AT&T achieves Zen state of unintentional irony

Wireless carrier rooting for Lumia to succeed because more competition is good!

We're apparently witnessing a type of arms race among mobile industry players to see who can make the most unintentionally (if not outrageously) ironic comment. Last week an executive from Research in Motion slammed an app maker that had just abandoned the beleaguered BlackBerry platform, accusing it of falling into irrelevance because it failed "to pivot five years ago." Yes, an RIM executive said this about another company. By the way, the first iPhone came out five years ago. Just sayin'. Now, though, AT&T has entered the irony sweepstakes, and the wireless giant does not disappoint. According to this Bloomberg article, AT&T and Verizon, wary of a potential smartphone duopoly, are rooting for Nokia's Windows-based Lumia 900 to gain a foothold in the U.S. That's because the carriers are paying costly subsidies to make the iPhone and Android devices affordable to customers, which crimps profits and leaves the carriers at the mercy of just two companies controlling the vast majority of the U.S. smartphone market. However, if they can sell more Lumias, the carriers can increase their margins and perhaps pressure Apple, especially, to eat more of the iPhone's cost. Here's what AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said in the Bloomberg article-- Oh wait, now might be a good time to remind readers of AT&T's vicious and failed battle last year with anti-trust regulators over the company's $39 billion bid to acquire T-Mobile USA, an acquisition the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission fought despite AT&T's claim that fewer wireless carriers would benefit U.S. customers. Anyway, here's AT&T CFO John Stephens:

"We want the Lumia to succeed - we love to have competition in the handset market. It's always better to have more choices for your customers."

Always better, indeed. Keep up the good fight for consumers everywhere, AT&T. We need you.

Chris Nerney writes ITworld's Tech Business Today blog. Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisNerney. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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