Analyst Predicts AT&T Will Stay the Exclusive Provider of the iPhone

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Despite well-publicized predictions that Apple will eventually allow multiple U.S. wireless carriers to offer the iPhone, an industry analyst is making the opposite prediction: that AT&T will remain the exclusive provider of this smartphone.

Part of the job of any industry analyst is to predict future events. As these people aren’t magicians and have to work with limited evidence, it’s not surprising that they don’t always agree.

Apple iPhone 3G SLast month, an analyst from Piper Jaffray has issued a research note predicting that Apple will allow additional carriers to offer its smartphone by the summer of next year.

This week, Francis Sideco, iSuppli’s principal analyst, wireless communications, released a response:

“The FCC investigation notwithstanding, Apple has no reason to move away from its highly successful exclusive deal with AT&T, which has already generated strong growth in iPhone sales and is expected to fuel a continued expansion in the coming years.”

The Reasons for this Prediction
Sideco went on to say:

“Speculation is rife that Apple will end its exclusive U.S. iPhone service deal with AT&T when the current contract expires in June 2010 and begin to offer phones that work with the Verizon network. However, iSuppli doesn’t believe this will be the case.”

iSuppli’s reasoning is that Apple isn’t going to see a need to add support for a new wireless networking standard. AT&T uses the 3G standard HSPA, which is predicted to have 1.4 billion subscribers by 2012. Verizon uses EV-DO, which analysts predict will have 305 million subscribers by 2013.

Source: iSuppli

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