AT&T presses Apple for extension of exclusive U.S. iPhone deal

“When Randall Stephenson became AT&T Inc.’s chief executive, the company had just started offering the iPhone. The blockbuster device has since reeled in millions of new customers and helped revitalize the telecom giant’s brand,” Amol Sharma reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“But AT&T’s exclusive deal to carry the iPhone in the U.S. expires next year, according to people familiar with the matter, and Mr. Stephenson is now in discussions with Apple Inc. to get an extension until 2011,” Sharma reports.

“Mr. Stephenson is trying to remake AT&T amid a recession that has accelerated the decline of the home-phone business, intensified pricing pressures on wireless services and forced carriers to pull back on investments,” Sharma reports.

“Mr. Stephenson declined to discuss the terms of AT&T’s agreement with Apple — only saying it is a multi-year deal. The company has said it added 4.3 million iPhone subscribers in the second half of 2008 — about 40% of whom were new to AT&T,” Sharma reports.

“With or without the iPhone, Mr. Stephenson said AT&T plans to invest heavily in wireless to “future proof” the business as new bandwidth-hogging devices come online,” Sharma reports. “Mr. Stephenson said two-thirds of the company’s capital outlays in the next five years will go to wireless-network investments and acquisitions.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “James W.” for the heads up.]

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