Crazy Rumor-de-Jour: AT&T iPhone Exclusivity to End this Wednesday, Verizon iPhone, iTablet "One More Thing"?


No one outside the contract signers at Apple and AT&T know for sure when US iPhone exclusivity ends, but HotHardware is stirring up a storm with the rumor that it ends this Wednesday, at Apple's "Come see our latest creation" event:

According to an inside source close to the going-ons involved in all of this, a new tablet of some sort may not be the only thing on deck for next Wednesday though. We have been led to believe by an inside source that AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity on the same day


Inside of AT&T, we are hearing that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before. On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Because they are the only company to carry it, and it's such a data hog, it's largely to blame for AT&T's network troubles. [...] The iPhone itself doesn't really handle the switch from 3G to EDGE very well, so calls that are in-progress tend to fail whenever the 3G bands aren't optimal and the phone attempts to step down to EDGE.

They claim AT&T is tired of the bad press and will let other networks share the burden while AT&T introduces new phones from other platforms (hello Android and webOS?) in order to compete.

The follow on rumor, of course and as always, is that Verizon will then start to carry a CDMA-friendly version of the iPhone 3GS and the new iTablet.

No comment from AT&T yet, but anyone buying this?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Crazy Rumor-de-Jour: AT&T iPhone Exclusivity to End this Wednesday, Verizon iPhone, iTablet "One More Thing"?


Is anyone from TiPB covering the Apple event live? Or I gotta go hunt the link at Engadget?
Btw, I love the buzz days before an Apple launch. Feels the whole Internet has come alive. Every site taking their own take on what Apple is going to launch, the rumor mill going at 500 miles per hour etc. I'm not an Apple fanboy but gotta say, no other company (other than Apple) has this much free publicity and generate so much interest/hype in a product that no one knows nothing about. Gotta love Apple for its marketing strategy ;-)
Can Thu be here sooner? (me in the Southern Hemisphere)

I'm like half and half! Could be fake because we all would have seen a shot of the new hardware at least or it could have been T-Mo instead of VZW to be realistic, but on the other hand, it could be the reason Apple hasn't released 3.2 OS, or 4.0 for that matter!

EDIT: Maybe OS 3.2 or 4.0 contains firmware or specific codes for that reason!? could be the reason.

I dont buy it, too convenient it pops up days before th event. It wasnt just decided yesterday if its true.
Also itd make zero sense to Apple to announce another carrier and kill their Q1 sales. Even if its coming to another carrier I wouldnt expect to hear about it until the iphone announcement in May or whenever they do it.

My question is, if Apple is going to release an iPhone for Verizon, does that mean there will be a new iPhone sooner than expected on AT&T as well?
Honestly, I don't have a problem, like some, with AT&T's service, but I'm sure it'll definitely improve if people jump over to Verizon! They better be the same functioning iPhones just on different carriers or I might be pissed!

Here is the problem I have with this, why would Verizon carry the 3GS and why would Apple produce the 3GS with a new iPhone on deck almost ready to come out...

Their is no way to have the same functionality on Verizon because you can't use data and talk on the phone at the same time. You either talk on the phone or use the Internet and receive emails unless of course you have 2 phones.

I would like to see apple release the iPhone for all four carriers. Pick the iPhone pick your carrier. Would show google how to do it thats for sure.

@fathom614 - Google already does this. The only carrier Android based phones are not a part of is AT&T. Sprint, T-mobile, Verizon all have Android phones, so who's the company behind distribution? Of course Android phones aren't yet on Metro or orthers but...yeah.

Announcing another carrier did not kill Q1 sales in other countries.
If anything It will fill Verizon's pre-order list with a about 3 million sales.
Remember, Apple can knock out a CDMA iphone in less than a month and have probably had it for several months. A chip is a chip.

iPhone on verizon would be a version of iPhone that would defintley suck. If iPhone leaves ATT hello android????? I hate verizon with a passion

This is a big crock of siht. This is some moron sitting there dreaming up scenario's to create a compelling read based upon AT&Ts history of "cry baby, point the finger" antics!! Mission accomplished, I read it. However it's still bull. Again no comment from AT&T because no one has the time to respond to nonsense. On a side note I'm not appossed to the exclusivity being broken because it means a more robust network experience for me. Maybe instead of 2mbps down I'll actually get 3.5-4mbps and then I can laugh thankfully at all the people who switched and get 400-700kbps down and can't call/browse, call/text, call/email. Bless your heart!!


Their is no way to have the same functionality on Verizon because you can’t use data and talk on the phone at the same time.

So what? Who really does that anyway? 3% of users, 1% of their calls?
Remember we are talking about Verizon customers here, they would NEVER MISS that, because they NEVER had it.


his is some moron sitting there dreaming up scenario’s to create a compelling read based upon AT&Ts history of “cry baby, point the finger” antics!!

