AT&T Makes Telling Revelation to the SEC
It's one thing when "sources" indicate that AT&T will end exclusivity agreements for prominent smartphones, but its another when AT&T references that possibility itself. That's exactly what's happened in the carrier's latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
AT&T stated that the company would continue to thrive long after its exclusive agreements expire, a suggestion that is certainly raising eyebrows as this is a significant indicator that AT&T may soon break its exclusive grip on several hugely popular smartphones - one of which is near and dear to this community, although the iPhone was not referenced by name.
"Offering a number of attractive handsets on an exclusive basis distinguishes us from our competitors," AT&T's filing states. "As these exclusivity arrangements end, we expect to continue to offer such handsets (based on historical industry practice), and we believe our service plan offerings will help to retain our customers by providing incentives not to move to a new carrier."
Apple Insider reported that Steven Fox, analyst with CLSA, thinks AT&T's comments come as a means to "prepare investors for the end of exclusivity of the iPhone." He called the comments "significant new language about exclusivity," which most likely is directed at the iPhone.