Is AT&T Preparing To Abandon Paper Yellow Pages?

There is an interesting article in the New York Times Bits Blog today called, Will AT&T Get Rid of the Yellow Pages?

During the companies quarterly earnings call last week, AT&T’s chief executive said that the company would accelerate its growth by getting rid of “low-performing and nonstrategic assets.”

“That’s one area that we’re going to obviously take a very hard look at,” Mr. Stephenson said during the earnings call, in response to an analyst’s question about whether AT&T would sell the Yellow Pages. “It’s one of those areas where we’re going to have to decide, do we keep it or restructure it as we move forward?”

The move would make sense in the mobile age, where everyone has a cell phone in their pocket, and with data providers like CityGrid paying developers to build mobile apps around business and places data, the old-school yellow pages has no place.

I can’t remember the last time I used the Yellow Pages print dinosaur for anything.  I’d much rather pull out my iPhone and use UrbanSpoon to find the nearest restaurant or CitySearch to research my other business decisions.

There are lots of opportunities for independent developers to fill the void, and continue pushing consumers away from print business directories to online and mobile.

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