Print 29 comment(s) - last by lightfoot.. on Jul 28 at 3:55 PM

AT&T CEO says end of partnership is inevitable

No one can deny the business sense that AT&T used when it locked up the iPhone from Apple as an exclusive back in 2007 when the phone first debuted. The iPhone has helped AT&T grow significantly since it debuted.

According to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, the partnership with Apple will inevitably end and ultimately the only differentiator between the wireless providers in America will be network quality. The exclusive agreement between Apple and AT&T is believed to end next year.

In Europe, O2 is facing the same problem as AT&T with its exclusive period ending. Apple is allowing O2 to keep the exclusive on the iPhone 3GS in the UK while opening the iPhone 3G up to other carriers. Reuters reports that AT&T added 1.4 million new subscribers in the second quarter and had more than 2.4 million iPhone activation during the quarter.

The prospect of losing the exclusive on the iPhone has to raise eyebrows at AT&T and with Wall Street. Research firm Pali Research issued a sell advisement on AT&T stock in June because it was believed to be losing its iPhone exclusive. At the same time, the research firm issued a buy order on Verizon, believed to be picking the iPhone up on its network.

Pali Research wrote in a report, "Our buy rating on Verizon is based on our view that its market share gains will lead to profit growth that tops other telecom companies and Wall Street consensus estimates. Our sell rating on AT&T is based primarily on our belief that its wireless business will enter a prolonged period of erosion after being propped up by the iPhone for the past two years."

AT&T has long been buoyed by the iPhone, but at the same time, many iPhone users are very critical of AT&T's 3G network. Stephenson admits that there are issues with AT&T's 3G network, but points out that most of the issues are centers on high call volumes and areas where the iPhone is most concentrated.

Apple continues to do fantastically well in the smartphone market with the iPhone and owns a full 91% of the over $1,000 PC market.

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RE: Numbers?
By Boze on 7/27/2009 1:36:21 PM , Rating: 5
What's going on with the ridiculous reversals on DailyTech around here? Back in the day, Jason Mick used to be the Apple fanatic... somewhere along the line, he switched sides, Pirks came along and took his place and went to the next level with it, and now Shaun is becoming old Jason... this is like a comic book.

At any rate, if AT&T had lost exclusivity of the iPhone about a year go, I might have switched from T-Mobile to AT&T, but now that my T-Mobile Wing is showing its age and the Palm Pre is out and looking [b]amazing[/b], I'll probably go with Sprint. $99.99 for unlimited everything with a pretty nifty phone is hard to beat, and frankly, with phones like the HTC Hero coming out, the Palm Pre already here, and other iPhone wannabes coming around the corner, its hard to see the iPhone allure these days.

RE: Numbers?
By Brandon Hill on 7/27/2009 1:43:28 PM , Rating: 5
I think you're just projecting a bit. As far as I know, Jason doesn't even use a Apple system (or have an iPhone) -- he uses Windows and Linux on a daily basis.

Shane is a Windows users as far as I know.

I personally have been a strictly Windows guy for the past 15 years, however, I just bought a 13" MacBook Pro from Amazon. So I'm sure that everyone will start calling me an Apple fanboy now even though I'll be dual booting with Windows 7...

RE: Numbers?
By invidious on 7/27/2009 2:10:33 PM , Rating: 5
Writing fan service blogs advancing Apple's corporate line does not require one to write said blog on an Apple computer nor own an iPhone.

RE: Numbers?
By DanoruX on 7/27/2009 4:48:09 PM , Rating: 4
Brandon Hill is a god damn spah!

RE: Numbers?
By Sazar on 7/27/2009 5:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
As long as he doesn't sap the sentry, s'all good :D

On topic, I am really hoping this comes to pass because competition == lower prices (hopefully) == better options for consumers. And I am sure other carriers will NOT charge $9.99 per month for navigation services.

RE: Numbers?
By ggordonliddy on 7/27/2009 7:58:19 PM , Rating: 5
I just bought a 13" MacBook Pro

A fool and his money are soon parted.

RE: Numbers?
By Tegeril on 7/27/2009 10:41:42 PM , Rating: 3
^-- Epic double post that effectively erased any wit that may have been present.

RE: Numbers?
By Brandon Hill on 7/28/2009 8:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
Well, considering that I got the MacBook Pro plus I got an 8GB iPod touch for free instantly from Amazon (no tax, free shipping, no rebates), I consider it money well spent.

But keep on hatin' if it makes life easier for you :-)

RE: Numbers?
By ancient46 on 7/28/2009 10:00:27 AM , Rating: 2
Just don't pocket the iPod Touch and you should be OK. Oh, and only use it in the shade.

RE: Numbers?
By ggordonliddy on 7/27/2009 7:58:19 PM , Rating: 1
I just bought a 13" MacBook Pro

A fool and his money are soon parted.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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