AT&T, O2 iPhone exclusivity end dates in sight? | iLounge News


AT&T, O2 iPhone exclusivity end dates in sight?

Never formally disclosed by any of the companies, the length and nature of Apple’s iPhone exclusivity deals with AT&T in the U.S. and O2 in the United Kingdom have been called into further question by two recent reports. In an article for USA Today, Leslie Cauley reports that in exchange for a recent agreement to pay Apple a subsidy for every iPhone 3G it sells, AT&T received a one-year extension on its exclusive iPhone distribution deal with Apple, pushing the agreement into 2010. However, Cauley previously claimed in a May 2007 article that “AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years,” suggesting that the contract would run through 2012, and that an extension would bind Apple to AT&T through 2013. AT&T and Apple have not spoken publicly on the length of the agreement, but the more recent report appears to reflect a more accurate understanding of the deal terms.

In a separate article, United Kingdom-based newspaper The Guardian reports that while Apple’s agreement with O2 was believed to run through 2012, a window for renegotiation after two years may leave Apple with the ability to partner with a second carrier, possibly as soon as Christmas 2009. The report suggests Orange as a possible carrier, as it already offers the iPhone in France, and was said to have been very close to becoming the phone’s carrier in the U.K. before being dropped in favor of O2 “at the last minute.” Orange UK boss Tom Alexander said, “I would love the iPhone, especially with our big emphasis on [mobile] data [services], it would be great to have.”

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Rejoice! I knew if I held out long enough this would happen. The original model of distribution for the iPhone was destined to fail outside the US. Apple could more than double sales of the device here if Orange UK carried it too.
Though this is only a baby step to how it should be… Every carrier selling the phone everywhere. It’ll happen. Just a matter of when, not if.

Posted by Dan Nicholls on August 4, 2008 at 11:36 AM (CDT)


Personally I would prefer Vodafone to carry the iPhone 3rd Gen due to my better experiences with them compared to the novices at orange.  It would also mean I could use it as a company phone rather than having to be prove the phone call and be reimbused

Posted by Rich on August 4, 2008 at 2:57 PM (CDT)


While I would love Vodafone to become a carrier (if this happened it might possibly tempt me away from Nokia) people should bear in mind the current limited supply of iPhones with just O2 being the only carrier!  Apple cannot supply enough units now - how would they cope with an additional (or maybe more) carriers?

Posted by John on August 4, 2008 at 4:28 PM (CDT)


It’s all down to personal experience with the networks. My experience with Vodafone was beyond awful, and I’d call ORange experts compared to them, but as I said, that’s my experience. Shame they just can’t clone one great and perfectly trained customer service rep eh?

I’m pulling for iPhone on all networks to be honest. It’s a phone everyone should have access too no matter what network they are on.

Posted by Spooky2k on August 5, 2008 at 1:05 PM (CDT)


I am currently a Nokia user on the Vodafone network. My mobile has been provided by my employer. I would buy and change to the iPhone if it were as simple as swapping out the SIM card. I don’t use much data on my current phone.

I am looking for another mobile at the moment as myine is a bit shabby now with pieces hanging off, it’s looking like a Samsung Soul. Just a shame I can’t get the iPhone.

And no, I don’t want to play around “jailbreaking” the iPhone just to get it to work with my carrier.

My experience with Vodaphone has been good. I have only ever heard of one person not so happy with Orange, and they live in the sticks - so probably to be expected.

Posted by Pastor Grimes on August 6, 2008 at 9:09 AM (CDT)

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