T-Mobile CEO vents over Amazon smartphone, AT&T exclusive

Summary:T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to Twitter to rant over the rumored exclusivity deal between Amazon and AT&T, digging up the ghost of the Facebook phone in the process.

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T-Mobile chief executive John Legere doesn't seem too happy over rumors that Amazon has struck an exclusivity deal with AT&T for the firm's forthcoming smartphone, and took to Twitter to make his sentiments known.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that carrier AT&T held an exclusive deal for Amazon's anticipated smartphone in the United States, expected to be unveiled at a press event in Seattle on Wednesday.

As a late entrant into a market already dominated by tech giants including Apple and Samsung, it is rumored that Amazon's mobile will stand out from the crowd through retina-tracking 3D technology and advances in gesture control and navigation. The smartphone is believed to be due for shipment by late August.

AT&T once held a three-year exclusivity contract for the original iPhone, and the company — which already provides the wireless access necessary for Amazon's Kindle range and e-readers — could potentially attract additional subscribers if the rumored handset proves popular enough with US consumers.

However, Legere is of a different mind, and took to Twitter, using the ghost of the Facebook phone to illustrate his opinion. The HTC First was a failed model which was also exclusively offered by the US carrier, and hosted a tailored operating system designed to showcase Facebook. However, the smartphone failed to sell — to the point where AT&T offered the gadget for 99 cents on contract.

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The executive also took a swing at Amazon for being part of an exclusivity deal in the first place, stating that such practices "suck for customers." However, as Business Insider points out, T-Mobile is also guilty of this apparent sin — by taking on exclusives of its own, including the Sony Xperia Z1.

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AT&T and Amazon are larger companies than T-Mobile, despite the carrier's attempts to expand through its "Uncarrier" phone deals, and the alleged exclusivity partnership obviously doesn't impress the T-Mobile executive. However, unless Amazon's rumored handset is something truly special, it is unlikely that US consumers will ditch their contracts to get their hands on one — so Legere probably has little to worry about. Either that, or perhaps sour grapes over the exclusive deal have played a part in the CEO's ranting. 

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Topics: Mobility, Amazon


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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