Analyst: AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity likely to end next year

by admin August 31, 2009 at 4:01 pm

AT&T Mobility’s exclusive rights to sell Apple’s iPhone in the United States has drawn intense speculation and scrutiny, most recently from the FCC. However, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, within a year, all of that will be a moot point. According to Munster, Apple is slowly transitioning to a model in which multiple carriers sell the iPhone in each country.

“We expect Apple to add new iPhone carriers in the U.S. within the next year (likely with a new product launch next summer,” Munster wrote in a research note as part of an examination of the 14 “unanswered questions” about Apple. “By way of example, for various reasons the company moved from an exclusive relationship with French wireless carrier Orange to a multi-carrier model. In France, the company now enjoys dramatically higher market share (in the 40 percent range vs. about 15 percent in ROW) than in countries with exclusive carrier agreements (such as AT&T in the U.S. where the iPhone has market share in the mid-teens).”

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