As most people should know by now, Cingular Wireless will be the exclusive provider of the Apple iPhone. But it could have been different.
Apple went to Verizon Wireless first, but the carrier turned down the opportunity to be the sole carrier for this smartphone, according to the USA Today.
Reportedly, the reason Verizon turned down the iPhone is because it thought Apple wanted too much control over how the device would be distributed and serviced.
Verizon told the USA Today that Apple asked that its smartphone only be sold through Apple and Verizon stores, not through other distributors. Apple also wanted to make the decision as to whether malfunctioning units were replaced or repaired.
Verizon wouldn’t agree to Apple’s conditions, so it turned to Cingular.
Although Cingular won’t talk about the terms of its agreement with Apple, it’s likely that they are similar to the deal Verizon turned down.
This carrier also won’t say how long its exclusivity agreement will last, but the USA Today is reporting being told by multiple unnamed sources that Cingular will be the sole provider of the iPhone and any follow-up devices for five years.
An Overview of the Apple iPhone
The iPhone is Apple’s upcoming combination smartphone and iPod.
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This device will support the iTunes music service, and it will sport either 4 GB or 8 GB of built-in storage. It will support both music and video, which will be playable on its 3.5-inch, 320-by-480-pixel, 160 ppi display.
In addition, this will be a quad-band GSM/GPRS phone. It will include EDGE, but not UMTS/HSDPA. It will, however, have Wi-Fi b/g and Bluetooth 2.0.
The iPhone will run what Apple promises is OS X, the same operating system this company’s desktop and laptop computers run. It will be able to run some — but not all — specially selected OS X applications, including the Safari web browser.
It will have a touchscreen, but not include a stylus. Instead, users will be expected to control it with their fingertips.
This smartphone is expected to debut in June from Cingular for $500 (4 GB) or $600 (8 GB).
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