AT&T CFO on iPhone Deal: All Things Must Pass
AT&T may still have an exclusive on the iPhone, but seemingly not for much longer. Certainly the company’s messaging at a pair of conferences this week suggests it’s prepping Wall Street for the end of what’s been a very rewarding exclusive relationship with Apple. Essentially, it’s the opposite of a soft launch–a sort of soft…disengagement.
Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference yesterday, AT&T CFO Richard Lindner said the carrier has known all along that its exclusive relationship with Apple would change someday and has already factored that into its plans. “At some point, as with all exclusive arrangements, the [iPhone] exclusivity deal ends,” Linder said, adding that “it’s important to support devices on all the major operating systems, particularly those at the higher end that tend to be more data intensive.”
Lindner’s remarks echoed those of AT&T Emerging Devices head Glenn Lurie at D: Dive Into Mobile yesterday. “We are not worried about [the loss of iPhone exclusivity] at all,” he said. “We are in position to compete with anyone who has any device at any time. The key is having a lot of devices that people want. We’re very excited about the new Android devices. We’re excited about Windows Phone 7. We’re the only provider in the U.S. that has every OS.”
For now, anyway.