According to Bloomberg, the phone that has so many customers buzzing will finally be available on a carrier other than AT&T.
Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile-phone company, will start selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone next year, ending AT&T Inc.’s exclusive hold on the smartphone in the U.S., two people familiar with the plans said.
The largest carrier in the US will get the most popular phone as well. The news isn’t supposed to be public yet and neither Verizon or Apple will confirm or deny the leak.
Apple has had the iPhone on lock since 2007. During that time, they have made a ton of money from being the exclusive dealer for the iPhone. This is even amid complaints about their network being able to handle the load and a bunch of security mishaps surrounding the latest iPhone 4 launch. The relationship between Apple and AT&T has been trending downhill for a while now. We even asked the question here: Is exclusivity in Apple’s best interest? Apparently, the answer is “No.”
Apple sold 1.7 million iPhones in just three days after the iPhone 4 came out. Many speculated just how much more ridiculous those numbers would have been had Apple not been limited to a single carrier: AT&T.
“Apple is going to dramatically increase the number of devices it sells in the U.S. when exclusivity at AT&T ends,” said Hodulik, who is based in New York and rates Verizon shares “neutral.” “It’s hard to ignore the quality issues that AT&T has faced.”
Now, we will get to see exactly that. The iPhone has people buying phones at a time when the mobile market is near saturation and most people already have a phone. With that type of pull and the network reliability that Verizon offers, we should be in for some big numbers from Verizon and Apple next year.
One third of AT&T’s activations in the first three months of this year came from customers who were new to the carrier. I suspect that many iPhone activations involve people terminating their current contracts or otherwise jumping through a lot of hoops just to get the Apple device. I predict a similar move away from AT&T to Verizon when they officially launch the iPhone.