“The details of Apple and AT&T’s agreement in the U.S. for exclusive iPhone rights is a bit like a mythical beast. Every so often, someone comes along and says they’ve seen it. But when someone else starts to look, it vanishes again,” MG Siegler reports for TechCrunch. “Today, we have the latest sighting compliments of Engadget. But it appears that it may be a sighting of an old picture, rather than the actual live beast.”
“Un 2008 Apple and AT&T apparently agreed to an extension — into 2010, USA Today reported citing ‘people familiar with the matter’ who asked ‘to not be named because the terms are confidential,'” Siegler reports. “The reason for the extension? The huge payout AT&T was giving Apple for each iPhone sold, apparently.”
“And then, in April 2009, The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T’s exclusive agreement ‘expires next year,’ citing sources familiar with the matter (that’s inline with the latter USA Today report),” Siegler reports. “They go on to note that, ‘Mr. Stephenson is now in discussions with Apple Inc. to get an extension until 2011.'”
Siegler reports, “So if the initial contract had AT&T getting the iPhone exclusively through 2012, why would WSJ and USA Today report that it expired first in 2009, then in 2010? Well, either their sources were flat-out wrong, or (and I think more likely), the contract has changed over time.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs plays several moves ahead. The AT&T contract therefore likely contains several “outs.” For example, poor performance of AT&T’s 3G network. By the way, AT&T, where’s the tethering that you started promising iPhone users was “coming soon” at least as long ago as November 6, 2008?