or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › AT&T may hold on to exclusive iPhone deal until 2010
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AT&T may hold on to exclusive iPhone deal until 2010

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
In what may be a rare peek at negotiations between Apple and carriers, a prominent newspaper claims AT&T agreed to hefty iPhone 3G subsidies on the condition that it remained the lone US carrier for the handset until 2010.

Tucked away amid discussions of AT&T's pleased reaction to the iPhone's results, USA Today surprisingly mentions that the American cellular service provider didn't simply agree to switch from a monthly revenue sharing model to a heavily subsidized approach without first setting some conditions.

As struck before the original iPhone's launch, Apple's initial agreement for iPhone exclusivity had AT&T serve as the only US network for iPhones until 2009, or roughly two years after customers' contracts began. But to greenlight the subsidy -- which is described as "painful" and damaging in the short term -- AT&T allegedly insisted on an extension of the deal until 2010, when T-Mobile and other carriers could start offering the device.

The report explains that the deal very likely has its roots in AT&T's determination to hold on to its market share lead in a field where most every potential customer already owns a cellphone. As the only real choice for the company is to "steal" subscribers rather than attract completely new customers, the iPhone lineup is a bargaining chip that transfers customers from rival networks and keeps existing ones in line.

AT&T chief Randall Stephenson declines to speak about the terms of the contract but goes on record as acknowledging that reaching the magic $199 price point for the iPhone was a mutual imperative not just for himself, but for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Without a low-enough price, both top executives worried the iPhone would never hit the inflection point where it enters the mainstream.

"The $199 price point is where demand leaps," according to Stephenson. "This is going to bring in a whole new demographic."

Long-term revenue is also a concern for AT&T in particular, as an average iPhone 3G subscriber is estimated to pay about $100 per month for voice and data, or nearly double the $55 per month paid by most other subscribers. A longer exclusivity period gives AT&T a better chance at recouping the expensive subsidies through these high-value monthly plans.

Outside of recognizing the switch to a subsidized model with iPhone 3G, Stephenson's remarks have been consistent with the silence on terms from both Apple and AT&T, which have never publicly disclosed the length of time involved or the money exchanging hands. Until now, this has left analysts and even USA Today's own previous sources making tentative estimates or floating rumors that the agreement was to have lasted as long as five years, or enough to guarantee AT&T's exclusivity through 2012.

And while the newly suggested duration may provoke a reaction from customers of other US carriers, who may be learning that they could have had a fully sanctioned iPhone in just one year without the new deal in place, the 2010 termination for AT&T's grip on the cellphone may be convenient for Apple. AT&T and Verizon have both pledged to upgrade to the same 4G network standard in the same year, which may give iPhone buyers their choice of ultra high-speed mobile Internet access from multiple carriers.

Whatever the end date, Stephenson says AT&T is "very happy" with the results of its Apple partnership and that any immediate losses are part of a larger, calculated gamble that it believes will pan out.

"You don't [push forward] by making little incremental moves. You've got to make big moves," he explains. "You've just got to be right more than you're wrong."
post #2 of 31
No iPhone for me for another 2 years.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Tucked away amid discussions of AT&T's pleased reaction to the iPhone's results, USA Today surprisingly mentions that the American cellular service provider didn't simply agree to switch from a monthly revenue sharing model to a heavily subsidized approach without first setting some conditions.

What? There was a contract change? I thought the only change was that the iPhone was now half the price.

I'm being sarcastic. Some here have argued to no end that there was no contract modifications. You know who you are.
post #4 of 31
I think it was TenoBell that was saying that he thought the contract was not 5 years like Verizon's CEO mentioned Apple approached them with, but only 2 years. If it was someone else

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Some here have argued to no end that there was no contract modifications. You know who you are.

I'm not following. If you change from revenue sharing to subsidy you are changing the contract. How can that be debated?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #5 of 31
So, exactly why is this "news"?

If you bought the iPhone at the subsidized $199 or $299 price points, you also signed up with AT&T for two years.

The iPhone 3G launched on July 11, 2008

Two years from now, it will be.... (drum roll, please).....

2010!

Shear genius when it comes to big numbers, I tell ya!
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

So, exactly why is this "news"?
If you bought the iPhone at the subsidized $199 or $299 price points, you also signed up with AT&T for two years.
The iPhone 3G launched on July 11, 2008
Two years from now, it will be.... (drum roll, please).....
2010!
Shear genius when it comes to big numbers, I tell ya!

This has nothing to do with user contracts. This has to do with carrier to manufacturer contracts. Since not everyone who wants and iPhone bought one right away they desire for AT&T to extend the contract helps them maintain customers for up to two years AFTER the Apple contract ends.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #7 of 31
Quote:
AT&T and Verizon have both pledged to upgrade to the same 4G network standard in the same year, which may give iPhone buyers their choice of ultra high-speed mobile Internet access from multiple carriers.

