Original AT&T iPhone exclusivity was a 5 year deal

As long-speculated, the original iPhone exclusivity agreement between Apple and AT&T was for a 5-year period running from 2007 to 2012. Confirmation of this comes by way of court documents from 2008, however, and 2 years is an eternity in corporate contract-dom.

In other words, anything from AT&T's service levels (or lack thereof in New York and San Francisco) to their deal for iPad 3G data plans could have led to renegotiations, extensions, or new contracts entirely since then.

So file this away under iPhone trivia unless and until a Verizon iPhone shows up... sometime.


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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

Original AT&T iPhone exclusivity was a 5 year deal


Man that sucks if that is the case. I don't want to hop to verizon, but I think the direct competition would cause AT&T to lower their prices for iPhone. I hate to think that I'll have to continue to pay $100/mth forever for my cell bill because I love my iPhone and there is no competition to help lower the cost of ownership.

i tell sister, sister there will be no verizon iphone. she say yes and run away. i tell her she is crazy. wait until i show her this. she will rip her shirt in anger and moan for days. tehehe as for me, i have att and live happy with family. verizon is good but iphone is better. sister still has car phone. poor girl.

Chris J, you write like a caveman.
Hahaha sorry man.
I could honestly careless if anotherr provider gets the iPhone. AT&T service isn't that bad, just deal with it.

See I don't get this. In 2007 at Macworld Steve said it was a 5 year exclusive agreement. Why are all the tech blogs saying "oh maybe oh maybe oh verizon maybe?"
NO! Steve said 5 years dammit. I can only think that blogs are trying to generate buzz and hits, but five years means five years. There's no news here.

@JBeezy: Pricing for iPhone plans won't come down as a function of the iPhone being on other carriers. We all know that $100 is a good pile of change, but that's the pricing for virtually any "smartish" phone on AT&T and Verizon. That's unlikely to change.
Ok, I actually do think pricing structure is going to change, with tiered plans starting with iPhone 4. It's a pretty safe bet though, that we won't be seeing cheaper data, which is what you want. Price of loving connectivity.

I believe I'm my own opinion that Verizon will not see the iPhone. At least not for about three to five years. Speculation yes, but honestly, think back not too long ago, Apple took some hits from Verizon in the commercials they put out. Yes they were mainly for AT&T's network but it in some way or another it hurt Apples sales. Not badly by any means, but just think, what if those commercials never existed.
Its basically like saying want an iPhone? Sorry you cant, AT&T's network blows.
Maybe its just me but I just don't like Verizon.

I posted this in another thread a day ago because Send-a-Tip page locks up and Rene generally ignores anything I send anyway.
But now comes conflicting rumor that Verizon's advertising agency is working on a huge iPhone campaign for later this summer: http://tinyurl.com/2flltea
So I'm guessing that in order to get the iPad 3G contract AT&T had to gut-slash the Data plan price AND agree to drop the Exclusivity that was mentioned in 2007.
So I don't believe this news is all that important, simply because its to old.

May I ask why this keeps coming up on all the tech blogs. SJ said they had a 5 deal with big orange in 2007. 2007-2012= 5 years.

i think icebike may have point. do you make ads? i tell ad creator to draft verizon iphone and he look puzzled. i say it again but with anger. this time he understand. they hide and are sneaky. i will start betting website. we all make many USD and retire and build our own iphone. i talk many minutes day on phone, do you. how i use bluetooth and play they will never know. go apple and keep the work good. i laugh at sister today.

@icebike. I don't think AT&T shortened the iPhone contract to get the iPad. The iPad is sold unlocked and it just so happens that T-mobile doesn't support it. There isn't a CDMA version of the iPad either and I don't think apple is planning on making one. IMHO AT&T just got lucky in being the only carrier in the US that supports the iPads current hardware.

@chris j. Are you from Asia or something man cuz you talk all choppy like one who is from Asia and doesn't know English good haha. I'm not racist! It just made me laugh.

U can use airvoice it's $50 a month unlimited voice and text but no internet for $50 and airvoice uses AT&T tower so u do not need to unlock the phone it will always work no unlock needed

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