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]