@Brett Brennan 1 --- Funny timing all this...
Brett Brennan 1 posts, "Funny that the senators and the FCC decide to look into this two years after the AT&T-Apple deal, but only days after Sprint launched the Pre."
Perhaps you missed that this investigation announcement is only days after Apple launched the new iPhone 3G[S] with the exclusive deal with AT&T where new features will be available to overseas customers before U.S. customers because of AT&T not being willing (to deliver services like MMS and tethering on the iPhone, when AT&T is willing to deliver them on other phones.)
The Apple iPhone can clearly deliver the services, since international carriers are offering the services, today. The U.S. AT&T customers are locked-in with no other options, due to an exclusive agreement. Apple's iPhone domestic competitiveness continues to be suppressed due to this carrier's unwillingness to offer these competitive services, solely to this single vendor's single product.
Brett Brennan 1 posts, "elimination of exclusive handset deals hurts the CDMA carriers like Sprint and Verizon much more"
It appears that iPhone is almost driving AT&T's sales exclusively... the product is very popular. A popular product offered to CDMA and PCS carriers would be a boon to those carriers!
If the U.S. FCC decides through their investigation that the exclusive deal is hurting U.S. Consumers, CDMA and PCS customers could have new options offered to them - Apple would be allowed to build iPhone variants for these other carriers, this would provide lower cost alternatives with more features to all customers, and this would also guarantee an increase Apple iPhone market share by increasing the markets it can compete in.
The timing of the investigation after the Apple iPhone 3G[S] release is unmistakable:
- AT&T is clearly in the cross-hairs by not delivering services offered to other phone manufacturers when the iPhone is clearly capable of utilizing those services on other global carriers
- CDMA and PCS carriers have more to gain than lose through increased competition with the iPhone product availability no longer being restricted from their networks by a contractual obligation
- Other mobile phone manufacturers have more to lose through increased competition due to the iPhone being legally allowed to be available from more carriers
Yes, Apple would need to create a new iPhone variant, but if more market share could be gained, I bet they would do it, considering how AT&T is not giving iPhone customers the features they gave other customers for the past 2 years!