iSuppli: iPhone Will Stay at AT&T

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 10, 2009

On Sept. 10, consultant iSuppli released a report that claims that, based on feverish and expensive improvements AT&T is making to its network, there’s reason to believe that Apple will renew its contract to deliver the iPhone to AT&T in the U.S. exclusively. iSuppli believes the current contract will expire in mid-2010.

However, iSuppli believes that Apple may start selling non-iPhone devices to other carriers, like Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless may, perhaps, get a much-rumored Apple tablet, according to iSuppli.

If that’s the case, here’s one tricky issue that Apple and AT&T will have to resolve: How do you define what is, and isn’t an iPhone? Distinctions between different types of mobile devices are becoming increasingly blurry. Many smartphones nowadays look like small tablets. Some netbooks can be called a Mobile Internet Device (MID).

It seems to me there’s potential for an Apple tablet — if it does come out — to compete with the iPhone head to head. After all, most tablets nowadays can also do calling. Would AT&T really allow and welcome such competition? Because it needs the iPhone to grow, the carrier may not have a choice.

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Reader Comments

nick

September 11, 2009 03:32 AM

AT&T has to allow the competition althought it maybe not be welcome because it need to grow with iPhone support.But i think is quite fair for iPhone and AT&T if the defition of iPhone and non-iPhone is clear enough so that no conflicts in the future for any misunderstanding.Competition perhaps is the best motivator either for company or people.

John

September 11, 2009 10:03 AM

This is disappointing news. I've been a long-time, satisfied Verizon customer. I've been due for a phone upgrade for six months and have been holding out for news of a Verizon iPhone. In addition to not wanting to "penalize" Verizon for great service but no iPhone, AT&T coverage is terrible where I live. Verizon 3G works well at my lake home while AT&T as "zero bars". Once this is information is confirmed, I guess I'll be going Blackberry. Bummer.

bebe

September 11, 2009 12:48 PM

will the iphone become more better since it will stay AT&T?

JB

September 11, 2009 05:57 PM

Many people seem to think of innovation as being related to technological advances. This is not always the case. Innovation can also be implementing something completely new and applying it to a standard of common practice which now changes. While Sprint has always been in the forefront of technological innovation, this move proves they have also been instrumental in aggressively providing inexpensive price plans and services for the wireless industry. This does force other carriers to stay awake.

Many see Verizon and ATT as the two top carriers. Taking a look at the number of subscribers they service, this would be hard to disute in the equation of numbers. But to sit down and disassemble these numbers, The numbers are mostly products of buys and aquisitions. Does this make a company number one? It certainly makes them the largest.

However, Sprint's tenacity for moving forward and provisioning a better wireless experience seems to always shape the market in a more favorable postion for the industry and its consumers. This is what makes them great and why I exersize my strong beliefs in supporting them. Many may want "big", I simply don't like being lost in a company in this particular indusrty. It is too fickle and biased towards greed. Sprint has given me the best possible service I could ask for at the cheapest rates.

Sprint is in a very good position here. They are big enough to provide the competition needed to keep the other carriers in check, Yet they are small enough to offer their subscribers the best prices in the business. This is where subscribers benefit under the Sprint umbrella.

Without the Sprints or tmobiles, the two top carriers would simply make the the industry stagnate. Historically, no innovation has come out of the two. They know how to do one thing very well. That is to buy up the smaller carriers and market themselves as number one. This does not promote innovation and it does not promote the best experience in wireless value. Verizon and ATT would essentially conduct business as usual if there were no viable competition such as Sprint. They would Just buy up the smaller and charge the subscribers.

This offering is another aggressive move by Sprint that shows they are indeed #1. Innovation is the key in this industry and no one has done it better.

JB

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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