AT&T Exec: We've Signed 1M iPhone Fans


Orlando, Fla. -- About 1 million people have already expressed interest in getting their hands on Apple's iPhone, AT&T chief operating officer Randall L. Stephenson said in a keynote address at the CTIA Wireless 2007 conference here.

Cingular Wireless, in the midst of being rebranded AT&T, signed on as the first wireless carrier for Apple's first mobile-phone product, announced in January. AT&T/Cingular expects to begin offering the iPhone in June.

Since the iPhone announcement, Stephenson said, "1 million people have asked us to call them when this phone is available. In part that’s a testament to the reputation of the products Apple has built, like the iPod. But it also reflects the kinds of things people want to do with these devices."

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said that his company will sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. AT&T/Cingular, the nation's No. 1 wireless carrier, has nearly 61 million customers.

The iPhone -- in addition to supposedly having Apple's trademark Zen-like simplicity -- will provide playback of video and music. "This is really a terrific product," Stephenson said.

He added that AT&T is actively building out its mobile-entertainment services, singling out the company's agreement this week with Augusta National to provide previews and other content from the 2007 Masters Tournament on wireless phones.

Also this week, AT&T extended a deal with Napster, the Internet music-download service, to provide Cingular customers with free access to 3 million songs for one year by "groups I’ve probably never heard of," Stephenson quipped.

He addressed the enormous global opportunity still remaining for the wireless industry. In China, he said, every minute four babies are born -- and 25 people sign up for wireless-phone service.