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Engadget Interview with AT&T mobility CEO

I know this is an old article from engadget, just wanted to share AT&T’s take on Nokia and explanation of my “It takes 2 to tango post”. You heard it from Nokia (“How can we deal with AT&T, their crippling our phones”) Now its time to hear it on AT&T’s side.

If you would like to read the whole article you can click here.

“ENGADGET: I want to talk a little bit about some of this consumer choice you’re referencing in some of these handsets. Specifically with regard to Symbian, I think that’s actually a really good example of where AT&T and other carriers desire to have control over platform software and release, which has really held things back. When the E62 was due for launch, it was delayed continuously. Same thing with the N75. Symbian has had a really difficult time making its way into America. Especially on AT&T. So, what is it about releasing these types of devices? Why is it that the process that’s in place right now for releasing advanced devices is so effective at keeping us behind in the wireless world–

AT&T CEO: Actually that is my pet peeve, but it’s not because it’s not because it keeps us behind. In the case of Nokia, you can talk to their executives. My biggest pet peeves is saying purposefully releasing the devices in Europe first and then we get them months or years after they have been released in Europe because that’s their biggest market. And so my biggest pet peeve with Nokia in particular, and you can talk to them — because I’ve certainly talked to them on this — is, why are you releasing that device in Europe first, and then letting us having it device 6 months or even later in the US? And their reason is that’s their core market. So they release and develop everything to work in Europe first. Now as a result of our complaining they have built a development lab in San Diego to begin to develop devices for the US. They are still not on par with other companies, but that is my biggest pet peeve. Why are you doing these things for Europe first, as opposed to us. So its not that we have been holding it up. They have not been giving it to us at the same time that they have been giving them to European operators.

ENGADGET: The N75 is a device that Nokia developed specifically for AT&T, for US spectrum and with your 3G network. And that was a device that was held up continuously. It wasn’t on their head, right? I mean, they developed it specifically for this market. So the holdup can only be at AT&T.

AT&T CEO: No, not really. We spend a lot of time testing devices to make sure that they work and they do what they are supposed to do. And most often times when we get a device we reject it because the device doesn’t work and they have to go in and tweak the software. I don’t know the specifics on the N76 because at time that was released I was running our wired business, so I can’t speak to that one in detail. But I can speak to the E62 because I was there when that device was launched, and it was full of flaws. We have a very strong commitment that we are not going to put out a phone that has flaws in it. So our customers don’t end up calling us and getting upset with us when it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. We do have a very rigorous process to make sure that the phones work right, but not because we are trying to keep anybody out.

In fact, one of our key strategic imperatives is to develop and deliver compelling products and services to our customers. Compelling meaning, they are the coolest, they are the latest, and that’s why you’ve seen us lead the market with the RAZR, the Blackjack, the iPhone with the HTC Tilt, and the Pantech Duo, and those kinds of cool devices. But they have got to step over the bar that says when I put them in a customer’s hands they do what they are supposed to do. We are very, very focused on that, and I guess we’ve paid the price on that when we try to get some devices out to the market. Without going through the testing they invariably have bugs and I don’t want my customers to find those bugs.”

Hmmmnnn.. Pretty valid reason, So you heard it Nokia! In order for AT&T to accept you here in the US you have to be fair. Whatever mobile device you put out in Europe must also come out here in the US as soon as possible.

As for the 2nd question.. Come on AT&T enough with the bull.. Stop crippling AT&T phones!! Not just talking about Nokia, I’m talking in general.

I just hope these 2 companies settle their differences. Isn’t the image above look beautiful? I hope it happens soon..