There has been a lot of word going around lately regarding AT&T and its iPhone exclusivity, namely that it would be losing that deal very soon. It started in the summer when the carrier tried to assure investors that it would do perfectly well without the Apple smartphone. Loss of exclusivity became an even bigger matter when both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported that a CDMA iPhone was making its way to Verizon.
Now AT&T will be the only carrier going into the holiday season that will carry every major smartphone platform, including the new Windows Phone 7 by Microsoft.
According to AppleInsider:
“AT&T Inc., facing the possible loss of its hold on the iPhone, is adding handsets at an accelerating clip and retraining store staff to help reduce reliance on its top-selling smartphone during the holidays,” author Greg Bensinger wrote.
Indeed, AT&T is acting quickly to get its entire team prepared for the potential loss of its cash cow. There is no hiding its sustained success thanks to the smartphone, especially when it announced its third quarter earnings yesterday and revealed that it sold a record 5.2 million iPhones over the summer.
The report continues:
Jeff Bradley, AT&T devices senior vice president, told Bloomberg that his company’s changes are not meant to protect against the end of iPhone exclusivity. He said the carrier plans to carry the iPhone for the “foreseeable future,” even after exclusivity expires, though he didn’t say when that would happen.
Perhaps it’s true that most customers will stay with the current iPhone carrier in the U.S. After all, most folks still have another year or two left in their contracts, and even AT&T alleges that most of those Apple customers are also on family plans and that a complete migration to Verizon would be too much of a hassle.
I wouldn’t bet on that. People have been aching for a Verizon iPhone for a very long time now. Given the option to switch for service that actually works, especially in cities like San Francisco, there would be plenty of people who would happily jump through hoops and ladders so that the phone and service they’re paying for work.