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MacRumors: AT&T iPhone Exclusivity to Expire in June 2010?

Discussion in 'Wireless News' started by Critic, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Critic

    Critic The Digital Ruler
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    Fortune reports on comments last Friday from Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall that have been receiving a fair amount of attention today. The primary item of interest has been Marshall's claim that AT&T's exclusive agreement to distribute the iPhone in the U.S. will expire in June 2010, opening the door for other carriers to begin offering the device. Marshall's comments specifically point to Verizon as a carrier with which Apple would likely look to partner, with rumors of revised iPhone hardware capable of running on Verizon's network suggesting that a late 2010 launch could be possible.

    Full article & video here.

    ---

    I don't see why everyone and their brother believe so strongly that VZW is going to get the iPhone - and get it soon. For one thing, Apple hasn't shown any inclination in creating a CDMA variant of the iPhone. For another, consider VZW's current antagonistic stance toward the iPhone (and it's current domestic carrier) - there's the 'there's an app for that' ad battles, and the Droid "iDon't" campaign, both of which lead the consumer to believe that the iPhone is an inferior device - IMHO this would sour any change VZW would have of striking a favorable deal with Apple.

    There's also the App Store to consider. I'm not sure if VZW worked out a revenue sharing deal re: Android Market on the Droid, but I suspect Apple wouldn't make a similar deal.

    And finally, there's the 500lb. gorilla in the room - LTE. Knowing that LTE deployment is on the horizon, why would Apple have any interest in devoting time and resources into a CDMA version of the iPhone with LTE coming for both ATT & VZW? Seems to me it would make more sense for Apple to stay exclusive with ATT until both carriers are ready to switch on their LTE networks, THEN break exclusivity. But that's just my opinion...I could be wrong.
     
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  2. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Even though it seems like Apple making a CDMA version of the phone is a little ridiculous with LTE coming soon, it may make sense for Apple to add CDMA hardware for those countries whose mobile networks support CDMA, instead of just making one to work on Verizon.

    Apple would truly have the global market available to them by having CDMA and GSM on the same phone (or separate versions of the phone). IMO, if Apple thinks they can make money, they'll do it, even if it doesn't make sense to the rest of us. So far it's working for them.
     
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  3. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    But what about T-Mobile? It would make more sense to Apple to partner with T-Mobile USA. All they would have to do is add the radios for AWS, which is something they would have to do for AT&T anyway since AT&T also has 3G AWS licenses too.
     
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  4. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    You're right. I left out T-Mobile because they're more of a given to carry the phone when AT&T's exclusivity is up. Adding the 1700 mhz band would probably be easier than adding CDMA.

    I'm sure if every carrier had the iPhone, Apple would be smiling green ($). I hope this happens.
     
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  5. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
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    The only reason I could give to include CDMA2000 into iPhone "four", would be that the Qualcomm (or other) chipset included it. Yes, adding the North American AWS band should be easier. I wonder when AT&T Mobility will make use of their purchases.

    COtech
     
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  6. Simon5282

    Simon5282 Senior Member
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    I wonder if ATT just purchased some spectrum to keep it out of competitors hands. I think it may be far fetched in the Mobile industry given the high price of spectrum, but I have seen it in the retail industry, a store buys up some stores in another chain just to close them down.
     
  7. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    With the capacity problems they have, it would be wise for AT&T to use that spectrum ASAP and have the next iPhone include AWS.
     
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  8. Critic

    Critic The Digital Ruler
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    Seems to me that AT&T's been timing a lot of their major network improvements (or, that is, the ROLLOUT of major network improvements) to the timing of iPhone launches over the last couple of years. Logic would suggest that if the next iPhone includes the bands necessary for AWS, AT&T will probably launch AWS services at the same time.
     
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