I hit up the AT&T media and analyst luncheon today at CTIA, and even though I wound up in the entirely wrong building before finally making my way to the room (the smell of free barbecue guided me), I made it there in time to catch a demo of the Microsoft Surface multitouch kiosk that will be debuting in four AT&T stores on April 17. Very cool stuff, and you really should watch the video to get an idea of what this thing is capable of.
Meanwhile, AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega talked and took questions on a number of hot topics ranging from Android to Unlimited Rate Plans and, of course, iPhone. The highlights:
- All AT&T integrated devices will be 3G in a matter of months. Sacsha Segan got his clever on and asked a "Dot the i's" follow up question: Does that mean we're getting a 3G iPhone? Ralph came back with a firm That means "ALL Devices ... that should make it clear." Just a matter of months now, kids. Like everyone didn't know that, anyway, but it's still exciting to hear.
- Ralph says "We were open before open was cool," and talked a lot about easier support for consumers switching between multiple devices (SIM card swapping), saying it is and will be easier on AT&T than on competitors' networks. "You can use a device for work and switch to a different one in the evening, 'just to match your colors'," said Ralph. The accompanying slide showed a Nokia N95, for whatever that's worth to the conspiracy theorists out there.
- AT&T finds Google's Android platform "attractive" and is evaluating what might be done with it.
- AT&T offers free hotspot WiFi for AT&T home broadband suscribers, and Starbucks is of course moving from TMo to AT&T for hotspot coverage. That Starbucks logo makes me think about the whole "Buy coffee from your iPhone" story that kicked around a few months ago.
- AT&T will be offering pro-rated early termination fees beginning April 25
They talked about MediaFLO and AT&T TV, and announced pricing for the first two TV phones: LG Vu will cost $299 and the Samsung Access $199. Everyone assumes those are after contract prices.
And seriously, check out the Surface demo video. Cool stuff. I gotta go wash the bbq sauce off my hands now ...