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AT&T CEO Acknowledges iPhone Won’t Remain Exclusive Forever

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson
Randall Stephenson

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson acknowledged that his company will not have exclusive rights to the iPhone forever Thursday, saying, "There will be a day when [we] are not exclusive with the iPhone." The comments came during a session at Fortune magazine's Brainstorm: Tech conference.

According to CNet's coverage of the conference, Mr. Stephenson declined to offer any specifics about negotiations with Apple, other than to say, "On balance, I think [AT&T's relationship with Apple] works really, really well--maybe as well as any strategic partnership we have."

When pressed on whether or not he was completely satisfied with the relationship between the two companies, he ducked the question saying, "I don't know if I could get my wife to say that about me, so I don't think I could say that about a business partner."

There has been a lot of speculation in the last year -- speculation that has heated up in recent months -- on whether Apple would either cancel its deal with AT&T or simply end the exclusivity aspect of their relationship and add the iPhone to a second U.S. carrier like Sprint or Verizon.

Mr. Stephenson's comments are an acknowledgement that such a change will eventually come, though whether it's sooner or later will, apparently, remain the realm of speculation.

8 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

JackB said:

Thank you, Captain Obvious. How about telling us something we *don’t* know, like when we’ll ever see MMS and tethering?


JackB said:

As it may not be obvious, I was referring to AT&T’s Stephenson, and not the article author.


Bryan Chaffin said:

Ha! No worries, JackB. I figured what you meant and chortled out loud when I read the first comment. smile


DanielDecker said:

And now we have confirmation that Bryan chortles! Awesome.


Bryan Chaffin said:

Chortle…Guffaw…Snort…All that, and much worse.


Tiger said:

As long as its done with love and snark at the same time.


Bosco (Brad Hutchings) said:

He’d better hope that the day isn’t preannounced, because the iPhone money machine will stop printing new monthly Benjamins the day potential customers know there will be other options in the future.


Indie said:

Thank You… Good Article… By


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