Fans of other wireless carriers can rejoice. The end is near for AT&T's exclusive deal with Apple to offer the iPhone in the US. Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall claims the expiration date is June 2010.
AT&T is said to be in negotiations to extend the deal through 2011. The iPhone deal could be of even greater importance to the carrier since Verizon will have LTE (4G) technology up and running in 20-30 markets in 2010.
Reports have indicated Apple could use LTE technology in a future iPhone model, which would allow the hardware to operate on multiple networks including T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T.
According to some reports, Apple receives a $400 subsidy from AT&T for every iPhone sold. Marshall believes the subsidy would be reduced to $300 for all carriers after the exclusive deal expires. It's not clear why Apple would choose to lower the subsidy, as the iPhone is clearly in high demand.iPhone owners make up roughly 14% of AT&T's total subscriber base and consume almost half of the network's bandwidth. Spreading this pain around could improve service for all iPhone owners.
Marshall is bullish on Apple, claiming a Verizon iPhone would boost sales by 14 million units. Some disagree with his June 2010 proclamation, citing sources that indicate AT&T's exclusive deal runs through the end of 2010.