It’s a well-known fact that AT&T has a contract with Apple to be the exclusive provider of the iPhone in the U.S. What’s not well known is exactly how long that contract will last.
Some reports indicated that the contract was for 5 years, while others said 2 years. The exact figure isn’t publicly known because AT&T and Apple have always declined to talk about the terms of their contract.
According to a report in the USA Today, the two companies had originally agreed to a 2-year exclusivity contract in 2007, which means it would have been over in 2009. However, when the iPhone 3G was released earlier this summer, they supposedly agreed to restart the clock, so AT&T will once again be the sole provider of Apple’s smartphone for two more years.
This doesn’t mean that Apple intends to allow other U.S. wireless carriers to offer the iPhone in 2010, though. Its willingness to extend its contract with AT&T is a sign that it’s satisfied with the current arrangement.
AT&T is certainly happy with it. “The iPhone has repositioned AT&T as the premier wireless brand in the world,” Randall Stephenson, the company’s chairman and CEO, told USA Today.