AT&T adds 2,000 staff for iPhone launch
By Stevie Smith Jun 22, 2007, 12:37 GMT
As the media hype train thunders on unopposed alongside the upcoming release of Apple’s eagerly awaited iPhone handset, the device’s sole carrier is preparing for the sudden rush of business it’s likely to experience come the day of retail reckoning on June 29.
More pointedly, San Antonio-based AT&T Inc. has this week revealed it has hired some 2,000 temporary store staff in order to better cope with the arrival, and subsequent frantic departure, of the iPhone, which will mark Apple Inc.’s very first entry into the hotly contested mobile phone market when it arrives in seven days.
According to a related Reuters news agency report, both AT&T and Apple have stated that the stylish and trend-friendly iPhone will be officially unleashed into the clammy hands of expectant tech consumers at 6 p.m. local time across the United States.
Regarding the sudden influx of staff to AT&T’s ranks, a company spokesman revealed that, in light of "significant demand," AT&T’s 1,800 nationwide stores would be receiving additional help to better channel consumer interest into quick and easy turnover. The AT&T wireless division currently holds an estimated 58,000 employees, which means the company has raised its staff levels by approximately 3.4 percent in readiness of the iPhone.
Other features attributed to the iPhone include a complete lack of a button (key) interface – therefore allowing the handset to be dominated by its impressively sized touchscreen display. It will also come equipped with a mobile Web browser and be fully compatible with Apple’s hugely popular iTunes Store for the download and playback of both music and video files.
The AT&T spokesman also revealed that individual company sales representatives had received specific sales training regarding the iPhone, with an average of six hours of training each equating to around 100,000 hours in total. "This is such an important product we want to make sure people are fully informed," he explained.
The iPhone will retail for $499 USD for the 4GB model and $599 USD for the 8GB model when it launches in both AT&T and Apple stores on Jun 29. As yet, AT&T has not revealed the related service charges iPhone owners will be saddled with when they sign to the default 2-year contract.