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Has Apple Extended AT&T iPhone Exclusivity Yet Again?

by Sean P. Aune | May 6, 2010May 6, 2010 10:41 pm PDT

If the rumors are to be believed, Apple traded the iPhone moving to Verizon for cheap 3G on AT&T’s network for the iPad.

According to Computerworld, Brian Marshall, a Wall Street analyst at BroadPoint AmTech, is theorizing that Apple had to give AT&T something for the low-cost 3G connectivity on the iPad.  According Mr. Marshall’s theory, that “something” was an extension of AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity. Mr. Marshall’s full theory is that AT&T went to Apple and said it wanted the iPad, and it had to give Apple a low-cast 3G plan to win the device.  Then in a tit-for-tat arrangement, Apple would extend AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity by six months.

appleverizonExcuse me while I get a shotgun and shoot this theory full of holes.

The iPad was a highly desirable device for any network, and any company who did get it would be willing to forgo a lot of pricing to make sure their competitors didn’t get it.  Offering connectivity of $15 for 250 MB a month, and $30 a month for unlimited is a lot closer to reality than the regular prices they charge consumers, so AT&T is more than likely not losing money, but they get the notoriety of the iPad being associated with them.

Why would Apple have to give AT&T anything in this deal?  Apple was holding all of the cards, it didn’t matter to them who the carrier was so long as a good price was offered.  To make it even more blunt, Apple had the milk (the iPad) and the cookies (the iPhone).  AT&T wanted the milk, and Apple gave rewarded them for taking the milk with giving them the cookies?  “Oh, good boy taking the milk … now have the cookies for taking the milk.”

It just doesn’t make any sense to me.  There is every chance that Apple had extended its AT&T exclusivity, but I really doubt that it would have anything to do with the iPad.

The new iPhone is expected to debut in June at the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), and whether or not Verizon will finally be getting the phone will more than likely be announced there, but honestly I’ve given up holding my breath for this to happen.  People have been screaming for it to happen since 2007 when the phone was first introduced, and it still hasn’t happened.  It’ll happen when it happens, and consult all the crystal balls you want, it won’t make it happen any faster.

What do you think?  Will we ever see the iPhone on Verizon?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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