Apple, er AT&T, tells corporate types to pound sand

Don MacAskill is the CEO of SmugMug, a popular photosharing service. His crew wanted to get iPhones. So, he had an idea that he was going to stand in line and buy a bunch of iPhones for his entire company. Well, of course, life doesn’t quite work out like that. Apple apparently doesn’t want to sell to corporate types and isn’t going to let Don register the iPhones to his AT&T corporate accounts.

We’ll see.

But, in the meantime, don’t expect YOUR boss to buy you an iPhone.

Anyway, join us in line tomorrow. Patrick and I will be there by noon. Come by for lunch!

Comments

  1. Scott Bourne distributed his effort to accomplish the same. Evidently he has lackeys stationed at various Apple and AT&T stores in more than one state.

    I hope you get one!

  2. Scott Bourne distributed his effort to accomplish the same. Evidently he has lackeys stationed at various Apple and AT&T stores in more than one state.

    I hope you get one!

  3. For sure Apple wants to sell iPhone to business. They’re just being smart about how they do it…

    The way they’re playing this will make iPhone *the* new status symbol and talking point among executives – “Oh, do you still use a Blackberry? I find my iPhone is so much more powerful. Here, check out the web browser… see, you just double tap… etc…

  4. For sure Apple wants to sell iPhone to business. They’re just being smart about how they do it…

    The way they’re playing this will make iPhone *the* new status symbol and talking point among executives – “Oh, do you still use a Blackberry? I find my iPhone is so much more powerful. Here, check out the web browser… see, you just double tap… etc…

  5. Apple does not want to sell to corporate types? That’s good market segmentation. The reality is for the form/function and the 2.5G network, I could not recommend any of my corporate clients (I help CIOs negotiate technology contracts) pay $ 3-400 each more than comparable PDAs/Pocket PCs. In reading some of the initial reviews, the iPhone in version 1 regresses some of the features many in the market have. And lacking corporate apps for scanning, location aware, other fucntionality. All that might come, but not in first few months.

    Let’s face it, the iPhone is a Apple fan phenomenon. With soft reviews from the Pogues and Mossbergs, who have always been Apple fans (plenty of MSM is still pissed off with MS for winning the overall PC battle).

    Jobs is smart to sell to his defined, loyal market – why not upgrade iPod fans than go through a long sales cycle with a CIO?

  6. Apple does not want to sell to corporate types? That’s good market segmentation. The reality is for the form/function and the 2.5G network, I could not recommend any of my corporate clients (I help CIOs negotiate technology contracts) pay $ 3-400 each more than comparable PDAs/Pocket PCs. In reading some of the initial reviews, the iPhone in version 1 regresses some of the features many in the market have. And lacking corporate apps for scanning, location aware, other fucntionality. All that might come, but not in first few months.

    Let’s face it, the iPhone is a Apple fan phenomenon. With soft reviews from the Pogues and Mossbergs, who have always been Apple fans (plenty of MSM is still pissed off with MS for winning the overall PC battle).

    Jobs is smart to sell to his defined, loyal market – why not upgrade iPod fans than go through a long sales cycle with a CIO?

  7. Duh. Where’s the evidence that Apple told the guy to pound sand? More likely, whoever he spoke to, probably at a local Apple store, told him that the iPhone will be sold only to individuals one at a time DURING THE LAUNCH. Furthermore, the policy of one to one sells at first, which has appeared in most news stories since yesterday, is not even about corporate purchases per se. If Mr. More Important Than Other iPhone Owner Wannabes had said he wanted to buy iPhones for Mom, Dad, his siblings and 30 cousins he would gotten the same answer, consanguinity notwithstanding. If the fellow is willing to sign multiple contracts for iPhones after the supply stabilizes, I’m sure he will be accommodated. Really, Scoble, you are forcing me to channel LazY by misrepresenting a scenario that isn’t even hard to figure out. Drop the FUD, dude.

