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AT&T hopes for iPhone to be synonymous with the company in five year exclusive

Apple’s iPhone is arguably this year’s most hotly anticipated consumer device. AT&T already accelerated its plans to rebrand the Cingular properties in preparation of the iPhone’s arrival – and apparently, its efforts may be well placed as the iPhone could be an AT&T-exclusive for five years, according to a USA Today story.

Being an AT&T-exclusive means that the iPhone will remain a GSM phone, leaving it clearly out of reach for CDMA wireless users. Verizon Wireless and Sprint are both CDMA shops, and customers of those carriers who wish to get the iPhone will have no other choice but to make the move to AT&T.

T-Mobile is another GSM carrier in the U.S., and its network would likely be able to support the iPhone’s calling features, but AT&T will be the only company authorized to officially sell and market the iPhone. Furthermore, all iPhone’s sold through AT&T will be ‘locked’ to the network, disallowing those phones to connect to another carrier even with a different SIM card.

"I'm glad we have (the iPhone) in our bag," says Stan Sigman, CEO of wireless at AT&T. "Others will try to match it, but for a period of time, they're going to be playing catch-up."

According to data collected by Forrester Research, about 78 percent of U.S. households have a mobile phone. Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester, believes anybody who wants a cell phone has one. The other 22 percent without cell phones, he says, "are the very young, the very old and the economically challenged" – none of which are target markets for the iPhone.

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Who Will Buy It Anyway
By uglyone888 on 5/23/2007 10:38:59 AM , Rating: 2
I see the iPhone as a device targeted towards those teenagers without cell phones, but the ones that already have phones will not want to change carriers/phones so they will not purchase one.

RE: Who Will Buy It Anyway
By aguilpa1 on 5/23/2007 10:51:15 AM , Rating: 2

If my teenager asked I need $6 to get a magazine, I say sure (it somewhat helps with their reading skills)

If they said I need $60 to get a new pair of jeans, I say sure as long as its a good quality material and they will wear it more than once.

If they say I need $600 to get a new cell phone (I don't care who's it is) I say NO. and If you want to negotiate, than give me 2 semestars of straight A's and you pay for half of it.

RE: Who Will Buy It Anyway
By ninjit on 5/23/2007 11:22:02 AM , Rating: 2
You're a better parent than most then.

A live in the La Jolla area of San Diego, and you commonly see high-school kids driving around in cadillacs, mercedes, etc.
The high-school parking lots in the area look like high-end dealerships.

Unfortunately, the general rule of thumb is that even if the parents are self-made (and hence aware of how fortunate they are), the kids have little to no appreciation of it.

RE: Who Will Buy It Anyway
By slacker57 on 5/23/2007 1:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
You're a better parent than most then.

Exactly what I was thinking. Helicopter parents are too much the norm these days, and they can't bear to think of the self-esteem hit little Jimmy will take if you or anyone else says no to him, so they will buy whatever they want to keep him from crying. I wouldn't be surprised to see the second graders that my girlfriend teaches running around with iphones, much less teenagers.

RE: Who Will Buy It Anyway
By blaster5k on 5/23/2007 11:24:24 AM , Rating: 2
Umm... I think it's well outside the price range of most teenagers. It'll probably be popular only with a tech savvy crowd who have money to blow on a fancy phone/all-in-one pocket device.

Even though the iPhone looks pretty cool, personally, I'd be afraid to spend that much on a phone knowing the abuse it might take. My current one's been through the washer and dryer and dropped countless times.

RE: Who Will Buy It Anyway
By Master Kenobi on 5/23/2007 1:24:59 PM , Rating: 3
Tech savvy crowd doesn't buy Apples, let alone an iPhone. an iPod maybe, but nothing else. Apple markets to morons. Seen their Mac vs Windows commercials recently? Anyone worth their salt in the tech community knows them to be pure BS.

RE: Who Will Buy It Anyway
By jarman on 5/23/2007 2:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
You hit the nail on the head. Still, it's sad to see some people just eat the marketing up though.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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