Getting in shape for the holidays is no longer just personal vanity -- with an economy growing uglier by the day, it's gone corporate in a big way. Bellwether telecom AT&T
And AT&T certainly has company. Sprint Nextel
AT&T is seeing a larger trend of customers getting rid of landlines in favor of going all wireless. And this is actually being incentivized by the carriers -- their offer of unlimited wireless plans and no long distance charges leaves little reason for customers to justify the extra expense of the traditional landline. It's also tough to go back to using a boring, tethered phone when you've got a cool device like an iPhone or Research In Motion's
The other motivation behind the layoffs is consolidation. AT&T has been going through a major transformation over the past few years as wireless has become a key growth factor. It has integrated SBC and BellSouth, and most recently announced the purchase of Centennial Communications and Wayport. Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon Communications
The layoffs will cost the company about $600 million in the fourth quarter, but in the long-term, the cuts, combined with its plans to reduce capital spending, will help AT&T maintain its cash efficiency. I view the move as positive since AT&T has a good track record on consolidation, unlike others in the business such as telecommunications equipment maker Nortel
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Fool contributor Dave Mock thinks tree tinsel is more effort than it's worth. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Sprint Nextel is an Inside Value selection. Google is a Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Stock Advisor recommendation The Fool's disclosure policy won't shake the wrapped presents.