April 16, 2009

AT&T Seeks To Extend iPhone Contract

AT&T Inc. is making plans to extend the deal with Apple that makes it the exclusive United States iPhone provider, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. 

The newspaper indicated "people familiar with the matter" said Chief Executive Randall Stephenson was actively talking with Apple to lengthen their contract, set to expire next year. 

A simple response from an Apple spokeswoman was captured saying, "We have a great relationship with AT&T."

Stephenson reportedly also declined to discuss the details of AT&T's contract with Apple other than mentioning it was a multi-year deal. 

The iPhone has been a tremendous godsend to AT&T, the Journal emphasized, which initiated service for 4.3 million iPhone subscribers in the latter half of 2008 alone.

AT&T intends to invest profoundly in wireless with or without the iPhone, Stephenson pointed out.  The next five years have been budgeted for two-thirds of its capital expenditures to be dedicated to wireless-network investments and acquisitions. 

In Stephenson's two-year reign with AT&T, the company has invested 18.8 billion dollars purchasing radio spectrum and cell phone companies, and has spent an additional 1.3 billion dollars to reduce cost on the iPhone. 

The Journal reported the company had investigated possible opportunities of overseas deals last year, particularly a deal with Indian cell phone giant Reliance Communication Ltd.  However, AT&T turned its nose up at the price tag, a whopping 30 billion dollars. 


On the Net: