AT&T To Lose US Exclusivity As Soon As Wednesday?

Word coming from what is said to be an inside source at AT&T says that the company will be losing their iPhone exclusivity rights as soon as Wednesday. We’ve heard a lot of rumblings about what may or may not be announced at Apple’s event this week, but the most convincing ones largely pertained to the rumored-and-probably-intentionally-leaked-by-Apple Apple tablet. Rumors about a next-generation of iPhone have been slow, but an announcement like this would pretty big news for the iPhone crowd.

The same person also says that AT&T will launch a selection of other smartphones to “compensate” for when this happens. They announced at CES that several Windows Mobile, Android and web-OS devices would be coming to their network, but they didn’t say when. It may be that the launch of those devices would be signaling the end to their exclusivity, but they didn’t say when it would take place.

That said, the biggest question remains unanswered: “What are the odds of a Verizon iPhone?” Currently in the US, T-Mobile is the only other GSM carrier, and the iPhone can’t run on their 3G network. If Apple does decide to open the iPhone to other carriers, that would leave just Verizon, and they’re CDMA. It would need a next-generation iPhone with different hardware in order to happen, and that doesn’t seem likely in the near future.

[via Hot Hardware]

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