Getting cranky phone calls from Steve Jobs demanding to know why you're wasting his time with 100 pages on keyboards. Being told by your chief technology officer that you're crazy for giving in to Apple. Having to tell people you're betting on Jobs, not some unseen, unknown future device. That's just some of what AT&T and their executives experienced when they signed the exclusive deal with Apple for the iPhone. Connie Guglielmo reports on AT&T's take for Forbes:
AT&T had a 1,000-page manual that detailed how suppliers should build a mobile radio optimized for its network. “ He said, ‘Well, send it to me.’ So I sent him an e-mail. Thirty seconds, he calls me back. ‘Hey, what the … ? What’s going on? You’re sending me this big document, and the first 100 pages have to do with the standard keyboard,’ ” de la Vega says, laughing. ‘ “ Sorry we didn’t take those first 100 pages out, Steve. Forget those 100 pages. Those don’t apply to you.’ He says, ‘Okay,’ and he hangs up the phone.”
All of this by way of setting up AT&T's claims that the iPhone helped transform the company to one that's willing to invest more in networks, take more risks on technology, and "mobilize everything". (Hopefully with one, shared, data-is-date account, right? Right...?)
Give it a read and then let me know if it reflects the AT&T you've experienced over the years, and if you're just as interested in where they're going.