At&t Is Not Going Anywhere Until 2012
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iPhone users have been reportedly complaining against AT&T network. Poor coverage and leaked signal calls have irritated iPhone users for long. Moreover, even apps and data transfers do not work well on the 3G network, which makes the story more awful. Finally, we had some breath listening to that Verizon is coming to iPhone. New carrier with promising advantages would accelerate the competition as well as the sales, something that everybody thought. But, there is something that all of us forgot.
iPhone signs a contract with AT&T for five years, starting 2007 till 2012. This means that AT&T's confused network is not going anywhere fast. For those who wait for Verizon will have to wait for another 2 years.
Apple signed an exclusively bond with them as their carriers based on the California antitrust class action lawsuit, which is active till date. Apple tried to deal an illegal monopoly against AT&T back in 2007. But it awfully failed and Apple wasn't able to transfer unlocked phones to other carriers. Engadget discovers unsealed court documents that states AT&T as exclusive seller for iPhone in U.S. till 2012.
In this case Apple was accused from petitioner as unfaithful body for AT&T. He also accuses Apple with antitrust violation for blocking third party applications (concerned to Flash ban). Legal documentation clearly explains that Apple won't be able to work with Verizon until 2012. In the mean while Verizon would be able to improve its network bandwidth and connectivity. And hopefully they will come up with better solutions to the network-based problems in iPhone.
The court documents reads:
The duration of the exclusive Apple-[AT&T] agreement was not 'secret' either. The [plaintiff] quotes a May 21, 2007 USA Today article - published over a month before the iPhone's release
- stating, "AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years-an eternity in the go-go cellphone world.”
"[T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T's] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years… Moreover, it is sheer speculation - and illogical - that failing to disclose the five-year exclusivity term would produce monopoly power…
If AT&T is the contracted carrier until 2012, other carriers along with Verizon might also jump in. iPhone users would then have even a wide spectrum of carriers to choose from. AT&T with its poor and unsatisfied performance has been lagging on iPhone's back, but the growing competition might just push the company for betterment.