  8. Duh. Where’s the evidence that Apple told the guy to pound sand? More likely, whoever he spoke to, probably at a local Apple store, told him that the iPhone will be sold only to individuals one at a time DURING THE LAUNCH. Furthermore, the policy of one to one sells at first, which has appeared in most news stories since yesterday, is not even about corporate purchases per se. If Mr. More Important Than Other iPhone Owner Wannabes had said he wanted to buy iPhones for Mom, Dad, his siblings and 30 cousins he would gotten the same answer, consanguinity notwithstanding. If the fellow is willing to sign multiple contracts for iPhones after the supply stabilizes, I’m sure he will be accommodated. Really, Scoble, you are forcing me to channel LazY by misrepresenting a scenario that isn’t even hard to figure out. Drop the FUD, dude.

  9. After reading McCaskill’s blog entry more closely, I still think he is making his criticism prematurely. There are two issues:

    •Scarcity at launch, and

    •Corporate accounts taking responsibility for iPhone purchases.

    It seems reasonable to expect the first to be dealt with immediately, and the second, later. Perhaps AT&T is concerned about the viability of some who will claim corporate accounts. After all, people are going to incredible lengths to get the iPhone.

  10. After reading McCaskill’s blog entry more closely, I still think he is making his criticism prematurely. There are two issues:

    •Scarcity at launch, and

    •Corporate accounts taking responsibility for iPhone purchases.

    It seems reasonable to expect the first to be dealt with immediately, and the second, later. Perhaps AT&T is concerned about the viability of some who will claim corporate accounts. After all, people are going to incredible lengths to get the iPhone.

  11. Robert,

    If you could sell every widget you could make, would you sell them at a discount?

    There is plenty of time to go after the corporate market.

  12. Robert,

    If you could sell every widget you could make, would you sell them at a discount?

    There is plenty of time to go after the corporate market.

  13. Nice link baiting. Even though McCaskill “technically” has a “corporate plan”, I would hardly classify his company as a “corporate account”. Somehow I think a corporation like GM, Ford, Citigroup, etc would have a bit more success. Just because you have a “corporate” account doesn’t mean AT&T views you in the same category as the F500.

  14. Nice link baiting. Even though McCaskill “technically” has a “corporate plan”, I would hardly classify his company as a “corporate account”. Somehow I think a corporation like GM, Ford, Citigroup, etc would have a bit more success. Just because you have a “corporate” account doesn’t mean AT&T views you in the same category as the F500.

  15. Mossbergs has “always been” an Apple fan? Obviously someone wasn’t reading the WSJ in the 1990’s…

  16. Mossbergs has “always been” an Apple fan? Obviously someone wasn’t reading the WSJ in the 1990’s…

  17. From what I’ve read, Aplle will be selling online also and AT&T has said they will be filling orders via instore or direct dilevery (not their site though). If I was corporate I certainly wouldn’t be standing in line, I’d be having them shipped direct.

  18. From what I’ve read, Aplle will be selling online also and AT&T has said they will be filling orders via instore or direct dilevery (not their site though). If I was corporate I certainly wouldn’t be standing in line, I’d be having them shipped direct.

  19. to 12…in the 90s Apple was executing so poorly in corporate environments that the ink it got in a business publication like WSJ way exceeded what it should have…

    I was in a Mac shop and wanted Apple to do well, but the apps on it were so limited and so behind in functioanlity…you can blame MS, IBM, Apple itself whoever for why it failed in corporate market in 90s …but one industry it did well in was media/publishing and I always thought journalists projected their personal experience to the world ignoring that traders, accountants, sales, shop florr people did not have much on that platform.

    I would love to see Apple powerbooks and iPhones do well in corporate world, but they need a wider tange apps and much better pricing to be able to do so…to which my question as above is – why should it bother. It has a nice niche …there is life beyond corporate business

  20. to 12…in the 90s Apple was executing so poorly in corporate environments that the ink it got in a business publication like WSJ way exceeded what it should have…

    I was in a Mac shop and wanted Apple to do well, but the apps on it were so limited and so behind in functioanlity…you can blame MS, IBM, Apple itself whoever for why it failed in corporate market in 90s …but one industry it did well in was media/publishing and I always thought journalists projected their personal experience to the world ignoring that traders, accountants, sales, shop florr people did not have much on that platform.

