Their profit margin per phone is very high and that's due to the fact of their exclusive agreements have netted them quite a lot. RIM sells their berrys around 340ish (depending on model) Apple would be in this same range, but with carriers like AT&T DESPERATE to keep customers in, they are willing to shell out 4-500 dollars per phone to Apple, and iirc it only costs roughly 210 bucks (not exact) to build, their making a killing.
Now that their going multi carrier i think we'll see even more profit obviously for hitting customers they couldnt reach before, but their profit per phone is going to plummet due to the end of exclusive agreements. Theres no doubt in my mind that if AT&T wasnt dumping so much money, Apple would be going to T-Mobile very soon (already there? I know T-Mo handles issues with my girls 2G, theres no doubt it would be a smash hit on their carrier) before going LTE and then take the entire US market.
Analysts don't point this out much but Apple gets additional dollars per phone, especially in the US, because unlike all the other handset makers, Apple does all the marketing, warranty support, and repair. And Apple has its own stores that sign up customers for AT&T. So even with multi-carriers, if Apple insists on and gets these same policies, it will still get more dollars per phone. (And it will have greater expenses per phone sold as well.)
Whether this shows up in the iPhone line or somewhere else in their revenue is unclear to me.
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