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.