    I would love to see Apple powerbooks and iPhones do well in corporate world, but they need a wider tange apps and much better pricing to be able to do so…to which my question as above is – why should it bother. It has a nice niche …there is life beyond corporate business

  21. @Podesta:

    This wasn’t some Apple rep. This was our AT&T account rep, our business account rep @ Apple (we spent more than $500K/year with Apple), and some Apple VPs.

    They’re all very clear – if the account isn’t “personal responsibility” (ie, you pay the bill and your Social is on the account), you cannot buy an iPhone.

  22. @Podesta:

    This wasn’t some Apple rep. This was our AT&T account rep, our business account rep @ Apple (we spent more than $500K/year with Apple), and some Apple VPs.

    They’re all very clear – if the account isn’t “personal responsibility” (ie, you pay the bill and your Social is on the account), you cannot buy an iPhone.

  23. Why not tell corporate IT sector to pound sand. Many of the mythes perpectuated about Apples compatibility, are still driven by corporate IT depts. Apple pulled itself out of the hole and in spite of the FUD coming from corporate IT. Why should they start bending over backwards for that market when it has been that market that has left them for dead for the past 2 decades.
    I not suggesting that Apple shouldn’t cater to what is obviously a lucrative market. I’m just saying let them stand in line like everyone else. They should get no special treatment, cause left to them Apple would not exist today.

  24. Why not tell corporate IT sector to pound sand. Many of the mythes perpectuated about Apples compatibility, are still driven by corporate IT depts. Apple pulled itself out of the hole and in spite of the FUD coming from corporate IT. Why should they start bending over backwards for that market when it has been that market that has left them for dead for the past 2 decades.
    I not suggesting that Apple shouldn’t cater to what is obviously a lucrative market. I’m just saying let them stand in line like everyone else. They should get no special treatment, cause left to them Apple would not exist today.

  25. @Sean McGee:

    It’s not clear that the SIMs are switchable. No-one seems to know. If they are, I’m home free – we already all have AT&T SIMs.

    Do you know?

  26. @Sean McGee:

    It’s not clear that the SIMs are switchable. No-one seems to know. If they are, I’m home free – we already all have AT&T SIMs.

    Do you know?

  27. Don –
    Remember back in the days of Fatbrain? We couldn’t control mobile user connectivity to the corp network, and it was complicated to lockdown, provide security, manage user access and a number of other things is one main reason why we never implemented BlackBerry to the Exchange infrastructure there. Even WinMobile has only recently begun to truly support a corporate-supported experience. Most new devices start out as individual user units, and it is only when major corporations (like Fortune500s) get on the bandwagon, that external application providers begin making the tools to allow corporations to lock things down and manage the systems. Even now, with compliance requirements, that game has gotten much more complicated!

    Apple is going to push off 99% of the support to AT&T and I don’t think that AT&T is ready for the SLA demands of corporate accounts so sticking with the one-off users for the first year or two is their safety net if things blow up!

  28. Don –
    Remember back in the days of Fatbrain? We couldn’t control mobile user connectivity to the corp network, and it was complicated to lockdown, provide security, manage user access and a number of other things is one main reason why we never implemented BlackBerry to the Exchange infrastructure there. Even WinMobile has only recently begun to truly support a corporate-supported experience. Most new devices start out as individual user units, and it is only when major corporations (like Fortune500s) get on the bandwagon, that external application providers begin making the tools to allow corporations to lock things down and manage the systems. Even now, with compliance requirements, that game has gotten much more complicated!

    Apple is going to push off 99% of the support to AT&T and I don’t think that AT&T is ready for the SLA demands of corporate accounts so sticking with the one-off users for the first year or two is their safety net if things blow up!

