Since its very introduction eons ago (OK, way back when in 2007), no shortage of Verizon subscribers have been clamoring for the AT&T-exclusive Apple iPhone. In the three year’s since the iPhone’s introduction, there have also been plenty of whispers of varying degrees that a release of the iconic device on the nation’s largest wireless carrier was indeed imminent. Alas, Verizon-faithful, it doesn’t look like your your day will come until sometime in the far off future of 2012 when an exclusivity contract between Apple and AT&T is set to expire.
In 2007, just prior to the launch of the first generation iPhone, USA Today reported that AT&T and Apple had entered into a five-year carrier exclusivity agreement that would prevent the iPhone from straying from the nation’s second largest wireless carrier’s loving arms. Until this week, though, the report had never been confirmed.
After pouring through a number of court documents, gadget blog Engadget announced yesterday that Apple responded to a class-action lawsuit filed in 2008 against the Cupertino-based iPhone innovator indicating that such an exclusivity agreement did exist.
“[T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T's] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years,” reads an official Apple response to the litigation.
There may still be a glimmer of hope for Verizon Wireless subscribers hoping to go the way of the iPhone.
As Engadget writes, “Contracts can be canceled, amended, and breached in many ways, and AT&T’s spotty recent service history plus the explosion of the iPhone and the mobile market in general have given Apple any number of reasons to revisit the deal.”