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Initial iPhone Exclusivity Agreement Between Apple and AT&T was for Five Years

Article Comments  61  

May 10, 2010, 5:32 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

According to legal documents uncovered by Engadget, the initial exclusive iPhone distribution agreement between Apple and AT&T was five years. The 2008 court documents cited by Engadget include the following statements made by Apple: "The duration of the exclusive Apple-[AT&T] agreement was not 'secret' either. The [plaintiff] quotes a May 21, 2007 USA Today article – published over a month before the iPhone's release – stating, 'AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years-an eternity in the go-go cellphone world" ... and ... "[T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T's] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years... Moreover, it is sheer speculation – and illogical – that failing to disclose the five-year exclusivity term would produce monopoly power..." Apple did not respond to requests to verify the report, but the documents are public in a court case involving Apple. The language used by Apple clearly indicates that the deal struck between AT&T and Apple in 2007 was to last for five years. The documents do not in any way indicate if that initial agreement is still in place, or if it has been altered. AT&T has been the sole wireless network to carry the iPhone in the U.S. since it went on sale in June 2007, three years ago. An AT&T spokesperson told Phone Scoop in an email, "We have a great relationship with Apple. We don't comment on the specifics of our relationship."

more info at Apple Legal Filing »
more info at Engadget »



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Subject Author Date
Well... muchdrama May 10, 2010, 5:52 PM
That's how I originally remember it. . . Jayshmay May 10, 2010, 6:04 PM
meh next tuminatr May 11, 2010, 12:06 AM
And the truth will set you free...maybe... JeffdaBeat May 10, 2010, 6:11 PM
who cares... flip mode May 11, 2010, 1:42 PM
Who didn't know this? bluecoyote May 10, 2010, 6:15 PM
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