  29. So, can’t you just buy scads of iPhones and register them under your SSN, Don? (With one for me as a ‘consultant’ to your firm, of course.)

    Darryl, that was a rather Machiavellian comment. Are YOU Fake Steve Jobs?

  30. So, can’t you just buy scads of iPhones and register them under your SSN, Don? (With one for me as a ‘consultant’ to your firm, of course.)

    Darryl, that was a rather Machiavellian comment. Are YOU Fake Steve Jobs?

  31. 18, 19 – David Pogue of NY Times who has been testing the phone last few days says no swappable SIM. AT&T wants you to pay $ 2.99 a minute when you roam in India and $ 3.49 in Romania. Plus $ 5 a month for intl roaming, Plus taxes…-)

  32. 18, 19 – David Pogue of NY Times who has been testing the phone last few days says no swappable SIM. AT&T wants you to pay $ 2.99 a minute when you roam in India and $ 3.49 in Romania. Plus $ 5 a month for intl roaming, Plus taxes…-)

  33. Podesta,
    Machiavellian? Perhaps my comment could be viewed as such. FSJ would probably be proud. I’m flattered by the comparison, however, my point was that for along time Apple attempted to breakdown the Corporate IT walls to no avail. They’ve had to rebuild themselves by specifically not focusing on that sector. I don’t think they should change the strategy that’s saved the company just because some parts of the IT sector wants in now. Once again, not saying that Apple should not give attention to any part of the market place that has interest in their products. I’m just saying that corporate IT doesn’t deserve special treatment, as far as Apple is concerned, and should stand in line like everyone else.

  34. Podesta,
    Machiavellian? Perhaps my comment could be viewed as such. FSJ would probably be proud. I’m flattered by the comparison, however, my point was that for along time Apple attempted to breakdown the Corporate IT walls to no avail. They’ve had to rebuild themselves by specifically not focusing on that sector. I don’t think they should change the strategy that’s saved the company just because some parts of the IT sector wants in now. Once again, not saying that Apple should not give attention to any part of the market place that has interest in their products. I’m just saying that corporate IT doesn’t deserve special treatment, as far as Apple is concerned, and should stand in line like everyone else.

  35. Just talked to an AT&T rep…He said you have to have the iPhone service added to your account in order for your SIM card to work. And, as you cannot add iPhone service to a corporate account, it will not work.

    Of course, that could be a load of Bull. But I’m not paying 500+ to find out.

  36. Just talked to an AT&T rep…He said you have to have the iPhone service added to your account in order for your SIM card to work. And, as you cannot add iPhone service to a corporate account, it will not work.

    Of course, that could be a load of Bull. But I’m not paying 500+ to find out.

  37. I’ve had a terrible experience getting my iPhone activated (coming from a Corporate account). In one hand AT&T states that iPhones can be added to corporate account as an approved device, in the other hand you can’t do it when you try.

    My full iPhone history (3 years of useless paperweight pain) at http://blog.arabx.com.au/?cat=49

  38. I’ve had a terrible experience getting my iPhone activated (coming from a Corporate account). In one hand AT&T states that iPhones can be added to corporate account as an approved device, in the other hand you can’t do it when you try.

    My full iPhone history (3 years of useless paperweight pain) at http://blog.arabx.com.au/?cat=49

  39. I have had the same mobile number since 1987. Yes 1987. But it is an old BellSouth/Cingular number. It can not be moved to an individual account. I am now faced with either getting a new number and giving up my old. Or hanging on to my old number (and keep paying for it) and see if APPLE forces AT&T to fix this issue with business accounts. AT&T has NEVER understood consumer marketing.

  40. I have had the same mobile number since 1987. Yes 1987. But it is an old BellSouth/Cingular number. It can not be moved to an individual account. I am now faced with either getting a new number and giving up my old. Or hanging on to my old number (and keep paying for it) and see if APPLE forces AT&T to fix this issue with business accounts. AT&T has NEVER understood consumer marketing.