Now we know why Cingular chose to merge with BellSouth last year -- it was because of the impending iPhone partnership! Seriously though, the largest wireless carrier in the US (now part of AT&T) is about to push its re-branding efforts into overdrive (the word "Cingular" will be banished from the landscape for good) in concert with the soon-to-arrive iPhone. No longer will customers see "Cingular - now part of the new AT&T" and such language on signage, kiosks or any other AT&T marketing material. AT&T has determined that knowledge of AT&T is "ahead of schedule" (whatever that means) and will accelerate the extinction of the Cingular brand as a result. Gone is the screen display of "Cingular" on the AT&T handsets in most markets. The last bastion of the old Cingular moniker will be the final transitional phrase "Wireless from AT&T, formerly Cingular," with the orange "jack" mark being phased out as much as possible. Look for there to be zero, zilch nada Cingular branding of any kind on the iPhone next month, not that it'll be a surprise or anything.

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AT&T branding gets kickstart in prep for iPhone launch