Google today launched two new features for Google Maps for Android: a Wi-Fi Only mode, and the option to store offline map data on removable memory cards. Together, the two features are especially useful for those traveling overseas, where data roaming is expensive. The Wi-Fi Only mode allows users to stay connected to data networks for functions like email, while avoiding data charges for mapping, relying instead only on offline map data previously downloaded, and on Wi-Fi service when available. Users can also download extensive map data before their trip — or over Wi-Fi while traveling — and store it on a removable memory card for navigation without using mobile data while roaming. The features are also useful for non-traveling users with limited data plans or spotty service locally. The company did not announce whether the Wi-Fi Only mode will come to Google Maps for iOS.
This holiday season was supposed to be great because at&t stated to us that we would be getting the Apple iPhone in the early part of November. We are not able to sell the Apple iPhone until at&t makes some changes in our contract allowing us to authorized to sell the Apple iPhone. If we are caught selling the iPhone we are in breach of our contract and may lose our at&t dealership. November came and went with no iPhone for any at&t indirect agents. This hurt in this economy, not able to sell the most sought after mobile phone in history. We turn away scores of potential customers because we don’t carry the device that everyone wants.
Luckily for us the new Blackberry Bold 9700 was released at the end of November. We are Blackberry experts at our store locations so when it was to be released on November 22nd we had already been selling since November 18th. We were picking up in sales at the end of November but we started off so slow we would not reach our goal for the last quarter. Then the Blackberry devices were dropped in price for the holidays and the buying frenzy begun. We still have 2 days left before Christmas and we surpassed or sales goal already. The Blackberry and the reduced price helped us throughout the season. We are thankful for the help we got but still resentful for not having the iPhone. I can only imagine what our sales would have been if we had the Apple iPhone in our stores for the holidays. I know one thing the at&t corporate stores would have suffered because there customer service sucks.
Now we can only hope for the best in 2010. The Android phones and the new Sony Ericsson PDA phone will help shake up the market spurring sales and I know we will eventually carry the iPhone. Next year look for new at&t plans with expanded mobile to mobile with all carriers like Sprint is offering now and more non contract offerings.
I was so happy when at&t told us we were finally going to sell the Apple iPhone in our stores last month. This would be just in time for the holidays, I was worried business has been slow and this would boost business tremendously. We turn away at least 5 people a day to the at&t corporate stores or the Apple store because we do not sell the Apple iPhone. This Apple iPhone has been the top selling cell phone for the last few years but at&t indirect agents like ourselves could not sell the phone or they would lose there license to sell at&t products. It was two slaps in the face when Best Buy and Wallmart got to sell the iPhone before us.
At&t had made an agreement with Apple so the indirect agents could not carry the Apple iPhone. I assume because it would keep the iPhone an exclusive product but that’s my assumption. We have been waiting impatiently for our chance to carry the most profitable item that at&t has carried in years but we just got slap again. We were told only one select indirect agent would get the phone this year. I will not name that agent but they do have over 20 stores in South Florida and we only have 2. It did not matter our stores was rated best in customer service, best in customer satisfaction and the best for customer repeat business. The one agent that will get the Apple iPhone was not as half as good as us but they do have pull because of the amount of stores they have. The at&t corporate stores were rated lowest on this scale for customer satisfaction and return business. I guess why would you go to an at&t corporate store that the employees are not knowledgeable and there customer service skills suck unless there was a product like the Apple iPhone that you only could get there.
We were told now next year in January we would be able to carry the Apple iPhone after the holiday season had ended. I hope the Google Android phones kicks Apples ass and when Verizon get the Apple products and I hope Verizon keeps on kicking at&t ass. Sorry at&t you don’t have any loyalty to your agents who do most of your business.