AT&T seeking iPhone exclusivity extension | iLounge News

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AT&T seeking iPhone exclusivity extension

U.S. carrier AT&T is seeking to extend its iPhone exclusivity deal with Apple through 2011, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T’s current iPhone deal expires next year, and that current AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is now in discussions with Apple to extend it another year. The article goes on to reveal that Stephenson had his technology staff create a custom iPhone application so he can read his internal AT&T financial reports; a stark contrast to his predecessor Ed Whitacre who didn’t even keep a computer on his desk. Stephenson told the WSJ that with or without the iPhone, the company is planning to invest heavily in new infrastructure to handle new, more bandwidth-hungry services and devices. “This business cycle is going to cycle,” Mr. Stephenson said. “You got to make sure that you’re positioned when it cycles back out to be the leader in the industry, and to do that you have to be the leader in mobility, first and foremost.”

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Comments

1

I’m curious to see how the negotiations will go and whether any announcements will be made.

I know the news has gotten folks chatting on other sites on whether Apple should keep the exclusivity going and the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of AT&T;‘s network.

Technological and logistical limitations aside, my personal preference is that the exclusivity should end as soon as possible so iPhone is available to carriers like Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

I can’t attest to AT&T;‘s current network quality as I haven’t been one of their wireless customers in quite a number of years. I can say that I was unhappy at my local AT&T;network quality and customer service at the time and I’ve since been very hesitant to jump ship from Verizon to get an AT&T;-linked iPhone. I’ve read many user reports that don’t inspire a lot of confidence for me to make that switch.

Posted by cxc273 on April 15, 2009 at 7:22 AM (PDT)

2

Let’s not kid ourselves - if AT&T;offers Apple more revenue though a licensing fee over the period of time in question than Apple would make from its profit margin on actual sales, AT&T;will keep exclusivity.  It’s actually a win-win for Apple - they make a boat-load of money, the iPhone exclusivity club continues and the mystique of the iphone continues, and AT&T;gets to maintain and/or increase its marketshare which looks great to stockholders.

And all of the carriers’ networks are great or suck depending on where you live - so IMO, the “network” reliability is a bunch of bunk.

Posted by ChicagoTech on April 15, 2009 at 7:32 PM (PDT)

3

@2 While what you say is more or less true, given that Apple has proven the iPhone is a successful product, it’s not just the fees from AT&T;versus POS profits. There are customers simply not being captured via the current model. Presumably, any carrier certified for visual voice mail and other iPhone exclusive features will be paying something to Apple for their trademarked and patented features, so AT&T;has to offer fees that not just exceed the higher POS profits for non-subsidized iPhones, but all the lost carrier fees and POS profits Apple won’t be making by staying exclusive with AT&T;.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on April 16, 2009 at 6:35 AM (PDT)

4

No!  No!  No!

Posted by valbeck on April 16, 2009 at 11:21 AM (PDT)

5

oh honestly i wish that they would open it up to other cell companies because i will never leave VZW because cell phone shier coverage and cell signal. i get a VZW signal any whare even hospitals i have not been in a place ware i needed cell service and did not have it because my phone could not get a signal. and if they open up the iphone to am other carrier it will broaden their market place. it makes sense.

Posted by d_man_force4 on April 16, 2009 at 11:42 AM (PDT)

6

I agree with ChicagoTech. I live in Houston and AT&T;service is most reliable here. I can go anywhere in Texas and I still get a signal. I have friends who have other carriers which are less reliable. So I’ll keep my IPhone on AT&T;here in Texas

Posted by AnthonyNtexas on April 17, 2009 at 4:31 PM (PDT)

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