Since the launch of the iPhone, the Apple manufactured iDevice and AT&T have become synonymous with one another, at least here in the United States. Of course, that has everything to do with the fact that AT&T is the official carrier for the iPhone in those parts. But rumors of that exclusivity coming to an end in the near future are more rampant than ever, and now it looks like AT&T is even jumping on the bandwagon. According to a new report from Bloomberg, AT&T is starting to focus on the other mobile Operating Systems available in the market, and no longer relying solely on the iPhone.
When Android launched on AT&T, there were many who believed that AT&T was crippling the devices so that they didn’t look as good as the iPhone. Even the device itself was noted for its non high-profile status, especially when compared to the iPhone. But, AT&T has launched plenty of other Android-based handsets since then, and now Windows Phone 7 is just around the corner. And with their options for BlackBerry owners, that means AT&T will have all of the major Operating Systems ready to go for this holiday season.
According to the report from Bloomberg, it goes even further than that. Not only is AT&T retraining its staff for all of the other Operating Systems, but they’re apparently doing so to take the focus off the iPhone and iOS. Interestingly enough, during AT&T’s quarterly earnings call, the company announced that more than half of the new customers they brought onto their network actually hadn’t purchased iPhones.
But, AT&T’s Devices Senior Vice President Jeff Bradley, was quick to point out that the reason for the change of focus has nothing to do with the company losing iPhone exclusivity. He added that he sees AT&T carrying the iPhone for the “foreseeable future,” even when the exclusivity comes to an end. However, Bradley didn’t say when that would be. Of course, early 2011 is a date that many have tossed around.
Is this the definitive answer that Verizon, and other non-AT&T customers wanting the iPhone have been waiting for? Not at all. But, it does look like AT&T is starting to notice that they have other handsets in their portfolio, rather than just the iPhone. It could just be a coincidence that it’s bearing down on the time when people believe the iPhone will be heading to other wireless carriers in the United States.