct. We first reported on Verizon trying to steer customers away from the iPhone and towards Android devices a couple of days ago, and now even more sources are finding that this the case. Cnet sent Chris Matyszczyk to the field to investigate reports of Verizon reps pushing people away from the iPhone and towards other devices. According to their report, the desire to sell you something else starts the moment you walk in the store, where the iPhones are tucked away in a corner by themselves. They seem to be given less space than many of the other devices. It doesn't end with location, because they also tried to push Matyszczyk into the Droid Razr and a Galaxy Nexus, even though he went there interested in an iPhone. Of course, when the rep was asked what kind of phone he had, he pulled an iPhone from his pocket. I didn't think much of it at the time, but my girlfriend recently went to Verizon to get rid of her Android device and get an iPhone. She walked into the store and told the rep that she wanted a black iPhone 4S 32GB. He immediately walked her over to some Androids and began telling her how much faster they were and why she should want them instead. She insisted, and after one last push, he gave in and sold her the phone she actually asked for. I used to be a sales representative for an AT&T store, and we used to lose a sizable amount of money on each iPhone sold. Of course, they make up for it with the data plan. However, if the profit is higher on an Android and they come with the same data plan, it makes sense that Verizon would choose to push those devices instead. Many are speculating that this is based on commission, but if Verizon pays anything like AT&T, the reps are paid for plans, not devices. If you sell a $30 per month data plan, it pays the same to the rep, regardless of the device. My guess is that this is a request from the higher ups at Verizon — not a choice by the individual reps trying to fatten their wallet — to sell devices with a higher profit margin. What do you guys think? Does Verizon have it out for the iPhone, or are these just isolated incidents?