AT&T details new agreement with Apple; remains exclusive U.S. provider of new iPhone 3G

AT&T Inc. today announced it will be the exclusive U.S. provider of the new iPhone 3G, details of which were outlined earlier today at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.

Under the terms of a new agreement with Apple, AT&T remains the exclusive U.S. carrier of the iPhone 3G, which will be available beginning July 11 at a starting price of US$199 with a two-year contract. The iPhone 3G boasts several significant enhancements, including:

• 3G broadband wireless connectivity, which gives customers a home broadband-like speed experience when surfing the Internet, sharing files and using media-rich Web applications.
• Business-class capabilities, including e-mail, viewed on a large, touch-screen device and designed to meet the needs of companies of all sizes.
• The ability for developers, including AT&T, to create customized consumer and business applications using the Apple software developer’s kit (SDK).

Customers can get more information on the iPhone 3G at www.att.com/iphone.

AT&T expects that the iPhone 3G’s attractive pricing and rich set of features including business e-mail and other applications, combined with the broadband speeds of AT&T’s 3G network, will spur significant subscriber and revenue growth — particularly in wireless data — and strengthen AT&T’s wireless leadership and long-term growth profile.

“The iPhone 3G will take mobile communications and computing to a whole new level by combining a terrific user interface with a great experience accessing the Internet and subscribers’ favorite applications on our 3G wireless network at unsurpassed speeds,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility, in the press release. “Combine our high-performance 3G broadband wireless network, the new iPhone’s business-class capabilities and a starting price of $199, and I expect that we will continue to increase revenue per user and attract customers who spend the most on wireless. The device is built, and priced, to sell.”

AT&T will sell iPhone 3G in more than 2,200 company-owned retail stores and kiosks, as well as through its direct business sales teams.

New Agreement With Apple Reflects Significant Growth Opportunity
The new agreement between Apple and AT&T eliminates the revenue-sharing model under which AT&T shared a portion of monthly service revenue with Apple. Under the revised agreement, which is consistent with traditional equipment manufacturer-carrier arrangements, there is no revenue sharing and both iPhone 3G models will be offered at attractive prices to broaden the market potential and accelerate subscriber volumes. The phones will be offered with a two-year contract and attractive data plans that are similar to those offered for other smartphones and PDAs. AT&T anticipates that these offers will drive increased sales volumes and revenues among high-quality, data-centric customers. Currently, less than 20 percent of AT&T’s postpaid subscribers have integrated devices capable of voice, Web and data applications. Based on the company’s experience, average monthly revenues per iPhone subscriber are nearly double the average of the company’s overall subscriber base.

• With a two-year contract, the price of an 8GB iPhone 3G will be $199; the 16GB model will be priced at $299.
• Unlimited iPhone 3G data plans for consumers will be available for $30 a month, in addition to voice plans starting at $39.99 a month.
• Unlimited 3G data plans for business users will be available for $45 a month, in addition to a voice plan.

In the near term, AT&T anticipates that the new agreement will likely result in some pressure on margins and earnings, reflecting the costs of subsidized device pricing, which, in turn, is expected to drive increased subscriber volumes. The company anticipates potential dilution to earnings per share (EPS) from this initiative in the $0.10 to $0.12 range this year and next, with a 2008 adjusted consolidated operating income margin of approximately 24 percent and a full-year 2008 wireless OIBDA margin in the 39-40 percent range. As recurring revenue streams build without any further revenue sharing required, AT&T expects the initiative to turn accretive in 2010.

AT&T’s 3G Wireless Network
The iPhone 3G harnesses the power of AT&T’s broad and powerful 3G mobile broadband network, which offers 3G mobile phones download speeds of up to 1.4 Mbps. AT&T’s 3G network is currently available in 280 leading U.S. metropolitan areas; by year-end, the company plans to offer 3G service in nearly 350 metro areas. Following the recent turndown of its TDMA network, the company is further enhancing its 3G network, with improved coverage quality made available through reallocated 850 MHz spectrum.

AT&T’s 3G network is the best positioned among American carriers to grow in line with customer demand, evolving to next-generation speeds incrementally during the next few years. Between 2005 and the end of 2008, AT&T will have invested more than $20 billion in wireless network improvements and upgrades.

