Regional retail sales managers at AT&T have been instructing store managers to put the brakes on Apple’s iPhone, as company executives had said they would do in 2012, it appears.

The issue is device subsidies. It costs AT&T more money to subsidize iPhones than other devices.

And those subsidies put pressure on AT&T earnings.As reported by Boy Genious Report, customers seeking smart phones at AT&T retail stores are being steered away from Apple’s iPhone and towards Android phones or Windows Phone devices such as the Nokia Lumia, BGR says.

Even when customers come into stores specifically looking for the iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, staffers have been instructed to make an effort to show people Android and Windows Phone devices as well.

In addition, AT&T retail staff in at least some locations are no longer permitted to get iPhones as their company-owned devices, and must instead choose an Android smartphone or a Windows Phone.One source told BGR that Apple’s iPhone used to make up as much as 80 percent of smart phone sales at stores in his area, but that figure has dropped dramatically to between 50 percent and 60 percent.

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