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AT&T unafraid of lost iPhone exclusive, sees $1,000 tablets

updated 03:40 pm EDT, Wed August 25, 2010

ATT sees success the same after iPhone exclusive

AT&T doesn't expect any problems or changes of strategy when it loses its iPhone exclusivity, the company's Emerging Devices head Glenn Lurie argued today. The executive believed AT&T would still be "plugging along" without changing its plans and would still be as successful as before. He wouldn't confirm to Bloomberg when AT&T's exclusivity ends, although most unofficial if credible sources have put a Verizon iPhone in January.

Critics have cast doubt on AT&T's security, as two years of 3G problems in New York City, the San Francisco Bay area and other key locations have left some customers eager to leave. As many as a third of iPhone owners might jump ship to Verizon the moment a CDMA iPhone is available, even with attempts to lock in customers through hikes in early cancellation fees.

Lurie was likewise enthusiastic about tablets like the iPad and anticipated the category going both higher- and lower-end at the same time. Apple's iPad price spread sits just between $500 and $830, but the AT&T official saw the category going as low as $300 and as high as $1,000 within the next five years. Eventually, those devices should be "full-on computers," he said.

Most US carriers already offer subsidized netbooks for mobile data, but Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps has estimated that tablets could overtake netbooks in 2012. The portability of tablets has been considered a factor in their success and has played into carriers' desires by encouraging the use of 3G where netbooks are often kept on Wi-Fi.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. gurman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Doesn't expect any problems or changes in strategy

    Why does that sound like whistling past the graveyard to me?

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    AT&T is used to being #2 anyway

    AT&T is #2 in the U.S. in terms of subscribers. They've gotten used to it. Soon they'll #2 in iPhone sales in the U.S.

    And AT&T isn't too worried about all those iPhone owners looking to dump AT&T the moment iPhone is available on Verizon. They'll be selling their old iPhones on eBay, and many of those will end up back on AT&T with their new owners.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    AT&T knows

    the Little Green Robot will fill the void. More features, more flexibility, more form factors, more choices.

    AT&T knows it's really the only global GSM choice. With the other GSM provider, T-Mo, the AWS is not available anywhere but Canada where Wind Mobile is just starting up. Verizon, Sprint are using CDMA which is being phased out in Canada and not available in Europe/Asia.

    There's no reason for AT&T to be "afraid". They got on just fine before without the iPhone, they will do just fine after the iPhone.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    AT&T should be in pretty good shape...

    Over the past few years with the iPhone, AT&T has been able to build out their infrastructure. Since I've heard that the iPhone is a very data-gobbling smartphone it's possible that if other smartphones are used on the AT&T network, there may be less bandwidth use and that will allow them to have more subscribers without constantly having to upgrade the network. AT&T also won't have to pay those huge subsidy fees to Apple for exclusive iPhone use. I'd think it could work out relatively well for AT&T. I'm sure their network was totally saturated and if many iPhone users leave, it could give remaining iPhone users some welcome bandwidth.

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