Its shelves will stock more than 20 smartphones during the holiday shopping season this year -- including ones running Microsoft and Google software -- as opposed to about 10 in 2009. Yesterday, AT&T reported that more than half of new customers chose a device other than the iPhone last quarter, up from 36% a year earlier.
"We made a conscious decision to give our customers a choice and let them decide what is best for them," says Jeff Bradley, AT&T's devices svp. "We're probably there now, at a critical mass," he says, and the iPhone will be part of that mass "for the foreseeable future."
"It's a very fine line," points out Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners. "If you stuff your store with too much merchandise, you can overwhelm a customer and that can turn them off."