updated 03:15 pm EST, Mon January 15, 2007
Apple "bends" to Cingular
Apple "bent" to Cingular with its multi-year exclusive U.S. contract for its entire line of iPhone models, according to Glenn Lurie, Cingular's president of national distribution. "I'm not sure we gave anything," Lurie said, referring to Cingular's side of the deal with Apple for the company's new cellular handset. "I think they bent a lot." Apple's contract with the cellular carrier covers "all models" of the iPhone, including several other devices in the works that could debut in the near future, according to the Cingular executive. Apple's contract doesn't extend outside the U.S., however, leaving the Cupertino-based company free to choose its own carriers overseas.
Cingular expects the iPhone to grow its business by attracting other carriers' customers, and the phone will only be available through Cingular and Apple stores alongside both company's websites. Additionally, Apple and Cingular are to share tech support responsibilities, according to PC Magazine, with 'cross-trained' Cingular reps handing off more complicated questions to trained Apple professionals.