CHICAGO (Reuters) - About 40 percent of people who have shown an early interest in Apple’s iPhone are not AT&T’s wireless customers, the phone company’s Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Tuesday, suggesting the device may help it gain market share.
AT&T has an exclusive agreement to sell the eagerly anticipated device that combines a cell phone with the popular iPod digital music player. The iPhone is set to hit stores on June 29.
More than 1 million people have signed up for information on the iPhone. Any subscriber to a rival U.S. wireless network has to switch to AT&T to use it.
“Of the one million plus (people), research is showing that 40 percent are not AT&T wireless customers today. That speaks volumes to us,” Stephenson said in a speech at the NXTcomm communications conference in Chicago.
“I really believe this is going to be a game changer. Not only for us but the industry at large,” he said.
Priced at $500 (250 pounds) to $600, the iPhone may be out of reach for the average consumer for now. But analysts say the device may help AT&T lure wealthier customers to its service and attract more consumers to its stores.
AT&T shares traded 10 cents higher to $40.11 in morning trading while Apple shares fell 1.5 percent to $123.18.