Does LTE require the SIM card as part of the spec? How will Verizon implement it among their existing customers?
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This has nothing to do with user contracts. This has to do with carrier to manufacturer contracts. Since not everyone who wants and iPhone bought one right away they desire for AT&T to extend the contract helps them maintain customers for up to two years AFTER the Apple contract ends.

I get that, Soli.

It just seems to be ridiculous rehashing on what has been known for some time.

It's as if AI is just throwing stuff up for us to rehash rather than providing real news.
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

I get that, Soli.
It just seems to be ridiculous rehashing on what has been known for some time.
It's as if AI is just throwing stuff up for us to rehash rather than providing real news.

It wasn't known to all but a few and only assumed by a minority. Five years is what the majority (me included) thought it was because that is what Verizon said Apple approached them with and with the information provided it did seemed the most likely.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #10 of 31
things will change when Verizon upgrade their network, period. it may be two years or three years.

there is no other fish to catch for apple other than ATT. now att & apple in honeymoon period

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

Reply

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

Reply
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post

now att & apple in honeymoon period

OK, so when does AT&T have to sleep on the couch?
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

OK, so when does AT&T have to sleep on the couch?

I'd think AT&T gets the bed as Apple will be just be sleeping around for the next two years until it can admit to secretly having other relationships with other carriers.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

OK, so when does AT&T have to sleep on the couch?

may be when Apple buy their own spectrum...

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

Reply

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

Reply
post #14 of 31
NetShare is the best app in the Apps Store... But, am I the only one living in fear until my next ATT statement comes with a fine or a $3 Billion data usage charge??? I HATE ATT!!!
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post

things will change when Verizon upgrade their network, period. it may be two years or three years.

I think the fallback modes are where it falls apart. You know, when the "good" network isn't available except in the top 40 metro areas. First roll-out may be two or three years, but I would expect that to continue for a few years.

I think I agree with another poster on the discussions, the length of the AT&T exclusivity has never been publicly confirmed by either AT&T or Apple. No amount of discussion and no number of newspaper articles or op-ed pieces is going to really solve it, my guess it's not going to be settled until the deal has ended.
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Does LTE require the SIM card as part of the spec? How will Verizon implement it among their existing customers?

LTE requires a new phone so the SIM card is neither here nor there.

Anyway, this is all a non issue, unless you're desperate to use T-Mobile for some reason and would be happy with 2G performance in that case. Apple will never support T-Mobile's 3G standard.

LTE won't be out until at least 2010 when the other phone companies get onboard. so exclusivity contracts are largely moot.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

I get that, Soli.

It just seems to be ridiculous rehashing on what has been known for some time.

It's as if AI is just throwing stuff up for us to rehash rather than providing real news.

Most news anywhere is just older news that people are interested in, with some new facts and conclusions. It's that most news is of continuing developments, major, and minor. Otherwise, the newspapers and other sources would be much leaner.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post

may be when Apple buy their own spectrum...

Which will likely be never.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

LTE requires a new phone so the SIM card is neither here nor there.

Anyway, this is all a non issue, unless you're desperate to use T-Mobile for some reason and would be happy with 2G performance in that case. Apple will never support T-Mobile's 3G standard.

LTE won't be out until at least 2010 when the other phone companies get onboard. so exclusivity contracts are largely moot.

I read somewhere that T-Mobile is changing to the same standard the AT&T is using. It looks as though the next generation, 4G, will be pretty much the same across carriers. That's when The iPhone can be moved around. I'm sure that Apple doesn't want to have more than one transmission standard, or different phone models for that.
post #20 of 31
T-Mobile use the same 3G standards as ATT&T, but on a different frequency which is specific to the US. IT's very unlikely Apple would add a frequency for a single carrier.
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

T-Mobile use the same 3G standards as ATT&T, but on a different frequency which is specific to the US. IT's very unlikely Apple would add a frequency for a single carrier.

Different frequency makes it a different standard. But they are changing, or at least adding to it.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

I get that, Soli.

It just seems to be ridiculous rehashing on what has been known for some time.

It's as if AI is just throwing stuff up for us to rehash rather than providing real news.

