T-Mobile’s provocative chief executive, John Legere, couldn’t resist taking a Twitter shot at corporate neighbor Amazon for reportedly striking an exclusive distribution deal with AT&T for its forthcoming smartphone.
Legere tweeted, in a seeming fit of pique, “Really, @Amazon? What happened to home-town pride?” Both the un-carrier’s U.S. operations and the retailer’s headquarters are in metropolitan Seattle.
AT&T will reportedly be the exclusive carrier for Amazon’s much-anticipated smartphone, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The carrier declined comment, and Amazon won’t even confirm it is indeed launching a phone — though it has scheduled a press event for Wednesday in Seattle where the smartphone is expected to be unveiled.
The deal would deepen the relationship between the retail giant and the nation’s second-largest mobile carrier. AT&T already provides the wireless access for Amazon’s Kindle tablets and e-readers.
In going with a phone, Amazon would enter a crowded market dominated by Apple and Samsung — which together command about 46 percent of all mobile phones sold globally last year, according to Yankee Group.
For his part, Legere invoked the ghost of the failed Facebook phone from HTC, which also was offered exclusively through AT&T.
“Let’s hope @amazon doesn’t fall victim to the @att curse that is the Facebook phone,” he said.
He also blasted Amazon for giving an exclusive in the first place.
“Exclusivity sucks for customers,” Legere tweeted. However, as Business Insider’s Steve Kovach pointed out, T-Mobile gets exclusives of its own when it can, such as with Sony’s Xperia Z1.
While it clearly isn’t getting to distribute Amazon’s phone, T-Mobile is benefitting in one small way. The company had planned to have an event in Los Angeles on Wednesday but moved it to Seattle to take advantage of all the press that will be in town.
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