Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The iPhone's Influence Is Alive and Well

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Try as it might, AT&T (NYSE: T  ) is finding it hard to resist the long-term allure of the iPhone.

Glenn Lurie, head of Ma Bell's emerging-devices group, told investors at a conference in Barcelona that the company is negotiating to carry Windows smartphones built by Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) sometime next year. He also said that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) will face "a lot of challenges" in trying to win market share from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Android rivals HTC and Samsung, Bloomberg reported.

Translation: We like Windows, but we know where our bread gets buttered.

Mmmmmm, iPhone
No device has added more flavor to AT&T's recent results than the iPhone. Ma Bell has activated more than 6 million Apple handsets over the past two quarters alone.

Android has also had an impact. Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) mobile OS accounted for about 40% of AT&T's smartphone sales in the second quarter. In Q3, Android handset sales doubled, while close to 50% of all smartphone sales were for something other than an iPhone. All of which, interestingly, speaks to just how alluring the iPhone remains.

Say what you will about Android or new handsets from Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) , but more than half of AT&T subscribers still prefer iCandy -- and that's despite the hoo-ha over Apple's not-quite iPhone 5. (Otherwise known as the iPhone 4S.)

What a Windows Phone means
Lurie wasn't and isn't knocking Windows. He's just admitting what we already know. As good as the new Mango OS looks -- and as good as Windows 8 might be -- developers have already committed huge resources to Android and iOS.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) faced the same issue when it couldn't find a buyer for Palm. WebOS isn't bad; it just isn't so awesome that it deserves attention when compared with the money to be made writing for other operating systems.

AT&T knows this, and like any other carrier, it's going to put the most resources behind handsets built to sell. Will Nokia's Windows handsets fit the profile? Lurie, like the rest of us, is admitting that he doesn't know. Whatever deal Nokia and AT&T come to will reflect this variability, and as a result the terms will come well short of what Ma Bell pays for distributing the iPhone. So while there's going to be plenty of money to be made on the smartphone revolution, betting on Microsoft and Nokia probably isn't the way forward. Both stocks have proved to be market laggards year to date.

To see three hidden winners in this new age of mobility, grab a copy of our brand-new special report on the smartphone and tablet sector. These are not the names you see on store shelves but the real winners hidden behind the scenes of every handset. Get yours today -- this money-making report is 100% free.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Apple, and Microsoft and creating bull call spread positions in Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2011, at 2:52 PM, etgh wrote:

    "Mmmmmm, iPhone"

    I guess the check from Apple arrived and so here we see the result, more "unbiased" journalism.

    I just wish we could get a balanced realistic view of this hot market

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1592324, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/26/2016 12:35:45 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 3 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.27 -53.76 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,143.16 -8.17 -0.38%
NASD 5,283.40 -26.43 -0.50%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/25/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $118.25 Up +0.60 +0.51%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
BBRY $7.27 Down -0.08 -1.09%
BlackBerry CAPS Rating: *
GOOGL $828.55 Down -7.19 -0.86%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
HPQ $13.90 Down -0.07 -0.50%
HP CAPS Rating: ***
MSFT $60.99 Down -0.01 -0.02%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****
NOK $4.97 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Nokia CAPS Rating: **
T $36.70 Down -0.16 -0.43%
AT and T CAPS Rating: ****