ATT Wants to Hang Onto iPhone Exclusivity

Rumors circulated earlier this year that the iPhone might be headed to Verizon, but it looks like the hopes of people hoping to get off AT&T have been dashed. According to the Wall Street Journal, not only does AT&T have iPhone exclusivity through 2010, it wants to add another year, through 2011.

Of course, no one has publicly stated the actual dates of AT&T iPhone exclusivity, but these numbers come through "sources familiar with the matter," said the WSJ.

Of course, I've always said Apple made the right choice going with GSM and AT&T in the first place, the right choice business-wise anyway. GSM exists around the world, and Verizon or Sprint are CDMA carriers pretty much restricted to U.S. soil. If Apple had gone with Verizon (as rumor says they wanted to do), they would have probably had less problems with 3G, but they would have also had to produce a totally different GSM phone for the world.

However, by 2010 both AT&T and Verizon should be rolling out 4G networks based on LTE, and then Apple could create one phone for both networks. These type of network changes are notoriously difficult and slow, however, and my bet would be you won't see much LTE coverage in 2010. Thus, extending exclusivity to 2011 would probably be a good deal for Apple.

As you might expect, neither AT&T or Apple would comment on the WSJ story.
Tags:  Apple, iPhone, ATT