Although we’ve heard a lot about a possible iPhone launch vie Verizon (and even via Sprint or T-Mobile), this may not happen too soon. Only recently, it has been confirmed that Apple and AT&T signed an iPhone exclusivity deal for 5 years back in 2007, when the first iPhone was introduced.
The confirmation comes thanks to some documents unveiled by Engadget and related to an ongoing class-action suit filed back in 2007. The lawsuit claims that it’s illegal for AT&T and Apple to have a monopoly over iPhone services for five years, while telling customers that they only need to sign two-year agreements.
Apple responded to accusations by saying that the five-year exclusivity deal was “not secret,” and that “there was widespread disclosure of the exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years.”
Of course, since the deal was signed by Apple and AT&T three years ago, things might have changed since then, as Apple might want to cancel the deal and sell the iPhone with more than just one US carrier. Verizon has recently confirmed that it wants to have the iPhone (more exactly, an iPhone 4G with LTE), and that could bring Apple serious cash.
We’ll probably find out if the new 2010 iPhone is AT&T exclusive or not on June 7, when Apple should announce the smartphone.
If Verizon doesn’t get the iPhone this year (and it probably won’t), at least it has the HTC Droid Incredible.
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