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Apple "bends" to Cingular for iPhone deal

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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So Cingular isn't subsidizing part of the cost then?

  1. dscottbuch

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Chestbeating B*LLSH*T

    This guy is a sales guy so he prevaricates for a living (sorry a little over the top :). 1) Cingular changed their network for this phone!!! 2) Cingular signed the contract without seeing the phone and couldn't have had much input as they didn't see the product until a few weeks ago.

  1. suhail

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They couldn't have picked bigger crooks to work with than Cingular?

  1. fritzw1957

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too bad Verizon...

    couldn't have been worked with for deployment of the iPhone due to their use of the closed BREW system requirement on their phones.

    Not sure if it would be in my best interests to switch to Cingular just because of this (or any other iteration of) cellphone.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    from the article

    "So what did Apple get out of this partnership? Lurie said they were attracted to "the people," and the ability to work together to make deals and a product they could keep secret—which they have for two years."

    What Apple got is a foot in the door of the phone industry. When the "multi-year" deal runs out (rumor is 2 years, but not confirmed), if there's a clamor for the iPhones, other cellular companies will be lining up to do a deal (different models for different companies?). Or Apple will have another way to open it up.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    bigger crooks

    they coulda picked Verizon, the biggest crooks of them all.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Couldn't they just sell a phone sans provider and let people just pick who they want? Why do they need to tie it to ANY service???

  1. TailsToo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you guys haven't woken up and seen it, the cell companies are new RIAA.

  1. quiviran

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's the people -

    who start bragging how they got the better of the deal less than a week after the public announcement. Hmm - just my kind of business partner. The success of iPhone is dependent on the carrier. How many envelope-pushing features will be crippled (or rented) in order to protect Cingular's (soon to be AT&T, I already dropped them once) "revenue stream".(Asked less politely, How far did Apple have to bend over?) Sad, sad, sad. Better to have teamed with number 3 or 4, who might be agressive with the new possibilities, rather than number 1, just looking to get fatter and more protective of the status quo.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    several reasons

    First, Cingular is the only reasonably reliable GSM carrier in the US (T-Mobile is history). To make a phone global, GSM is the only choice; Verizon and Sprint are out.

    Second, regardless what the sales guy says, Cingular has made many, many concessions. First and foremost, this is going to be Apple-branded phone. While there may be a little Cingular logo on some screens, Apple will be the one controlling the whole user experience. Considering that handset makers normally make these great phones, only to have operators cripple them in order to preserve revenue streams, this is a huge concession to Cingular. What mobile carrier would allow WiFi on their handset??? "Feel free to switch to WiFi and Skype whenever you can; don't bother using our minutes and plans..."

    Apple chose the right carrier. If they do bring extra revenue to Cingular (through the surge of subscribers), they just might be able to strong-arm them into deploying a true 3G data network.

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