RUMOR: Apple iPhone to be Cingular-exclusive in US launch, O2-exclusive in Europe

“Apple and Cingular have signed an agreement that will make the US’ largest cell phone provider the exclusive carrier of Apple’s forthcoming phone, sources report. Apple’s iPhone remains on track for an early 2007 release,” Ryan Katz reports for Think Secret.

“As previously reported, Apple’s phone will feature a candy-bar design with a 2.2-inch display and 3 megapixel camera. Robust iTunes and iSync support will also be delivered with the phone,” Katz reports. “Apple’s exclusive contract with Cingular is said to be good for the first six months, sources report, meaning other providers will be able to sell the phone in the second-half of 2007.”

“O2 had the exclusive on the ROKR in Europe, however, suggesting that provider may again be tapped to launch Apple’s phone,” Katz reports. “Meanwhile, insiders say Apple is internally estimating that shipments of the iPhone will top a staggering 25 million in 2007 alone.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “raddoc” and “Tom M.” for the heads up.]

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  1. AT&T are just great if you know how to talk politely to them. You need to call them every six months or so to check if they have a better plan. It has always resulted in satisfaction and a lower rate for me. I have all my communication needs with them. Takin’ care of bizness.

  2. As someone who works in the cell industry, this is a very interesting rumor as wouldn’t it mean Apple will not be an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) a fancy name for a reseller? I would think they would use the Apple stores to sell through, and control the customer experience from a service point of view.

    As far as GSM, with Apple being an international company with a strong European following, they couldn’t do anything else, however for data use and multimedia, CDMA would have been better with EVDO Rev A around the corner (Mobile iChat?) They could always bring out another version with that chipset.

  3. Apple needs to make this deal with Cingular ONLY if customers can purchase an iPhone at the Applestore (no need to be hassled by a slimy cell phone agent) AND customers DO NOT need a NEW plan to activate the phone AND the price of the iPhone is the same for NEW and EXISTING Cingular customers. All one would need to do is call Cingular to activate a special LOW COST iPhone Internet plan for net access.

    Otherwise this is going to be another flopperamma like the Moto iTunes phones.

    The best option for Apple’s success is to sell the phones UNLOCKED for all GSM carriers (T-Mobile, Cingular, former AT&T, Rogers) at the Applestore! WiFI would be a good call as well.

  4. Too bad we’ll never see this on Verizon. Apple would have to put the standard Verizon UI on it and then strip out iTunes to put Vcast Music on it. Then it wouldn’t work with a Mac anymore just windows. At least we have the best network. Too bad we criple the crap out of our phones.

  5. Need a decent Smartphone that’ll play nice with your Mac now? Try the Nokia 6682. I’m all for the iPhone but waiting for this rumor to finally pan out is getting old. My Nokia is as close to an Apple experience as I’ve had in a Smartphone.

  6. Cingular has never been a problem for me. Apple, I only use clamshell phones, so this won’t do it.

    Interesting… I watched the Donny Deutsch interview of Bill Gates. He asked if Billy had an iPod. His response was that a cell phone was a better approach for a MP3 player. But then Microslop announces the Zune. Who is running the show over there.

  7. … to those who are complaining that Apple isn’t implementing this in their countries yet: Apple IS an American company. It makes sense for them to start off in an environment that they both know and understand before expanding. This is a pretty typical move for Apple (or any company really) that ensures they won’t run into any major implementation issues right off the bat. Let them get it established and I’m sure we’ll see it expand rapidly.

  8. I was hoping that it would be unlocked as well as wifi enabled for both web browsing AND phone calls. Having a web browser that allows for the entering a uid / pw to get onto a wifi node (many hotels require this now) and then make free calls using the internet would be outstanding.
    I like the coverage I get with Verizon and had bad luck (from a coverage standpoint) with Sprint, Cingular and T-mobile. I can’t stand the phone crippling that Verizon does and will not be surprised if Verizon loses out entirely on this phone.

    It would be even better if this phone sported the rumored touch-less interface enabling great phone, music and camera UI’s.

    A 3 mega-pixel phone … if the photo’s rival my canon digital elf it would be a great addition to the iPhone. If the music part of the phone and the camera are well implemented and not crippled I’ll strongly consider switching. Otherwise, I’ll ignore the iPhone and stick to dedicated-function devices.


  9. In my opinion, the best thing for Apple to do is to sell the iPhone (if there actually IS an iPhone in the works) without a contract for a low price, around US $399, which is very cheap for a non subsidized cell phone.

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