These days, the smartphone sector revolves around the competition among Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Those three companies wrested power from the likes of Motorola, Nokia, and BlackBerry (then RIM) -- but there was also another group sidelined in the rise of the smartphone, even as its members profited immensely from the uprising: mobile operators.
Especially in the US, carriers still serve as a vital gateway to phone purchases; their stores are the most popular way that consumers buy smartphones. And how they stock, price, and merchandise new smartphones can make a big difference in how well those phones do.
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