AT&T losing iPhone Exclusivity

AT&T may lose its exclusive rights to the iPhone on Jan. 27, according to one a published report. Whether it happens this week or later this year, though, AT&T will have five new Android phones, including Dell’s Mini 3, to fall back on.

According to Hot Hardware, which cites an “inside source,” the latter is seeming likely — though news of which additional carrier or carriers will gain access to the iPhone is still unknown.

Verizon Wireless has been rumored for some time to be on line for an iPhone  — a scenario that analyst have called a positive one for Apple — while others have said that Verizon may also be first in line for the Apple tablet.

The end of the exclusivity contract could potentially also lighten the criticisms lobbed at AT&T, which has seemed to struggle to meet the data-devouring needs of its iPhone customers. It’s been said that the Apple, and not AT&T’s network, is actually to blame for some iPhone service issues, though AT&T has stoically kept mum about this.

Apple has to be concerned about customer dissatisfaction due to problems with the AT&T 3G network, which appears to be unable to handle the heavy data traffic generated by millions of bandwidth-hungry iPhones. AT&T’s iPhone troubles have given rise to articles in tech news reports on a near-daily basis, and those stories have begun to make it to the front pages of newspapers and the larger news websites.

Apple, which prides itself on its customer satisfaction, may simply believe that it cannot rely on AT&T as its sole U.S. carrier any longer.

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