Can AT&T copy Apple?

[Crossposted at SpreadingScience]

AT&T wireless store revamp to emphasize smartwatches, home security and more 
[Via – Yahoo Finance]

As growth in the wireless phone business slows, AT&T (T) is rebooting its vast chain of retail stores to put more emphasis on other offerings, from wearables and tablets to video, connected car and home security services.

The second-largest U.S. wireless company plans to open a series of larger flagship stores with dedicated areas for each segment along with a modernizing revamp of many of its current 2,000 outlets, Yahoo Finance has learned.


Apple has created a huge ecosystem that incorporates so much more than just selling computers, cellphones and software. It has created, and is tremendously focussed, on sustaining a community.

A community that continues to support Apple, as long as that focus is laser-like. To Apple, those people are not consumers but are customers deserving of the best.

AT&T also has millions of people that use it. And it is rapidly becoming much more than simply a wireless company ≠ home automation and security. It could actually model itself after Apple, with a warm connection to the people who drop by its online and real-life stores.

But it must make a key change away from what the multi-national, mass production companies of the 20th century have moved towards.

The users need to be treated as customers rather than consumers. They take an active part in the social interaction that is a purchase, rather than passively but things.

That will be a tall order to fill.

Image: Matt Buchanan @ flickr

2 thoughts on “Can AT&T copy Apple?

  1. 40-50 years ago, ATT was consumer-oriented. Customer service was marvelous and low level operators could help you. THEN THE MINUTE MANAGER crowd took over and there were a hundred different departments and each of them had a different screen and system. I have dealt with them all my life and I could tell you stories………
    Back then, of course, it was women who knew what was going on who dealt with costumes and not college punks who only had “book larnin’, Maybe they are going back to that culture!!!!!

    1. This is actually something I discuss in my workshops – the ways many companies organized themselves to take advatage of mass production approaches of the 20th century are often no longer successful in a wired world.

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