Apple inks new iPhone deal with AT&T, all exclusive contracts now over

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple announced that in addition to its new non-exclusive agreement with Verizon, it had signed a new non-exclusive agreement with AT&T that brings to a close all carrier-exclusive iPhone contracts worldwide.



Without going into details, Apple's chief operations officer Tim Cook described signing "a multi-year, non-exclusive deal with AT&T," before affirming that "we are not in a contractual exclusivity now in any country in the world; the last one was the US. We have moved away from those."



Cook also noted that "we've seen this in every case where we've moved from exclusive carrier arrangement to a dual- or multi-carrier arrangement: our growth has changed significantly and our market share has increased," although he said that "Not in every country nor are we out doing that [signing up multiple carriers] in every country. Each market has their own parameters and technology."



That raised the question of whether Apple would be using its CDMA iPhone 4, unveiled in its new carrier relationship with Verizon Wireless in the US, to expand its carrier partnerships in other countries, where CDMA offers either another avenue for growth, or a far superior carrier partnership potential.



Cook refused to comment on specifics, saying, "Don't want to comment about any specific country, because any conversations ongoing are confidential in nature," before adding, "I can guarantee you that we always are looking at opportunities to grow."



Responding to a question of whether it was "unreasonable to expect to see more CDMA carriers going forward," Cook replied, "On the CDMA front, I don't have anything specific to announce today other than we are thrilled to be working with the Verizon team. A lot of respect for their customers and some of them have waited a long time for an iPhone."



Cook added, "And non-Verizon customers that wish to buy an iPhone," artfully dodging the idea that a significant number of AT&T's existing iPhone users are expected to jump ship for Verizon simply to have basic service on their phone.



Broadening Apple's Verizons



Outside of the US, India has the second largest deployment of CDMA, offering roughly 100 million subscribers. Apple currently has partnerships with Vodafone and Airtel, but is still only officially offering the iPhone 3G in the country.



A reader reports that the state owned BSNL recently released a carrier settings update for his iPad, suggesting Apple may be bringing its tablet and newer iPhones to the country's largest carrier soon.



However, the CDMA iPhone 4 now enables Apple to also partner with Reliance, which serves around 57 million CDMA subscribers in the country. It also has a smaller GSM business of 30 million users.



Similarly, Apple's current iPhone partner in China, China Unicom, has been its only real choice for partnership because it runs the only real GSM/UMTS network in the country. Its smaller competitor, China Telecom, operates a CDMA mobile network with a stronger presence in the south. The largest Chinese carrier, China Mobile, offers little 3G service but is building out its own proprietary TD-SCDMA network, which is unique to China and would require its own new iPhone design to use.



The CDMA iPhone 4 would similarly enable Apple to partner with China Telecom, establishing dual carriers in the country and reaching areas where its existing carrier offers weaker service. China Telecom appears to serve around 40 million CDMA customers.



While Verizon-compatible CDMA mobile service is being replaced in most countries around the world with new generations of 3GPP standards, just between those two potential new carriers in China and India, Apple has an addressable market for CDMA subscribers similar to that of Verizon in the US.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    Looks like Apple made all the right moves.
  • Reply 2 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iLoveStuff View Post


    Looks like Apple made all the right moves.



    They've been doing a lot of that recently.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    No company makes all the right moves.



    Apple has done a splendid job compared with the rest of the S&P 500 though.



    I am curious to know why the other 499 companies are paying their CEOs so much. Steve Jobs' annual salary is $1. Maybe the Google guys are getting paid that little, but everyone else is making a lot more money for less increase in shareholder value.
  • Reply 4 of 70
    Don't forget the japanese on CDMA carrier au/KDDI. They may be far fewer than the potential customers in India and China, but on average each is likely more wealthy.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    I guess Japan in not a "country in the world" because the iPhone is still exclusive to Softbank here.... He's the COO right? Shouldn't he know that!
  • Reply 6 of 70
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    So are they going to unlock AT&T existing iPhones upon the users request?!
  • Reply 7 of 70
    shadashshadash Posts: 470member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    So are they going to unlock AT&T existing iPhones upon the users request?!



