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April 15, 2009

AT&T to extend iPhone pact?

Posted: 11:42 AM ET

Are you thinking about buying an iPhone but waiting until the device is available on wireless carriers other than AT&T? You may have to wait a while.

Apple and AT&T met last August and agreed to extend AT&T's contract as exclusive carrier of the iPhone through the end of 2009 - at which time Apple would presumably be allowed to start selling the popular smartphone on other carriers.

Now, AT&T wants to extend that deal another two years, according to a report Tuesday evening in The Wall Street Journal.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, saying only, "We have a great relationship with AT&T."

Some iPhone users have grumbled about spotty AT&T service - notably during last month's South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, where thousands of iPhone-carrying attendees overloaded AT&T's network.

It'll be interesting to see if Apple agrees to AT&T's request or seeks to broaden the iPhone's popularity by opening the device to Verizon, Sprint and other carriers.

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Filed under: Internet • technology

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Clock   April 20th, 2009 12:55 am ET

Don't blame Apple. Verizon is not that easy a company to deal with.

Bill   April 20th, 2009 2:23 am ET

What is a bigger issue in my mind isn't the AT&T vs others, but the lack of flexible (tiered) payment plans. I own one iPhone and would buy 2-3 more for my family if there was an affordable plan. I wonder if Apple appreciates/knows how the AT&T plan stifles unit sales. And on each unit they'll sell more apps, songs, books, etc.

Anti-Verizon User   April 20th, 2009 9:28 am ET

I'm happy with my AT&T Service, Do you relize how expensive an iPhone would be on a Verizon Network!?!? I think I've only been to one city that Verizon worked and AT&T didn't and I was in BFE, Way out in the country!

Brownie Harris   April 20th, 2009 10:15 am ET

I love my iPhone but the AT&T service does not even work in my house.
I have to go outside to get service. I can't wait for other carriers to be included and I'll change my service at that moment.

Rob Cluett   April 23rd, 2009 12:20 pm ET

You are all missing the boat. I don't believe Verizon wants the iPhone because of the App store. It's my understanding that Apple makes all the cash anytime someone downloads an application. Verizon does not want to give up that cash cow. I'm not sure Verizon will ever see the iPhone on their network (remember that Verizon was offered it first and passed on it). I'm still not sure AT&T made a wise decision by agreeing to Apples terms. After all I haven't seen AT&T's stock price move at all since the very day the iPhone was introduced. What does that tell you?

Verizon will have on their own network something that rivals or competes with the iPhone (and I'm not talking about the Storm). It will happen eventually.

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