The staff running AI is iPhone obsessed. Look- 6 threads posted Friday- 5 of them about the iPhone! Never did get a thread on the new features of Apple TV 2.1- just iPhone , iPhone and more iPhone. Why don't they just change the frk'n name to iPhone Insider? I would like to see how many articles % the past year of the iPhone to the total . The white iPhone farts a crack- it gets a thread!
Apple is more than just iPhone - get it togethuh!
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ;1287989

The staff running AI is iPhone obsessed. Look- 6 threads posted Friday- 5 of them about the iPhone! Never did get a thread on the new features of Apple TV 2.1- just iPhone , iPhone and more iPhone. Why don't they just change the frk'n name to iPhone Insider? I would like to see how many articles % the past year of the iPhone to the total . The white iPhone farts a crack- it gets a thread!
Apple is more than just iPhone - get it togethuh!

Hell there is so much news on the iPhone, that APPLE and AI are NOT having to deal with the LACK of real news i.e., a series of new monitors, a new line-up of MBP, Descktop units, iTV, MacMini or any of the other issues MANY of us want to know about

Hell, I'd settle for some interesting news on the iPods at this point in the game

Oh yeah, there was a bit of news about something new coming, or is that something old up-dated, or something new up-dated or something old made new again or

Skip
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

No iPhone for me for another 2 years.

Ditto on that for me to brother. I get calls from AT&T almost everyday for me to sign up to their slow DSL Internet. I keep telling them to sing me up for what I have now and when they ask, I laugh when I tell them a dedicated 10MBit line. They try to talk about price then...

So sad that AT&T is loosing so many customers on the hard line side that they will do anything to stay alive and get into the cell phone market. Lets hope they can do a better job than they have in the past. People want change and change for less, not for $100 dollars a month....

Enough endless chatter, move along, nothing to see here...
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

The staff running AI is iPhone obsessed. Look- 6 threads posted Friday- 5 of them about the iPhone! Never did get a thread on the new features of Apple TV 2.1- just iPhone , iPhone and more iPhone. Why don't they just change the frk'n name to iPhone Insider? I would like to see how many articles % the past year of the iPhone to the total . The white iPhone farts a crack- it gets a thread!
Apple is more than just iPhone - get it togethuh!

Because they post articles on what most people want to read about. That happens to be articles about the iPhone, the app store, etc. You don't want that much coverage, but most do. You jst have to put up with it until the fervor dies down.

If they miss stories, they are accused of being asleep at the wheel.

Look at Macworld, while their reporting is generally wider based, many of their articles are about the iPhone now as well. They even have several software reviews and overviews each day.

When time comes for a computer refresh, they will have five articles about that up at one time, and you will be complaining about that. These things go in cycles.

Look at what is being reported in the general news sites. You will also see the same thing. Whatever is news at the time is heavily reported. There just isn't much news about much else about Apple right now.

When they do articles about printers, or cameras, or other tech areas that computer users are interested in, they get criticized for that. As though the only thing they are allowed to report on are stories that are directly related to Apple itself.

You can't have it both ways.
post #26 of 31
I have to say after dealing with AT&T on the initial iPhone rollout and now THIS one, the prospect of dealing with AT&T till 2010 is almost enough to make me give up the iPhone.
My hubby went in the 15th to put in a Direct Fulfillment order, first mistake. He then accidentally left his card in an ATM, so we had to cancel that card. I called AT&T to give another card, and one phone call after another, they could do NOTHING to resolve the issue. Their system wasn't CAPABLE of changing a payment method!!!!!! Imagine our delight to get an EMAIL saying they CANCELLED our order. Um, are they a VOICE company or an email company? No phonecall, no something is wrong with this order, which is terrible in of itself, what's worse we tried to TELL them there is an issue PLEASE FIX IT! Hubby was on the phone for 4 hours to try and get them to resolve this, their solution, get to the back of the line. I am accustomed to a certain level of service having been an apple user since the Mac Plus, but i have to say AT&T has to be the most inept, arrogant and "we DON'T want your business" company I think I have EVER found.Please ANYONE with Apple, you do NOT want your name associated with a shotty company like THIS!
post #27 of 31
You just know that the 2010 rollout is gonna rock!!!!

4G
3.0 software (snow leopard)
16 core power plant
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, SiriusXM
post #28 of 31
It is good to see companies start the big transition into the fast internet world of cell phones so they seem to be seeing that people WANT solid 3G towers and I hope the companies work towards upgrades of those in the future
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

No iPhone for me for another 2 years.

Could not agree with you MORE!!
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss View Post

You just know that the 2010 rollout is gonna rock!!!!

4G
3.0 software (snow leopard)
16 core power plant
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, SiriusXM

You forgot one 2010 cell phone provider: APPLE!
post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

No iPhone for me for another 2 years.

Ditto. Although that 4G comment at the end was interesting. Speaking of which - what happens when cell phone carriers start using the 'tv' frequencies??
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › AT&T may hold on to exclusive iPhone deal until 2010