AT&T Inc, the exclusive U.S. provider for Apple Inc's iPhone, will include phones with bigger, brighter screens for services like mobile video in its future device portfolio, a top executive for the company said on Wednesday.
Jeff Bradley, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service's senior vice president overseeing devices, made the comment a day after HTC Corp announced a phone for rival Sprint Nextel with a screen 30 percent bigger than the iPhone . Also on Tuesday, Samsung Electronics announced a phone called Galaxy S with a new brighter display technology. “We'll have those kind of devices with those kinds of capabilities in the portfolio,” Bradley said without naming the specific phones AT&T will select. “There's a definite trend toward big, vivid displays,” he said. But the executive noted that his company would also keep selling more traditional phones. He listed four categories of phones that would be important going forward including devices like BlackBerrys from Research in Motion with a computer style QWERTY keyboard and ones with a keyboard that slides out from under the screen. “One size doesn't fit all,” the executive said noting that the company would also sell a lot of cheaper devices that are not as powerful as smartphones like iPhone but have a keyboard designed for people who like to send text messages. Bradley said the company is getting ready to sell another three phones based on Google Inc's Android software in the next quarter or so, as promised in January this year. The executive declined comment on how long more AT&T's exclusive right to sell iPhones here would last. Some analysts see the agreement ending this year while others expect the company to do whatever it can to keep exclusivity.
At the CTIA annual wireless show, AT&T announced that in the middle of next month it will start selling a MicroCell from Cisco Systems that will improve indoor wireless voice and data services for the next several months. The device would cost $100 for customers who pay an additional $20 a month for unlimited use. Otherwise it would cost about $150.
The company also said that later this year that would let customers of AT&T's U-verse home television service use their cellphone to watch TV shows on the go by steaming them from the digital video recorder at home. Jeff Weber, AT&T's product strategy vice president for U-verse told Reuters that the company is working out contracts with programmers before it can offer the new service. He declined to comment on how much it would cost consumers. “What's pretty clear is there's a willingness to pay,” he said. “What we'll charge if we'll charge we haven't decided.”