This article was published 16 years ago

Apple to stay with AT&T until 2010

If your wishing the iPhone would come on your wireless carrier, start looking for money to come up to pay for the early termination fees because Apple is staying with AT&T for two more years until 2010.

In exchange for its payout, AT&T got a year extension, into 2010, on its exclusive distribution deal with Apple, people familiar with the matter say. Sources asked to not be named because the terms are confidential.

Under the original iPhone contract, Apple had the right to offer the device to other carriers beginning in 2009. If Apple exercised that clause, AT&T would have lost one of its biggest points of leverage with customers – exclusive access to the iPhone. Nailing the extension “is a very big deal,” Entner says.

This is a big mistake for Apple. Many people who want the iPhone (like me) would get it if the phone was available on their network (I have different reason why I’m holding out on the iPhone). The big rule when it comes to choosing a wireless phone network: how much coverage do you get at home, then pick a phone. Not the opposite!