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iPhone: No longer exclusive, still locked

With the expected announcement and launch on Verizon this month, AT&T exclusivity will be over and the iPhone will finally be available on another US carrier -- but it will still be locked.

Unlike most other countries where iPhone is available on multiple carriers, you won't be able to go to an Apple store and pay full price for an unlocked iPhone you can use on any network -- or any carrier around the world with a simple SIM swap. Verizon, being a CDMA rather than GSM carrier doesn't use SIMs.

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AT&T preparing for loss of iPhone exclusivity?

AT&T has been quietly accumulating smartphone units to add to their war chest in anticipation of the iPhone being made available through Verizon in the near future. Bloomberg reports:

AT&T Inc., facing the possible loss of its hold on the iPhone, is adding handsets at an accelerating clip and retraining store staff to help reduce reliance on its top-selling smartphone during the holidays. AT&T clearly has tried to diversify themselves away from the iPhone, and that’s probably the right strategy since they’ve relied so heavily on the iPhone these past few years [...] this handset strategy could shelter them from some customer losses.”

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T-Mobile Germany losing iPhone exclusivity?

T-Mobile has been the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Germany since the first iPhone in 2007, however there is new evidence to show that T-Mobile may lose its exclusivity to O2 and Vodafone in the coming weeks.

  • The O2 Germany website, has launched a ‘keep me informed’ page, that offers “the latest news and everything to know about the iPhone 4 on O2”

  • The Vodafone website has launched a similar page that allows you to sign up and select which iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS you want to be notified about.

Both carriers are yet to announce any official pricing or release date, however one source at iPhone-Ticker.de has said that Vodafone will have iPhone 4’s starting Wednesday 27th October, with prices starting at €729 and as high as €849, off contract.

Rumoured contract prices start at €169,90 for the handset and €45 a month for the low-tier contract, to as high as €119,95 a month, with the handset at €1 for the higher-tier contract.

This marks the end of T-Mobile’s exclusivity in Germany, and sees them join the likes of the UK and Canada in the list of multiple-carrier countries. Unless and until Verizon iPhone (or Sprint or T-Mobile) rumors prove true, the US remains exclusive to AT&T.

So, any T-Mobile Germany iPhone users tempted to switch?


by George Lim

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23% of AT&T users would switch to Verizon iPhone [survey]

Credit Suisse has run a survey asking, if AT&T lost iPhone exclusivity, would users switch to another carrier like Verizon. 23% said they would go to Verizon while 3% would go to Sprint and 2% to T-Mobile.

When TiPb ran a Verizon-only switching poll, 34% of our readers said they'd make the switch in a heartbeat, while 20% said they were AT&T for life, and the said it would depend on the plans and rates.

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Regarding AT&T, Verizon, and iPhone exclusivity

No one outside a very few at Apple and AT&T know exactly how long iPhone will remain exclusive in the US. While the original deal was for 5 years, deals are subject to all manner of renegotiation, renewal, termination, amendment, and service level agreements. It could run out earlier than expected or it could continue on longer. While we can't see the dark matter that is Apple and AT&T exclusivity, we can see some of the gravitational ripples around it.

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Class action lawsuit over iPhone/AT&T exclusivity gets certified -- should it go to court?

The class action lawsuit against AT&T's US iPhone exclusivity has been certified, which means a judge thinks it meets the legal requirements to go forward. If you remember back, The crux of suit states that customer contracts are 2 years, but the AT&T exclusivity is 5 years -- so customers were falsely lured to AT&T for 5 years, not 2 -- if they want to keep iPhones, that is. The lawsuit seeks to include all current AT&T iPhone customers.

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Why would AT&T want an exclusive BlackBerry Bold 9800 slider hero phone this summer?

With Apple all but certain to announce a the 4th generation iPhone (iPhone HD/iPhone 4G) with iPhone OS 4 at WWDC the week of June 7, and AT&T to release it later the same month, why would AT&T want to release the new BlackBerry 9800 slider running OS 6.0 at around the same time?

Since 2007 the iPhone has been AT&T's summer blockbuster. It's been the phone that got the users and made the numbers, quarter after quarter. Some would go so far as to say iPhone exclusivity is the only thing that's kept AT&T competitive with their arch-rival, Verizon.

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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.

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AT&T: We'll Carry iPhone for "Quite Some Time", Variable Pricing, LTE in 2012

According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson took the opportunity, while speaking at an investor conference, to once again talk about the iPhone remaining on his network, and also touch on the iPad, problems in New York and San Francisco, variable pricing, and Apple's new darling, the iPad.

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