Deal With The Devil: AT&T Keeps The iPhone For One More Year

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News that the iPad 3G came with the option of a pay-as-you-go data plan through AT&T was met with a mixture of relief ("It's not a two-year contract, and it's cheaper than their usual data plan!") and annoyance ("Yeah, but it's still AT&T!").

Turns out there may have been a method to the House of Jobs' madness. 

You seen, this June was supposed to be the expiration date of the iPhone/AT&T exclusivity deal.  Said deal has already been extended once or twice, and plenty of iPhone-lovin' — but Death Star-hatin' — phone customers were praying a move to another network (hellooo, sail…er, Verizon!) might actually happen this year.

Nope nope nope.  According to speculation by way of BroadPoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall, AT&T were so eager to retain their smartphone cash cow just a wee bit longer, they played Let's Make a Deal with Apple: in exchange for yet ANOTHER exclusivity extension, they'd offer cut-price, no-contract 3G connectivity for the iPad.  And why shouldn't they?  In the first quarter of 2010, over 1/3 of their 2.7 million iPhone activations were
new AT&T customers.

Poor Verizon.  First no Nexus One, now this.  Well, they've still got the Pre and the Droid…

[Via Edible Apple]

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