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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RE: 4G iPhone
By mcnabney on 5/11/2010 12:01:22 AM , Rating: 2
You really don't understand wireless. LTE may have evolved from GSM, but it requires completely different equipment from the antenna to the switch. Oh, and don't forget the backhaul.

And Clearwire is pathetic. I am so impressed at their money losing operations in Chicago, Atlanta, Greensboro, Philladelphia, Portland, Seatle, Vegas, and several communities in Texas. It will be even more pathetic after Centurytel/Embarq/Qwest buys Sprint (or maybe they will buy T-Mobile, it is obvious that they want into wireless).

CDMA and EVDO are related, but they are completely different technologies that require completely different equipment and spectrum portfolios to operate. Adding LTE to their offerings will be very similar to adding EVDO five years ago. You might have noticed how fast Verizon covered their entire footprint in EVDO. The only problem to this would be if spectrum was in short supply, which that isn't a problem for Verizon since the last auction when they bought an entire block that covers the entire nation.

So LTE will roll out as a third layer on the Verizon network. Eventually they will eliminate both CDMA and EVDO in favor os VoIP for voice, but that will take years.

RE: 4G iPhone
By Chaser on 5/11/2010 7:35:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'm no expert. I read the white papers and articles. Will LTE allow a Verizon phone to do simultaneous phone and data service?

RE: 4G iPhone
By semiconshawn on 5/11/2010 10:00:39 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously tho what is the argument for lte right now? Where can I get it and use it? Its like saying DVD's are better than VHS two years before DVD's come out. Thats going to be great, but how do I get mobile 4g now? and what is the downside when there is no contract? the 100 bucks for the usb modem?

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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