Is wishful thinking driving dozens of telecom pundits to conclude that Apple will announce that the iPhone is coming to carriers other than AT&T this Wednesday? Or are they just tired of reporting the same tired iTablet rumors?
Regardless, the internets are in a frenzy about the potential for a non-AT&T version of the iPhone, after a reporter for BusinessWeek ran a quote about the possibility from Tim Horan, a telecommunications analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.
T-Mobile USA Inc. will get the phone this summer, followed by Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. in the fall, and Clearwire Corp. in 2011, Horan wrote in a note yesterday. AT&T Inc. has been the exclusive carrier since the iPhone debuted in June 2007.
“We believe AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity arrangement with Apple will be expiring by mid-2010,” Horan wrote. “For wireless carriers, customers are demanding the device and they need to remain competitive.”
In a game of tube telephone, this was quickly translated into claims that the Verizon version would be announced at Apple’s big press stunt this Wendesday — and even some suggesting that some non-AT&T versions would be available this week.
We have no idea who’s right, but we do plan to listen in on Apple’s announcement, and play along at home with the Apple Tablet Game from Nick Bilton at Bits. Bilton clearly has an inside track at Apple, since his bingo card includes such options as “it’s only designed to work on the toilet” and “subsidized price: $99 with a lifetime contract.” Steve may have a hard time plugging this leak.
Apple May Allow All U.S. Carriers to Sell IPhone [BusinessWeek]
Play Our Unofficial Apple Tablet Game! [NYT Bits]