AT&T on Losing iPhone Exclusivity: We're Bigger than This

Paul Lilly

It finally happened, or at least it will on February 10, 2010. That's the day hordes of Verizon Wireless customers will power on their new CDMA iPhone 4, officially ending the exclusivity arrangement AT&T hammered out with Apple. As you can imagine, Verizon couldn't be happier, but where does that leave AT&T?

"We are ready for it," Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T's wireless business, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "The short- and long-term viability of AT&T will be good whether we have exclusivity or not. We are much bigger than this."

Like everyone else, AT&T saw this day coming. When Apple released the iPhone 4, AT&T allowed any customer to upgrade who would be eligible sometime in 2010, locking them into brand new two-year contracts.

Even still, AT&T has received plenty of criticism for dropped calls and network quality in general. Perhaps the max exodus that's likely less than a month away will help ease network congestion, but if not, de la Vega's claims will be put to the test.

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