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Possible Outcomes Of The iPhone Becoming A Non-AT&T Exclusive

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The folks at Apple just need to wake of in the morning to create news of all sorts that could shape the online world in many ways. First, there’s the talk about some profits in Q1 that would make any company happy (The company posted revenue of $15.68 billion and a net quarterly profit of $3.38 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share). There’s all the hubbub about the announcement of their new tablet device on Wednesday which is apparently the worst kept secret in quite some time.

Now comes the rumor that in the next 18 months the iPhone should be available on most major carriers thus breaking away from its AT&T exclusivity contract (read: stranglehold) that has been the bane of many iPhone users existence. If this is truly the case then there may be some considerable change on the Verizon, oops, I meant horizon.

This makes sense for Apple since the other rumors are that Android devices are a real threat to the iPhone dynasty. eWeek reports

Is Jan. 27 the day Apple introduces its anticipated tablet — and AT&T’s exclusive relationship with Apple’s iPhone comes to an end?

According to Hot Hardware, which cites an “inside source,” the latter is seeming likely — though news of which additional carrier or carriers will gain access to the iPhone is still unknown.

Verizon Wireless has been rumored for some time to be on line for an iPhone — a scenario that analyst have called a positive one for Apple — while others have said that Verizon may also be first in line for the Apple tablet.

The move would entail Apple releasing either a CDMA-based version of the iPhone, or a single, updated iPhone that could run on both networks.

No matter what the scenarios that are played out there are plenty of people who are right on the edge of moving to some Android device but have been holding off in hopes of the iPhone escaping the bondage of its AT&T deal. Everyone wants to see it happen except, of course, AT&T. Whether the network criticisms of AT&T are real or not there could be an exodus to other networks if the iPhone can be had someplace else.

For me this may delay my plans to move away from the BlackBerry to an Android device on Verizon. This kind of a result could be just as much of a reason for Apple to make this happen than anything else. If they could slow the adoption rate of the Android smartphones with just the prospect of the iPhone showing up on other networks then that in and of itself is a victory.

So if you are an iPhone user would you jump ship to get on another network if the iPhone were there? And for you folks like me who are not currently an iPhone user what are your plans for the next smartphone you purchase?

If this happens then this should be very interesting for everyone from users to marketers. Your take?

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