The “End is Near” at least that is what AT&T executives are saying as their exclusive hold on the iPhone is coming to an end. Come February, Apple will now start selling it iPhones with the Verizon blessing. Why did AT&T lose out? Well, At the moment, the iPhone faces fierce competition from Google’s Android platform, which is closely nipping at Apple’s heels. Part of the reason for Android’s success is that it is available on all the major United States carriers, according to numbers available from comScore, which monitors mobile phone use.
Nearly half the active Android devices in the United States operate on Sprint and T-Mobile. Some commentators think that Apple is realizing that the AT&T exclusive contract is not to their advantage any more. Verizon may offer fertile ground to gain new iPhone customers, and this sets the stage that if Apple feels Android is still gaining on other networks then they may start to look at other subscribers to compete there too.
Putting the iPhone on Verizon was a technological challenge for Apple, because Verizon’s network uses CDMA technology, while AT&T’s, which uses GSM technology. Apple has made the technological modifications necessary to make the iPhone work with CDMA, which other networks use as well. So it would be technically feasible, although it would require some work, for Apple to supply an iPhone to MetroPCS, or Sprint Indeed, further adjustments to put the phone on T-Mobile may have to occur.
The development of an alternative relationship with other carriers could make consumers happy, especially if the technological problems of AT&T continue (dropped calls). Also, more carriers could spur more movement toward the iPhone and away from the Android model. Carriers will also be happy if in the end they can carry as many mobile phones as possible.
Source: The New York Times