Apple’s new iPhone AT&T agreement is non-exclusive: T-Mobile iPhone ahoy?

Jan 19, 2011

Apple has announced that it has no remaining carrier-exclusive deals for the iPhone, with COO Tim Cook confirming during the company's financial results call that it has signed a new multi-year, non-exclusive agreement with AT&T. According to Cook, the previous US contract with AT&T was the last remaining contractual exclusivity in the world; Apple is now free to make multi-carrier deals in all countries.

The news means that, finally, T-Mobile USA could get a look in for an iPhone of its own, though it would obviously need to be one that catered to the carrier's UMTS frequencies. T-Mobile has recently taken pot-shots at AT&T and Verizon over the iPhone 4's 3G, suggesting that the absence of 4G support - such as HSPA+ as the carrier itself offers - undermines the device.

Apple's deal with Verizon for the CDMA iPhone 4 was described from the outset as a non-exclusive arrangement, potentially opening the door to a Sprint iPhone 4 at some point in the future. The company already sells the smartphone on multiple carriers in other countries, where despite strong competition and broad availability, demand has nonetheless remained high.

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