Those cosy exclusive deals between Apple and carriers including AT&T and O2 may be on the way out, as the company seeks to widen market share and regulators ponder the significance of these deals as they examine the business methods of the wireless industries.
We’ve heard plenty of reports suggesting Apple plans to at least partially abandon these exclusive tie-ups.
Doing so makes lots of sense, on the one hand those firms with exclusive distro deals for iPhone seem to attract complaints at the patchiness of their networks; the other reason, of course, is to boost market share of the iPhone. There’s plenty of potential customers out there who just don’t want to be vassal to AT&T or O2, just in order to get hold of an iPhone.
Movement in AT&T’s competitor, Verizon. shares in the last few days has been pretty active, lending support to notions that some industry gossip predicts something from the company. Could this be a September 9 announcement of wider distribution for the iPhone? We don’t think so, but we do see some kind of tablet-laced tie-in in future.
We can’t say for sure, so you’ll have to pop that notion in your air-locked speculation chamber, but it marries sundry rumors, rumors which have legs according to an analyst this morning.
As explained by the beard and Jim Dalrymple this morning, Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster has issued new guidance in which he claims Apple will transition to a multiple carrier model for the iPhone within the next year, “most likely next summer”.
“The multiple carrier scenario is not new for Apple. In France, for example, the company moved from an exclusive arrangement with Orange to a multi-carrier deal. According to Munster, this led to greater success for the iPhone in that country,” Dalrymple notes, observing Apple to have around a 40 per cent market share in France, in contrast to lower numbers in countries currently doomed to exclusive deals with carriers.
It’s around this stage we’d respectfully suggest AT&T begins to emulate Adobe by beginning to put into effect a little more transparency and a better feedback loop (and coverage) for its customers. That’s if it wants to keep the market share gains it acquired from offering the iPhone.
Munster also informs Apple has no plan for a cheap mass market iPhone ever, a $30-40 subscription TV service on iTunes to compete with cable. These nuggets are all available over at Fortune.