iPhone is AT&T Only. Why does next cell have to be?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Earendil, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    (The follow two paragraphs involve info I am not sure is correct, and probably isn't. Do not interpret it as fact, but as an analogy or example.)

    So, my company's first product was funded in part by Boeing. They gave us a lot of help, and in return they get a say in the product. Boeing has a say in decisions, and basically does the "selling" for us.

    However, our second product has nothing to do with Boeing. Now that we are a known company with a proven track record with our first product, we can go directly to costumers with our second product. Boeing has no say in what we do or how we do it, as long as it's with the second product, not the first.

    Is there any reason why the iPhone mini, or the iPhone nano, or whatever Apple decides to call a different phone product (not an updated one, but a different one) from being used on other carriers? Is anyone familiar enough with the contract? Does it give AT&T rights to the iPhone, or to any cell phone Apple produces in the next year?

    Apple has 3 different iPod lines, 2 different laptops, 2 different desktops, and only one cell phone. I don't see why they wouldn't diversify the cell phone. Not this year, or even the next. But surely before 5 years is up there will be two different cell products from Apple.

    This has been on my mind, and I kept thinking I'd hear someone bring it up. But I have yet, so here I am asking :)


  2. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    I think the ATT ceo let slip that ATT have the rights to the "other" models apple is working on too.

    I do not have a link to back this up though.
  3. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Earendil - exactly my point. I keep bringing this up and everyone just says "no" but doesn't show me any proof. I want to read that AT&T/Apple contract.

    Clearly a 3g or any different iteration of the iPhone would be a different gadget. I just find it hard to believe Apple doesn't have a way out or that AT&T gets all versions/sizes/shapes/types of any future iPhone. I want to see the fine print.
  4. AaronHeth macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Savannah, Georgia
    Apple may have gained a lot in their deal with AT&T, but they are still fair. With all they asked for, to shake up the cell market community, I'm sure they had to agree to a few little things. It does not surprise me at all if AT&T is the exclusive carrier of all Apple-phone related products for their multiyear deal, and anyone who thinks otherwise is just wishfully thinking.

    As another poster has said, I believe hearing somewhere that AT&T will have the exclusive rights to Apple's future phone products as well. Plus, Apple is a company of ease of use--why would they have one phone tied to a carrier, and another phone tied to another carrier? That, and plan options would get insanely confusing to people.
  5. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    Well, I think it needs to be a little different. I don't think Apple would try and immorally weasel out of a contract by a technicality.
    In my company's case, the second product serves a similar, but different purpose. It has completely different capabilities. And while they both do the same general thing, you would not use one to do what the other was built for.

    For example (that I do not think apple would use), Apple could offer an iCell nano of sorts. Strip the features out, change the look on the outside, and have it still be a cell phone. Now it serves a different purpose, with a different target audience, at a different price point. It doesn't cannibalize regular iPhone sales very much, and won't come out until 2009.

    I see that as a foreseeable path, if the contract allows it, and I can see AT&T being okay with it. They would have the iPhone, the original and most popular, for 5 years. They still have all the publicity of the first one, and launch. No Phone from Apple will have that kind of launch again, especially not if it's multiple carriers. Plus, AT&T would still be able to sell/use the new phone on their network, so they wouldn't loose any costumers they would have grabbed otherwise.

    And if the iPhone was still known as the bigger older better brother, getting an "iPhone light" out to everyone else may encourage other switchers who want a bigger better one after 2 years, when all those that thought they didn't want one, have had they chance to not buy.

    Dunno... They may be far fetched scenarios, but I can see a future where AT&T may not mind or care all that much if Apple developed a different phone, as long as it abides by a few conditions.
  6. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003

    As far as the general public is concerned, every phone they buy from a cell company is tied to that company. Most don't know about unlocking phones (here in the US at least) and I bet no one in my family thinks they can take their cell phone to a different provider and have it work.

    Which is yet another example of how US cell providers have F%^&*ed with the consumer and brain washed them into thinking one particular way about how Cell phones must work. :mad:
  7. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I am pretty sure that ATT is smart to make sure the contract includes all cell phone devices made by Apple. They would be pretty stupid not to.
  8. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004

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