It is very true that ATT drops more calls for iPhone users than Blackberry users. Same towers.
The iphone is not blameless here, the iPhone's cheap infinieon chipset is very poor at hand off.

I'm just saying apple should do what google did. Make the iPhone compatible with all four carriers. Everyone who has wanted an iPhone, but didn't want to leave their carrier would then have the choice of getting one. Besides apple would sell millions more iPhones obviously.

Remember the last round of Apple bashing Verizon commercials, not the AT&T ones but the ones about you do data and voice... Apple hates when their stuff doesn't do what it is suppose to... I don't think Apple wants a phone on Verizon that will not peak in performance... The lack of doing voice and data will be opposite everything Apple has been saying for the past 2 years (after edge service days)...

Oh and I am willing to bet, AT&T would have a commercial out in days, expressing how the iPhone does more on the AT&T network...

So what? Who really does that anyway? 3% of users, 1% of their calls?
Remember we are talking about Verizon customers here, they would NEVER MISS that, because they NEVER had it.
3 percent?
Underestimation if i've ever seen it,
and it's not just people who are already with Verizon, people with AT&T are considering leaving also, therefore they would lose the ability to do so..
It's just not like Apple to create a product that doesn't give the same user experience as the currently existing model on a different carrier...
I for sure would be pissed if someone called me and I tried to use Safari in call and got an error message (Can't use this application while in call) smh...

No surprise rumors are popping up days before the event. Link Bait!! Apple is not going anywhere. At least not right now and not to be announced on the 27th.

It makes sense. If you look at history, the Palm Pre has been the most notable phone to rattle the iPhone cage. Not even the Nexus One or Droid have the user experience of the webOS or the balls to release days before the new iPhone 3GS last year. iPhone dropping on Verizon days after the Palm Pre Plus - talk about a hurting for Palm.

I see AT&T's next commercial already
Where can you do voice and data with the iPhone on AT&T's network.." There's a map for that"
Where can you do voice and data on Verizon's network with the iPhone? " There is no map for that" haha

Hope not cause if I cant have the iphone on at&t. I cant have the iphone at all. Verizon sucks were I live. If they do this the new phone better be on both carriers. As much as I love the iphone I will look into android as at&t will be getting them soon. Lets hope for the best.

@icebike I do voice and data atleast once maybe twice a day. There's no way there going to leave at&t. If anything they will add verizon as a carrier. Not everyone is going to leave at&t for verizon for different reasons. Not everyone has a problem with at&t. There are millions of people that were already on at&t when the iphone came out. People act like everyone that got a iphone were new to at&t.

I dont believe this fornone sec for the simple fact that De La Vega is too cocky since getting the iPhone. Att would rather poor out the nig bucks to fix the problems rather than lose the phone that sold i dont know um like 30 some odd million or so. Besides vzw couldnt handle the iphone anyway. Now also apple will want a cut of the subscibers plans now vzw is already expensive as it is and i dont see it happening. Tmobile has a better chance than vzw we already know that it would work on their network. To be honest i would love to see Sprint get it but doubt that they could afford it..
(here comes the backlash)

I love all this reach-for-the-crazy-pills kind of hype. A lot of what we are seeing is just fanboy-type wishes about what would happen. If anything, we will hopefully see a new tablet device and maybe new software for the phone AND THAT WOULD BE IT. People that are so pissy about AT&T should just go get an effin' droid and call it a day with their iPhone.

I would love to see the end of at&t's exclusivity, but what are the odds that a cdma iphone came to sprint and verizon? Or if only to verizon, would it be possible to run the verizon iphone on sprint's 3g network?
I can't leave sprint, I've been a loyal customorer for years, their service is great in my area, they have fantastic customer service, and it can't be denyed their pricing is much better than at&t or verizon.

This all sounds crazy, but it could be plausible... Verizon's overall network is good (customer service and crack-head data rates are another thing). I've been with them since 1999 and I can easily say that I've had a dropped call once in a blue moon. AT&T seems to have trouble just making calls! Now, not having the simultaneous voice and data that the iphone is renowned for is a bit of a let down, but being on a more stable network would be a real plus. What if Apple is heading 2 different directions with the iphone - one for GSM and the other for CDMA. What happened to the "Iphone Lite" rumours that were going around for awhile? A new iphone that is slimmer, has new functionality and is on Verizon... I'd be on that like white on rice.

There's no way to assess the credibility of this rumor. However, from Apple's perspective, it makes sense to offer an iPhone on other carriers -- NOT to stop offering an iPhone on AT&T, but to increase the number of people who can buy an iPhone. AT&T can meaningfully sell and support more iPhones only by extending its coverage to other geographical areas. There's no reason to discuss the prospect of all current iPhone users being abandoned on AT&T, or all of them having to switch to Verizon. Apple wants to continue to sell millions of iPhones in the U.S. and if possible to sell even more -- that means Verizon has to be a carrier, as well as AT&T, since they are the two largest carriers in the U.S.
@icebike: I've been speculating that AT&T put the iPhone on a different "channel" than BB since an AT&T support rep told me that in August or September, 2008. That was around the time I first read reports in which one person's call on an iPhone would be disrupted by another person using an iPhone in the same room. It was also around the time that AT&T delayed the release of the BB 3G.

