Court docs confirm five-year AT&T iPhone exclusivity | iLounge News


Court docs confirm five-year AT&T iPhone exclusivity

Newly discovered court documents relating to a class-action lawsuit filed against Apple and AT&T in 2007 have confirmed that the two companies originally signed a five-year iPhone exclusivity deal. Engadget quotes a briefing filed by Apple, which reads, “[t]he duration of the exclusive Apple-[AT&T] agreement was not ‘secret’ either. The [plaintiff] quotes a May 21, 2007 USA Today article – published over a month before the iPhone’s release – stating, ‘AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years-an eternity in the go-go cellphone world.’ [T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T’s] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years… Moreover, it is sheer speculation – and illogical – that failing to disclose the five-year exclusivity term would produce monopoly power….” It remains to be seen whether the five-year exclusivity deal is still in place, however, as it has been speculated that the terms of the two companies’ iPhone deal may have been part of the negotiations over iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G data plans.

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Five years! This reinforces my plans to replace my iPhone with a Wi-Fi-only iPad (running the Skype app) and a Verizon MiFi with data-only plan.

AT&T can’t see past their own greedy need for controlling the users of their network. We just want a “dumb pipe” for (voice and) data - no phone subsidies, no contracts, no limitations on “unlimited” data, no content control.

Posted by Charles Starrett on May 11, 2010 at 10:57 AM (CDT)


I don’t think it’s AT&T being greedy. I think it was a combo of telecoms not fully believing Apple could pull off a phone.  Not wanting to fully jump in with Apples test at this marekt. Probably other phone companys like Motorola and Nokia having serious bargining pull, threatening all the cell carriers. Finally most likely Apple wanting one pipeline so it could keep it’s expirement within some boundries.

It sucks though that we might have to wait to get off AT&T until 2012, I hope this lawsuit wins!

Posted by Charles Starrett on May 11, 2010 at 12:51 PM (CDT)

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