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Print 38 comment(s) - last by Xarthos.. on May 25 at 11:34 AM


  (Source: The Huffington Post)
Apple may still try to squirm its way out of exclusivity

Those who follow the smartphone industry knew that Apple and AT&T had a very tight contract with the iPhone which has compelled the electronics maker to stay AT&T exclusive to date.  However, it was unclear just how long that contract was good for, until now. According to unsealed court documents uncovered by Engadget, AT&T has exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in the U.S. until 2012.

The documents come from a California antitrust class action lawsuit.  The plaintiffs claim that Apple attempted to create an illegal monopoly in 2007 when it failed to reveal that the secret deal would make it impossible for them to transfer their phones to other carriers in 2 years, without unlocking.

The case also accuses Apple of antitrust violations for blocking third party applications, a concern that still exists thanks to Apple's blocking of Flash and Flash ports, actions the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is currently examining for antitrust violations.

The court documents read:

The duration of the exclusive Apple-[AT&T] agreement was not 'secret' either. The [plaintiff] quotes a May 21, 2007 USA Today article – published over a month before the iPhone's release – stating, "AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years-an eternity in the go-go cellphone world."
...
"[T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T's] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years... Moreover, it is sheer speculation – and illogical – that failing to disclose the five-year exclusivity term would produce monopoly power...

While the contract with AT&T is surely tight, it's possible Apple could payoff AT&T to cancel the contract, attempt to amend it, or declare it breached and fight it out in court.  There's a very real possibility, though, that it will simply stick it out till 2012, which would mean that 3 more years, and the next two iPhone models would be AT&T exclusive (in the U.S.).



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Hate to say it....
By Smartless on 5/10/2010 7:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
But its Apple's loss. With all the bad press AT&T has gotten, and the rising of Android... You don't have to be an Apple fan-boy to respect the iPhone and you don't have hate AT&T to believe all the bad press they've gotten. All I know is, my contract is up at AT&T (which has great coverage here), so come July am I getting the best phone for me. Is it so hard to tell me what droid phones are coming down the pipe?




RE: Hate to say it....
By mcnabney on 5/10/2010 9:13:05 PM , Rating: 4
Tons of them. Verizon is releasing an LG android right on the heels of the Droid Incredible. Expect a constant stream - which has been Google's plan all along.

Don't try to design the 'coolest' phone. Design a robust and open platform. That will let the engineers at HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, and others think of innovative ways to fine tune different designs to fit different tastes.

Need the highest performance, but no keyboard - the Incredible is what you have been demanding. Want to save some money and keep the keyboard, pick up the Devour. Want something that blends the LG feature-phone legacy with Android, LG has a new QWERTY-slider on the way. Want something just like the iPhone, the old Droid Eris is there for you. Maybe something bulky and manly - that woul be the Droid. See, that way people can pick an android that fits their tastes, needs, size, and pocketbook.
All the iFans have the same device. Do you really want to have the exact same phone as so many other people.


RE: Hate to say it....
By semiconshawn on 5/11/2010 10:08:32 AM , Rating: 2
+1


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