    That is a great question. Somehow I doubt it though. I think this means you don't have to get stuck with AT&T, but once you choose your carrier your stuck with them for the duration. This does bode well for Sprint and T-Mobile coming soon though.
  • Reply 8 of 70
    Maybe there is an obvious answer, but why would AT&T need to sign a new non-exclusive deal with Apple? I don't see the advantage to AT&T.



    TIA
  • Reply 9 of 70
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadash View Post


    That is a great question. Somehow I doubt it though. I think this means you don't have to get stuck with AT&T, but once you choose your carrier your stuck with them for the duration. This does bode well for Sprint and T-Mobile coming soon though.



    AT&T agreed in a lawsuit settlement to unlock all handset for which they have no exclusive agreement. At that time the AT&T and Apple had exclusive agreement for the iPhone. Now is a different story. I think people should start calling AT&T and demand explanation.
  • Reply 10 of 70
    shadashshadash Posts: 470member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    AT&T agreed in a lawsuit settlement to unlock all handset for which they have no exclusive agreement. At that time the AT&T and Apple had exclusive agreement for the iPhone. Now is a different story. I think people should start calling AT&T and demand explanation.



    I didn't know that. I'm calling tomorrow.
  • Reply 11 of 70
    shadashshadash Posts: 470member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Natmac View Post


    I guess Japan in not a "country in the world" because the iPhone is still exclusive to Softbank here.... He's the COO right? Shouldn't he know that!



    For now. I think what you got was a big indication that that will soon change.
  • Reply 12 of 70
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Natmac View Post


    I guess Japan in not a "country in the world" because the iPhone is still exclusive to Softbank here.... He's the COO right? Shouldn't he know that!



    He did not say that there are no countries with only a single carrier; he said there are no existing contracts which provide carrier exclusivity.
  • Reply 13 of 70
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Natmac View Post


    I guess Japan in not a "country in the world" because the iPhone is still exclusive to Softbank here.... He's the COO right? Shouldn't he know that!



    Softbank might be the only current carrier, but that doesn't mean they have an exclusive contract. Apple can sign with the other carriers.
  • Reply 14 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadash View Post


    I didn't know that. I'm calling tomorrow.



    And you really think the lowly CSR is going to know an answer? Keep dreaming. If you dream hard enough, you'll get a gold iPhone.
  • Reply 15 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    No company makes all the right moves.



    Apple has done a splendid job compared with the rest of the S&P 500 though.



    I am curious to know why the other 499 companies are paying their CEOs so much. Steve Jobs' annual salary is $1. Maybe the Google guys are getting paid that little, but everyone else is making a lot more money for less increase in shareholder value.



    Except he's not getting paid just $1. His earnings come though a bonus rather than salary, which I understand is taxed lower.
  • Reply 16 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChickenHawk View Post


    Except he's not getting paid just $1. His earnings come though a bonus rather than salary, which I understand is taxed lower.



    Oh, I don't think so. At least for 2011, bonus income (other than capital gain distributions from mutual funds) is taxed as ordinary income at your highest marginal tax rate.
  • Reply 17 of 70
    dcj001dcj001 Posts: 301member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Natmac View Post


    I guess Japan in not a "country in the world" because the iPhone is still exclusive to Softbank here.... He's the COO right? Shouldn't he know that!



    Nice first post.



    But I am confident that Tim Cook knows more about what Apple is doing and where and with whom Apple is doing it.
  • Reply 18 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by city View Post


    Softbank might be the only current carrier, but that doesn't mean they have an exclusive contract. Apple can sign with the other carriers.



    Actually, Softbank is the EXCLUSIVE iphone carrier in Japan.
  • Reply 19 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Natmac View Post


    Actually, Softbank is the EXCLUSIVE iphone carrier in Japan.



    No, they are currently the only carrier in Japan offering the iPhone. Cook made it very clear that there are no longer any contracts providing carrier exclusivity:

    Quote:

    Without going into details, Apple's chief operations officer Tim Cook described signing "a multi-year, non-exclusive deal with AT&T," before affirming that "we are not in a contractual exclusivity now in any country in the world; the last one was the US. We have moved away from those."



  • Reply 20 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by penchanted View Post


    He did not say that there are no countries with only a single carrier; he said there are no existing contracts which provide carrier exclusivity.



    I hear you, but Softbank is reported as the exclusive provider in Japan...
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