Huh, I wonder if AT&T would be having service problems if they some of that bloody money customers were paying them. To me, it just doesn't make sense for them to play the victim in this when customers are really the victims.

I think the timing's all off for this. Why would Apple release a Verizon iPhone in the middle of their iPhone life cycle? Why would AT&T's exclusivity run out in the middle of the 3GS's cycle? If there is a CDMA iPhone announced I think it'll be for China. I'm gonna stand my ground and so no Verizon iPhone until LTE. Verizon subsidiesed tablet...maybe?

Let be for real Vzw was only getting Att for there network they never said anything bad about the iphone ....commercial are right I did 2 To 3 Gb on my storm when I'm on the web and I have movies for free. On my phone when Vzw gets the nexus soon n iphone bye bye Att.

It will be exciting to see what happens. I am hoping for the VeriPhone. It doesn't bother me that it could be a CDMA version, I don't really care about the whole talk/surf feature. I barely get any phone calls anyway!

Why would Apple release a Verizon iPhone in the middle of their iPhone life cycle?

Who's to say there still is an iPhone life cycle? Since mobile devices evolve much faster than computers, perhaps Apple has realized they're going to have to stay on top of their competitors however often it is necessary to do so.

Couldn't this be as simple as Apple announcing an unlocked version of their current phone?
That would require NO special hardware or new phone version. It would consist of a simple ROM update to existing phones or new ones and be carrier independent. True, it'd only be GSM, but the idea seems simple enough.

I for one hope another carrier gets the iPhone. I like when companies have to compete for our business!!!!

There is entirely too much speculation. Rumors? This is actually a waste of time. Wednesday will answer all the questions or at least most of them. These rumor posts are all over the place. One thing I do know about all this is today is Monday!!lol

I don't buy it for a second, and I'll tell you why. It would mean supporting two sets of hardware to support Verizon. Current AT&T customers would literally have to buy a brand new iPhone to switch carriers. Which is stupid when you already have an iPhone. I'd like to get away from AT&T but I'm not buying a new phone to do it.
I'll jailbreak and unlock it and go to T-Mobile first.
Now, T-Mobile would be a good choice. They already support iPhone users as best they can and all you have to do is pop in a SIM to get up and running.
I know everyone WANTS Verizon, but I think it's time to realistically look and consider what is feasible. It ain't Verizon.

@ a lot of you. My god some of you are idiots. What difference will it make to you if VZW gets the iPhone? Absolutely none. Its not like Apple will stop making it for ATT. So why all the whining?

This whole using internet while on a call campaign is overrated. Millions of people like myself could care less. I mean how much do people actually call each other nowadays anyway. And if I ever am in a position where I need to call and browse, you can totally do that with wifi. And then again where do you people go and there's not a wifi hotspots. Just saying I know this doesn't apply to everyone, but I bet it applies to a lot of people. Apple would be stupid not to put the iPhone on Verizon. So many people want the iPhone, just not ATT

If it does come to Verizon I want this site to have a posting about all the people on Verizon that soar iPhones suck that now have one and they love it!! That would be hilarious. How they rave on how they don't know how they lived without one. lol

@Desmond: They're not all just rumors, some of the steady stream of information about the tablet comes from Apple. For instance, the leak of information during CES was clearly initiated from Apple, in response to all of the tablet stuff going on at CES. Officially, Apple never talks about unreleased products, but unofficially, they certainly have been leaking information to sustain interest and re-assure shareholders. Just like many other major corporations.

@Dennis. I think so as well but many people come here to hate on the iPhone mainly because they don't have it as an option on the other carriers. So many of them are going to have a change of heart about the phone. I know something is coming(iTablet), but I'm just ready for some updates and bug fixes to the iPhone. That's my main concern.

iPhone 3GS on Verizon? I wouldn't bet on it. I'd bet on a completely NEW iPhone. Better camera, chipset, etc. And maybe a preview on Wednesday. But I think they'll go with a 4.0 preview instead. But who knows.

@Drake: if Apple were to switch or add a new carrier, the 3GS wouldn't go with Verizon. Becasue Apple would already make a new hardware or update feature to the iPhone. And all this only happens once a year. Same as with the iPods and iMacs. Plus, if they were to come out with a new hardware and it still was called "3GS", what a shame it would be for Apple to name it that on the nation's one of the slowest 3G network. (Verizon wireless.)
P.s. They wouldn't announce or preview the next iPhone on january. That only happened to the first generation. They would only do it in the summer. But for the new software?.. Then maybe, possibly on a january. Who knows..