Originally Posted by tonton
If it's unlockable, I'd love it. It'll definitely destroy the rest of the market in the US, locked or not.
Ok, since it's not exactly a corporate secret, negotiations in the United States could take another year (or two), and some members here are completely missing the advantages for both Apple and AT&T to having a locked iPhone, I'll mention a specific deal AT&T is working on. It is one among many.
So here it is :
AT&T is working on gaining the rights so across the United States, anyone with AT&T service can call anyone else with AT&T service, days and nights, weekdays and weekends, both local and long distance, for free. It will no longer matter if you have AT&T for your house, business, or cell phone – it will be considered the same and your calls with other AT&T users (house, business, and cell phone) will be free.
Right now, any one of over two million Americans with an iPhone can contact any other American with an iPhone, both local and long distance, and talk for hours, for free. That’s on any day, at any time, regardless of what type of iPhone plan each has. They can even set up a three way conference call and none of them will be charged in minutes – again, for free.
In the future, once AT&T successfully completes the deal, all bets are off and they win the cell war. For those that have an iPhone, which is AT&T, then switch their home or business phone to AT&T, they get the entire package. Until 2012, AT&T is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone. AT&T and Apple then change their marketing, clearly stating that by using the iPhone you have unlimited free access to the internet, your email, and tens of millions of businesses, friends, and family, that have AT&T. Don't want an iPhone? They still win, so long as you choose a cell phone with AT&T service.
That’s whether the person you called (or being called from) has an AT&T cellular or landline service. Consider your own business – do you then stay with Verizon, Sprint, or Vonage, or do you switch to AT&T and gain free access to all calls with tens of millions of those that use AT&T, whether they have an iPhone or not? Also remember, by 2009 there will be over seven million Americans with the iPhone, all of them who will be charged in minutes if they call your business and you don’t use AT&T. Is that hard to understand? Switch to AT&T, problem solved.
Now, simply by adding AT&T recently offering iPhone plans for business customers and Apple improving support for Microsoft's Exchange, the expansion of AT&T’s 3G network, the upcoming new and improved iPhone models, increasing marketing for iTunes Wi-Fi, plus slowly but surely introducing .Mac to iPhone users, and possibly lowering the price of current iPhone models - it should all start to make business sense that AT&T and Apple are setting a formidable foundation for a new platform for services.
AT&T and Apple would be foolish to unlock the iPhone in the United States. They have so much to gain. So do we.
P.S. This is one of the "behind closed doors" reasons that Apple wants to grant exclusive rights to specific carriers in each country, whenever possible. Each carrier, within a year or two from now, can follow AT&T's example and demand rights so those with the iPhone, using their service, can freely exchanges calls with customers that have their landline service.
Just like negotiating music rights with iTunes, with millions of iPhone uses and AT&T serving as the leading example, Steve can aggressively negotiate such deals within each country. Such a deal is worth billions.