Reports are coming out that AT&T's contract with Apple to be the sole carrier to have the iPhone will be ending in 2010. CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed with the Wall Street Journal that the exclusivity contract does indeed end in 2010, just as many speculated. Currently, AT&T is attempting to extend the contract to 2011, but Apple was refusing to comment.
When the initial announcement came out that the iPhone would be exclusive to AT&T, many users were disappointed. Apparently, after being rejected by Verizon, Apple went to AT&T with the offer for the partnership. As a result, AT&T has seen large increases in subscribers switching because of the iPhone. 4.3 million subscribers switched to the iPhone in the second half of 2008 alone, and 40% of those were new to AT&T.
This opens up the chance that the iPhone will be available on other carriers, and might even make the jump to CDMA, since Apple has been known to be recruiting CDMA engineers lately, fueling the rumors of a Sprint or Verizon iPhone. I know I won't be the only one to be excited the day Apple announces an iPhone for another carrier.
[Via Wall Street Journal]