Multi-Year Pact With Apple Means ATT Should Have the iPhone 5 (And iPhone 6 and 7 Too)
While all the attention these days is on the Verizon iPhone, Apple COO Tim Cook made it clear on Tuesday that AT&T is not getting squeezed out of the picture.
Among the tidbits he dropped on the earnings conference call was that Apple has signed a new deal with AT&T–this one a non-exclusive deal that is multi-year in nature. I’m hearing that the pact was signed only recently and covers multiple products (AT&T is in the iPad as well, remember?).
Such a deal seemed to be in the cards, though, given that AT&T had been saying for months that when and if the day came that it no longer had an exclusive on the iPhone, it still expected to be selling Apple gear for the foreseeable future.
“It’s a very, very important device and it will continue to be for us,” AT&T executive Glenn Lurie told Mobilized at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference in December. “If anything ever changes, I expect that relationship to continue.”
It’s also not surprising that Apple would want more than one U.S. carrier for the iPhone. This was the last country in which the iPhone was offered on an exclusive basis. Apple began with that approach, but has shifted to all non-exclusive deals over the past few years.
Needless to say, Apple and AT&T aren’t commenting on their new arrangement. I offered to proofread the contract for them, but they declined that offer as well.