Stripping iPhone exclusivity from one single carrier has already been shown to pay dividends – UK carrier Vodafone sold 100,000 iPhone 3GS handsets in their first week of sales, despite the handset having long been available from rival O2 – and now there’s talk that AT&T will be next to lose their exclusive partner status. Hot Hardware have apparently heard from an internal source at AT&T that the carrier will lose their iPhone exclusivity this coming Wednesday, though right now there’s no confirmation as to which other US carriers might pick up the smartphone.
While the iPhone has long been considered a “halo product” by analysts observing AT&T, the internal source suggests that privately the carrier considers the Apple smartphone as much a frustration as it is a draw to the network. They blame the iPhone for highlighting their network’s 3G issues, patchy voice coverage and other issues, and since the iPhone is only officially available on AT&T in the US the carrier takes the blame for any issues. AT&T are expected to follow the news with an announcement that they will be bringing various other high-profile devices on board, including Android and webOS phones.