Uncommon Wisdom

Sep 1 2009   2:25PM GMT

Market pressure could cost AT&T Apple iPhone exclusivity

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

There’s growing speculation that AT&T’s honeymoon with iPhone may be coming to an end. Pressure from the government on the wireless industry is mounting, and Apple is no longer doing exclusive deals with iPhone. In fact, it can’t afford to.

With iPhone in the U.S. locked to AT&T, there’s too much of a risk that the U.S. market (the number-one smartphone market) will end up validating a host of iPhone competitors that might have little chance under normal circumstances. AT&T has relied on iPhone to gain some market share, however, and has won some Verizon customers. Since Verizon would be likely to get the iPhone next, the loss could send a bunch running back.

We’re hearing some speculation that Apple and Verizon will do a 4G deal, though, so the opening of the iPhone won’t be imminent.

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