Analyst: iPhone to Go Multi-carrier Next Year in U.S.

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U.S. iPhone users may get to start choosing their carrier in 2010, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. He expects Apple will end its exclusive deal with AT&T by next summer and start offering the iPhone through multiple carriers, just as it does in several other countries.

Apple's combination iPod and smartphone is currently available only through AT&T in the United States, limiting the number of users to because many consumers aren't interested in switching to the carrier. Offering the iPhone through multiple carriers could let Apple expand its iPhone user base even more because fewer people would have to switch carriers or break contracts.

If the company does add more cell carriers next year, it could see a substantial boost in iPhone sales. According to Mr. Munster, the iPhone holds about 40 percent of the market in France thanks in part to multiple carrier deals. In the U.S., however, Apple's smartphone market share is limited to the mid teens.

Adding in additional carriers into its fold next summer makes sense for Apple, too, since that would likely coincide with the release of new iPhone models. Apple has so far released each new version of the iPhone in the June/July window.

[Thanks to The Loop for the heads up.]

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8 Comments Leave Your Own

FlipFriddle

I hope so. Just in time for my Verizon contract to expire. I just hope the competition gets hot enough that they offer so variety in plans, like a “no data” plan to keep the cost down for some of us. Now that I have an iPod Touch, I wish it made phone calls…

XSemperIdem5

FlipFriddle: That would also be in time for my contract to end but the question is: will VZW disable the WiFi like it now does with BlackBerry? I would have a big problem with that. That turned me away from getting a BlackBerry. I could use my work’s network when I’m in areas w/o reception to do simple emailing or web browsing but it appears VZW does not like us having the convenience.
I constantly rely on my iPod touch when I don’t have signal on my phone.

PSMacintosh

I’m waiting (impatiently)!

I want to keep my Verizon mobile-to-mobile calls.

Like a “no data” plan (since I’ve no interest in viewing the internet on a small screen).
Like to be able to make WiFi connections to hotspots.
Like to make wireless (bluetooth?) connections with my Macs. (Would like syncing between iPhone > Mac > iCal…AND, more importantly, ENTOURAGE….to be better). 

(Sidebar:  Why is MS eliminating its wonderful Entourage program? It handles my entire daily life, except for bookkeeping.)

Lee Dronick

I wonder how much of these type of rumors is wishful thinking.

I don’t think that anyone outside of Apple and AT&T know what is the contract/agreement between the two regarding the iPhone.

drlonghair

PSMacintosh,

Are you serious?  You have NO interest in viewing the internet on the iPhone?

I guess the adage of “to each their own” applies, but I think that browsing the web is one of the many (and strongest) advantages of the iPhone.

Lee Dronick

I think that browsing the web is one of the many (and strongest) advantages of the iPhone.

One feature of the iPhone, and other smart phones with web browsing, is the portability. You could carry a MacBook or even a netbook, but they don’t fit in a shirt pocket. I am posting this from my iPhone.

FlipFriddle

Verizon actually disables WiFi? WTF?

Browsing the web on the iPhone is cool and convenient, but for me, I have better things to do with an extra $70/month; it’s just not worth it, not even a little bit (especially when the phone has wifi capability).

PSMacintosh

Yes, I’m serious!

I’m near my 15” MBP most of the time.
(So why would I want to view websites on a smaller screen with harder keyboard.)

Most of the rest of the time I actually WANT to get away from the web.


As you correctly said, “to each their own”.
And I represent a significant segment of Apple consumers (and prospective iPhone purchasers).

The data plan aspect of the iPhone is NOT what I need or want.
(Other aspects of the iPhone I do desire.)
I’d rather have a less expensive cell service plan, than the data plan.

Apple & ATT/Verizon, give us the proper CHOICES!
Let US decide what level of service we want, need, and what works best for our lives!
YOU don’t know better than US!
Quit forcing us to waste money.

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