AT&T CEO Obviously Not a Fan of Google


There’s an article on the Wall Street Journal today that talks about AT&T and their reaction to Verizon’s willingness to cozy up to Google and Android.  While CEO Randall Stephenson acknowledges that they have done a terrible job could do better with Android, he promises “radical changes” in the next six months.  Let’s hope so.  The first two handsets out of the gate for the carrier haven’t set the world on fire and seem to fly in the face of what the platform is all about.

Speaking of which, Stephenson places much of the blame on Google.  For some reason he thinks Google is heavy handed and “insists on having its search engine prominent on the device” which as he puts it, is the opposite of the openness that is Android.  Sorry Randall but Google doesn’t insist on anything.  They provide a platform that carriers and handset makers can tweak.  Sounds more like you insist on using your buddies over at Yahoo! instead.   And you know what else?  You don’t have much room to talk about control and companies throwing their weight around.  Apple has led you around by the nose for a few years now, doing whatever they want with their iPhone.  Oh, by the way… there is a reason that Google’s search currently enjoys an 84-percent market share.  It’s because it’s better than whatever you’ve got.

Later in the article, Stephenson points out the difference in media coverage between AT&T  and Google.  As a primer, last week hackers found, and exploited, a vulnerability on their  customer service website.  Approximately 114,000 emails addresses were given out including those belonging to public officials and celebrities.  By contrast, Google recently came out and publicly admitted they had collected “payload data” during StreetView scanning.  For more on the Google situation, I recommend this SAI article from today.  Regardless of who did what, it just comes across as lame to have someone point out the differences, especially in a CEO position.

I am reminded of situations where, as a child, my parents would scold my sister or I for something we shouldn’t have done. Typically, the first thing we would do is try to dime the other sibling out over something we perceived to be just as bad, if not worse.  “But mom, Scott did this today and he should get in trouble too.”  I am going to recommend my mother’s advice to Randall Stephenson and AT&T – Worry about yourself, not others.

Really, I think most of AT&T‘s gripe with Google boils down to this…

Google believes there should be one price charged for the delivery of Internet traffic, while AT&T wants to be able to get a return on its investment by charging some companies more for a guaranteed level of speed. – WSJ

Face it.  Google is far more open than you guys are ever willing to be and that just doesn’t sit right with you.  If you don’t start getting Android right soon, you guys will be the laughing stock of the wireless community.  If/when you lose exclusivity with the iPhone, your smart phone lineup will pale by comparison to the others.  Don’t say you were never warned.

  • Craig

    Couldn't of said it better myself.

  • mikeeeee

    the iphone has been out long enough for every smartphone users contract to mature and switch to att. it aint happenin'. i like what i got now and it's only goin' to get better as it has since i got my g-1 in sept 2008.

  • "AT&T wants to be able to get a return on its investment"

    Ahem — what investment would that be? Because they're sure not investing in their network.

    • LOL they just try it and think the investment wont work..

  • Good take on the situation… especially the part about your sister 🙂

  • Aaron

    Scott. The use of "I" is incorrect in your article. …"my parents would scold my sister or I"… That "I" should be a "me", just to let you know

  • Great post.

  • Wow, Lets see AT&T your first Android phone, you never advertised it as android only the motoblur part, you changed it to yahoo instead of giving the users a choice and you locked it up so no one could download apps from other places. Am I right? No wonder it didn't do so well. the morons who bought the phone later find out that oh their phone should be able to do this or do that. but it can't because you said NO. You're Apple's little puppy, that misbehaves but does what it they say. Go cry in your corerner because we dn't care.

  • webby

    Did you say everything just like Mr. Jobs told you to say it, Mr. CEO?

  • This is the exact reason i'm planning on leaving AT&T when my contract expires in December. If they don't bring out a phone that has Android with Google as the default search and the abilty to install non market apps,than i'm heading to TMO or Verizon.

  • Too late. AT&T already is the laughing stock of the wireless world. Totally chaining themselves to the sinking ball & chain that is Apple & iPhone will be the demise of AT&T…. unless they're able to break free of Apple in time… and somehow begin to offer competitive pricing. Two things they've so far been unable to do.

  • Brian

    Not cool using Jill Greenberg's image without permission or even a credit.

  • thanks for sharing man 🙂

  • eka

    nice post. thanks for info