Will January 27 Also Mark The End Of AT&T’s iPhone Exclusivity?

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The iTablet may not be the only earthshaking news this coming Wednesday.

An inside source at AT&T is hinting that the marriage of the Death Star and the iPhone will come to a (slightly) premature end during the big Apple announcement.  The exclusivity deal was originally scheduled to run until later in the year (after being renewed in '09).  However, the public perception of the union has soured as AT&T's 3G network was consistently kicked in the 'nads, so to speak, by data-hungry iPhone users — and made worse by the iPhone's failure to maintain calls when switching from 3G to EDGE.  Indeed, AT&T seem to be spending most of their ad dollars flailing away at Verizon's "there's a map for that" bitch-slaps.  And at the recent CES, the Death Star was promising new WinMo, WebOS, and Android smartphones — phones that, in retrospect, could fill a post-iPhone void.

Should the exclusivity deal be cut short — or even if it's allowed to expire in due course — there's no word on who would be adding iPhones to their lineup.  Verizon would be a likely candidate: strong 3G network, plus plenty of current customers who want a iPhone, but don't want one enough to switch to AT&T.  But there's also no reason Apple couldn't take a cue from Blackberry and make "iFlavors" that would work on ALL the US's cell carriers.  You think there are a lot of iPhone and app sales now?  Watch what'll happen when anybody can get their hands on one…

[Via HotHardware]

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