As the Apple iPhone approaches, telecom giant AT&T is accelerating the re-branding of Cingular wireless stores under the AT&T brand name in 1,800 of its stores seeking to raise AT&T's profile ahead of the launch in late June. Last year AT&T acquired BellSouth for around $67 Billion, consolidating its ownership of the two companies' wireless joint venture, Cingular.
"The iPhone is one of the most anticipated handsets ever in the wireless industry, and we want to make sure that every drop of equity from the iPhone accrues to the AT&T brand," AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said.
"We want to be as far along as possible with our rebranding in advance of the launch of the iPhone."
AT&T will be the exclusive wireless provider for the iPhone in the United States and wants to make sure to catch some of the iPhone's momentum as the re-branding - expected to take a year or so - continues. AT&T, however, said it will keep the exterior Cingular signs of most of the stores unchanged for now, slowly transitioning to the new AT&T brand with a new advertising campaign under transitional phrases like "Wireless from AT&T, formerly Cingular." or "Your world is wireless. AT&T is wireless."