Wednesday’s a big day for tech events in the greater Seattle area. First, Amazon summons the press to its hometown to announce what many are assuming to be some sort of smartphone. T-Mobile is following that with an event of its own, relocating a planned Los Angeles press briefing to the Emerald City.
Was it a matter of T-Mobile hoping to attract more tech writers by scheduling its event in the vicinity of Amazon’s big happening? Or does the proximity of the two events Wednesday suggest some deeper connection between the respective announcements of Amazon and T-Mobile? Probably the former, if media reports are anything to go by.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal cited those all-knowing “people familiar with the plans” in a report that AT&T would exclusively carry the smartphone that Amazon’s expected to release. The Journal’s report notes that AT&T and Amazon already have a cozy relationship: The carrier provides the wireless service for the retail giant’s Kindle tablets.
Yes, this is a report about a business deal that’s not yet been confirmed for a product that has yet to be unveiled. But there seems to be a bit of substance to the AT&T exclusivity rumor based on what always-talkative T-Mobile CEO John Legere was tweeting on Tuesday.
Remember when the facebook phone was discounted to 99cents? So like, the whole time it was available on @att..— John Legere (@JohnLegere) June 17, 2014
That doesn’t sound like a guy who’s expecting to join Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on stage at any point on Wednesday.
So if T-Mobile’s Wednesday event has no connection to Amazon’s rumored smartphone, what does the carrier have planned for us this week? Expect to see more of the company’s ongoing “Uncarrier” campaign, in which it hopes to stand out from other wireless providers—most notably you, AT&T. This year alone, T-Mobile has put an end to overage fees and offered to pay would-be customers to ditch their contracts with other carriers. That follows on the heels of last year’s T-Mobile initiative to do away with two-year commitments for wireless coverage.
What’s the latest piece of T-Mobile’s Uncarrier puzzle? The rumor mill is focusing on more simplified billing and phone unlocking. We’ll find out for certain at around 6 p.m. PT Wednesday night—assuming Legere isn’t too busy tweeting gibes at AT&T.
This story, "AT&T reportedly gets Amazon's phone exclusively -- so what's T-Mobile up to?" was originally published by TechHive.