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Apple: iPhone 'Not Married' To AT&T

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 28, 2008 in Technology
Apple Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tim Cook said at a conference yesterday that Apple’s iPhone is not married to a single, exclusive carrier model, giving an indication the company could start selling iPhones with other carriers.
Apple COO Tim Cook spoke at the Goldman Sachs investor’s conference in Las Vegas yesterday and said Apple is not married to a single, exclusive carrier model.
It currently has an exclusive contract in the US with AT&T and similarly with others in Europe. But based on Cook's statement, Apple suggests it might bring the iPhone to other carriers.
However, Cook said this change won’t be implemented soon, but maybe in the future. He told Business Week:
We're not married to any business model . What we're married to is shipping the best phones in the world."
If Apple sells iPhones with other carriers, some of their key features may not work properly in other regions, including visual voice mail. That being the case, the feature might be dropped. And there may be changes in the paid plans as well.
The current contract with AT&T will end eventually, but both AT&T and Apple haven’t said when. AT&T seems to be unhappy with Apple for having to share subcription revenues and other conditions imposed by Apple. Usually AT&T dictates the rules to manufacturers, not the other way around.
Cook also said Apple is on target to meet the goal of 10 million unit sales by the end of 2008.
In my opinion, Apple made a bad decision by going with AT&T in the first place. If they had worked with others, I would bet they could have sold even more units as many mobile users were reluctant to switch to AT&T.
Also, it should have sold the device worldwide instead of limiting sales to selected countries. Even now, the iPhone is not available in Canada or Mexico, Japan, China, India and other countries.
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