As the chatter about AT&T losing exclusivity of the Apple iPhone grows louder, AT&T is insisting that it isn’t worried about how it will compete without having Apple’s smartphone all to itself.
At the D conference, AT&T’s Glenn Lurie reiterated that the company has other competitive advantages that go beyond just having the iPhone. He even brought up analogies to how losing exclusivity on the Motorola Razr years ago was thought to hurt the carrier but didn’t.
“We have 93 million customers and they all have different devices. We have come out publicly and said we aren’t concerned about it at all,” said Lurie. “The iPhone has been a great device for a long time, and we are in a position to compete with anyone who has any device at any time.”
No matter how badly some users would like to switch to a Verizon iPhone, there will be some sticky factors which won’t make it very simple. AT&T has said that many of its iPhone users are on family or business plans and those aren’t very easy to get out of.
Additionally, many iPhone 4 owners are still in the midst of a two-year contract, which means hopping over to Verizon would require a costly early-termination fee. While some would gladly pay that to actually be able to use their Apple smartphone as a phone, I’m guessing many would just ride out their contracts and then check out their options.
A Verizon iPhone would be very appealing to may Big Red users although there are rumors that it will be a 3G-only device that can’t use the carrier’s recently-launched 4G LTE network. Will this still be attractive to mobile enthusiasts who want the top-of-the-line device when there are Android 4G devices available?
Would you jump ship if AT&T lost exclusivity?
[Via All Things D]