Analysts are increasingly convinced that AT&T’s U.S. iPhone exclusivity will come to an end in mid-2010; I posted this last month http://bit.ly/5he6RR indicating that the love/hate relationship was coming to an end soon.
There have been many reports over the past 6 months saying Verizon Wireless would be the most likely choice of Apple to offer the iPhone in addition to AT&T. The iPhone in the U.S. has been on AT&T’s GSM network since inception and Verizon runs a CDMA network which will require Apple to retool the smartphone to work on Verizon’s network.
The question remains how many U.S. carriers will be offered the rights to the iPhone; T-Mobile runs a GSM network so it seems to be a logical choice. However, with T-Mobile lagging behind the others in coverage and 3G network build out, Apple may shy away from them. Sprint also has network challenges plus runs on the same CDMA network technology as does Verizon.
The logic in expanding the number of carriers selling the iPhone is that it would ultimately result in more sales and more revenues for Apple. In other countries, Apple is transitioning to a strategy that involves supplying more than one operator. In France, where Orange lost exclusivity and now three operators offer the iPhone, Apple has dramatically boosted its market share.
While Apple and AT&T haven’t commented, it does seem likely that Apple will follow its strategy that has been successful overseas and gain additional market share.
I blog on smartphone technology and ‘Smart’ Social Media applications; if you enjoyed this post, you can find more at http://davidrscott.wordpress.com. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn under davidrscott.