AT&T has been riding the iPhone wave for over three years now and driving their iPhone sales hard for the entire time. With an exclusivity on such a hot item that essentially sells itself, can you blame them? Rumors of a Verizon iPhone have saturated the headlines for months now, and they're growing more abundant as time goes on. Information on the speculated CDMA device is becoming more and more legitimate, though nothing is certain as of yet (and I won't believe anything until Uncle Steve says its so).
With sources like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal both claiming that the iPhone will be heading to Big Red, and AT&T's exclusivity allegedly running short (nobody really knows when it will run out), they've got to focus on a new game plan. If the iPhone is no longer exclusively on AT&T, people will no longer have to jump ship and sign up with Ol' Blue just to get their hands on that delicious glass-covered phone.
AT&T has also been showing a particular interest in Windows Phone 7 as of late, have been shaping up a decent line of devices, and have been pushing the BlackBerry Torch heavily lately. Marc of IntoMobile points out that AT&T will be the only US carrier will all major smartphone platforms in their lineup. They will have iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, and webOS. Apple Insider reports:
"Jeff Bradley, AT&T devices senior vice president, told Bloomberg that his company’s changes are not meant to protect against the end of iPhone exclusivity. He said the carrier plans to carry the iPhone for the “foreseeable future,” even after exclusivity expires, though he didn’t say when that would happen."
It's good to see AT&T diversifying itself and not relying on a single line of phones for their success. Not everyone wants to buy an iPhone, and with a larger range of devices, they'll be able to cater to more customers rather than either feature phone customers or iPhone customers.