Back at Macworld 2007 we all remember Jobs huge announcement regarding the release of the iPhone in an exclusive partnership with AT&T (Formerly known as Cingular). However the exclusive deal to be the only carrier to carry the iPhone in the United States is set to expire sometime next year. What kind of damage could this do to the company if the contract isn't renewed with Apple?
When the iPhone made its debut in June of 2007, the company added 146,000 new subscribers during the first two days it offered the iPhone. Today there are over 17 million iPhones around the world, with the majority in the U.S. through AT&T. In the second half of 2008 the company is said to have added an additional 4.3 million iPhone subscribers, which about 40% were new to AT&T according to the Wall Street Journal.
So it is safe to say that out of the 77 million wireless customers that AT&T has a decent chunk of them have a mobile plan tied with their iPhone. It is no surprise that AT&T is looking to crunch the numbers seeing as though landlines are becoming redundant as families across the nation look to spend less money. "We have 77 million wireless customers and 30 million consumer phone lines. Which customer base would you rather work from? We tend to come at this backwards." said CEO Randall Stephenson.
What do you think, should Apple tie the knot with AT&T again or push the device on to other carriers? Vote in our poll below.