View from an iPhone veteran

Fortune's Stephanie Mehta talks with Stanley Sigman, the CEO of AT&T's wireless unit, about his 30-day iPhone test, buyer's remorse, and more.

By Stephanie N. Mehta, Fortune senior writer

(Fortune Magazine) -- Stanley Sigman, CEO of AT&T Mobility, may be the envy of Apple fanboys for one reason alone: He's been testing out the iPhone for a month. He spoke with FORTUNE's Stephanie N. Mehta about his experiences with the device, and why he thinks most iPhone owners won't have buyer's remorse. Here's the second excerpt from their conversation (read the first excerpt here):

Q. How are your other handset vendors responding to the deal AT&T (Charts, Fortune 500) cut with Apple (Charts, Fortune 500)? Are they looking for similar deals now?

A. We still very much value the relationships we have with our other partners. Apple is going to be a significant part of our product portfolio, but it certainly isn't going to be all of it. This has not hampered or dampened our relationship with other vendors whatsoever. I think the iPhone is going to bring a new level of momentum and competitiveness into the marketplace.

Q. Any updates on the advance interest in the device?

A. We reached out to 1.2 million people who expressed an interest in the iPhone. We reached out to them via e-mail and told them what they needed to do to get ready for the iPhone - how to get their contact lists and their music inventories ready, and so forth.

Q. Based on that number and what you're hearing in the marketplace, are you anticipating better-than-expected, as-expected, or lower-than-expected sales of the device?

A. It would be wrong for me to give any kind of guidance in this interview, but it certainly is exceeding what I had hoped for.

Q. There's bound to be people who are disappointed by the network experience as they move from Wi-Fi to the slower EDGE network (AT&T's first-generation 3G broadband network). Or they may hate the lack of a keypad. How are you girding for those who have buyer's remorse?

A. Well, obviously there will be some buyer's remorse. I'm not going to deny that. It isn't going to be the end product for all people. I've used the product now for 30 days myself and I think it is going to exceed the expectations of the vast majority. I've used the EDGE network and the Wi-Fi network and it's just phenomenal. We've really worked hard on that EDGE network to make it a quality experience. I know it won't be the perfect product for everybody, but I fully expect most people will think this product exceeds their expectations.

Q. Are you planning to make the iPhone your primary mobile device?

A. It is my primary mobile device. It doesn't have the BlackBerry or GoodLink client on it yet, but I think [Apple developers] see that as the next window of opportunity. Since it doesn't yet synch up with the corporate client, I use the BlackJack device for that. Today I'm packing two devices.

Q. What have you got on your iPhone today?

A. I have my library from my iTunes, and I have a couple of movies on there so I can demo it. I haven't taken the time to watch a full-length movie.

Q. You must be the most popular guy at cocktail parties.

A. I don't show it at cocktail parties, though everybody would like to see it. I show it internally.  Top of page