Cingular starts to die today

As a brand anyways. Some time today, we expect an official announcement that will see the official slow death of the Cingular name with the eventual re-emergence of AT&T as a wireless service brand.

The whole buying and selling story is a little confusing, but let’s see if I can provide the Coles Notes version. AT&T started an independent company called AT&T Wireless to offer cellular services. This was purchased by Cingular Wireless LLC — a partnership between SBC and BellSouth — which in turn killed off the AT&T Wireless brand. Eventually, SBC bought AT&T proper, keeping that name for landline-based services. And then, AT&T (owned by SBC, remember) bought BellSouth. So, in the grand scheme of things, SBC owns AT&T, BellSouth, and Cingular. Whew.

Over the next little while, AT&T will be running a campaign to introduce the changes, initially with a “transitional graphic that includes elements of both the AT&T and Cingular logos.” We expect that “Cingular” will be completely out of the picture by the time the Apple iPhone launches in June (assuming it gets to keep that moniker). Current Cingular users need do nothing as all your contractual obligations, service plans, and so forth will transfer over to the new brand.

RIP orange splat. Long live stylized blue globe?


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