AT&T has the best global coverage of any provider, with voice-roaming available in more than 200 countries and data-roaming in more than 145 countries, including more 3G roaming than any other carrier.

In addition, the new iPhone 3G will operate in Wi-Fi mode through wireless modems in homes and offices, as well as public hot spots.

Marketing the iPhone to Businesses
iPhone 3G includes new business capabilities, including access to corporate e-mail and intranets, as well as the ability to certify mobile business applications to suit the needs of an array of industries, ranging from health care and real estate to higher education and financial services. Starting July 11, AT&T will begin marketing to its business customers, which includes all of the Fortune 1000. To prepare for the rollout, AT&T will be conducting extensive training among its thousands of enterprise and small business sales force and customer-support employees. AT&T is the world’s leading provider of corporate wireless e-mail solutions.

“We’re anticipating significant demand from companies of all sizes based on the feedback we’ve received from the many corporate customers who have already purchased the first-generation iPhone, as well as from companies waiting for the new iPhone’s business applications,” said Ron Spears, group president, AT&T Global Business Services, in the press release. “Businesses will benefit from all of the iPhone’s new features, as well as the ability to maximize productivity by using the combination of 3G broadband connectivity and customized applications.”

Through its work over the years with the developer community, AT&T has developed a robust catalog of hundreds of enterprise applications (http://www.att.com/choice). AT&T will work with Apple, using the SDK process, to enable many of these applications, which today operate on other AT&T-powered wireless devices, to also work on the iPhone. The growth of mobile applications represents a huge opportunity for companies to improve productivity through reduced overhead expenses, access to real-time information and higher levels of speed and efficiency.

Unleashing Innovative Applications With the SDK
AT&T is working closely with Apple to roll out several new and innovative applications that take advantage of the iPhone’s advanced capabilities. For example, AT&T is finalizing YELLOWPAGES.COM mobile for the iPhone, an innovative location-based application that combines local search with social networking capabilities, giving users the ability to search for information, share reviews and plan activities with friends, neighbors and co-workers. In addition, the company will work to certify many of its existing mobile applications for businesses, created in conjunction with third-party developers, for use on the iPhone.

Source: AT&T

29 Comments

  1. What about the family plans? Where are those described? Anyone have a current URL? It looks like the rate plans were removed from Apple’s web site, and good luck finding iPhone 3G specific info on AT&T;’s site.

  2. I am still stunned that the Verizon CEO turned down the iPhone – more and more with each iteration. Verizon has the best nation-wide cellular coverage. My local area (7 miles from a Big Ten campus) has ZERO AT&T;coverage – and I mean ZERO.

    I have tried the Verizon Treo 755p – and took it back after one day. I want an iPhone – but until the AT&T;block gets removed, I cannot have one.

    That sucks.

  3. Verizon will never be an iPhone carrier. Jobs had made decision early on to build a GSM phone. The cost of designing and building two separate iPhones (A CDMA model and a GSM one) would just be not worth it, considering negligible global footprint of CDMA (outside of the US, that is).

    I doubt there will ever be a contract-free phone in the US. AT&T;agreement is supposed to be for four more years, so don’t hold your breath. If you want the best cellphone there is, pinch your nose, take a deep breath and sign that AT&T;contract (if you hate them so much; they’ve been perfectly fine to me).

  4. @FreddyThe Pig: Yeah I’m sure he’s crying all the way to the bank. Still, he’s gotta know there’s me and 40 million of my best buddies out here languishing around on crap phones because we can’t or won’t go to AT&T;. Might just make Steve-O ponder for just a few minutes before he drifts off to dreamland…….

    No sweat, I’m a patient guy. I used a Performa 6200 CD for six years and live to tell about it!

  5. ” If you want the best cellphone there is, pinch your nose, take a deep breath and sign that AT&T;contract (if you hate them so much; they’ve been perfectly fine to me).”

    And do what with it???? You missed the point. I have ZERO signal here. Other than a mile-wide strip along I-80, there is no coverage in my state. If I have an iPhone and get a flat tire, I’ll have to have a Verizon phone in my pocket to call AAA.

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