updated 04:15 pm EDT, Fri June 19, 2009
ATT orders exceed estimate
AT&T Mobility president and CEO Ralph de la Vega on Friday disclosed that pre-orders for the iPhone 3G S have greatly exceeded expectations. "We actually have hundreds of thousands of customers that have [pre-]ordered their iPhone and will be coming in to pick it up at the stores today," the executive told CNBC in an interview. De la Vega also took time to boast his company's position in the market, claiming a 25-percent increase in net additions of post-paid subscribers.
When asked about how long the carrier expects to keep an exclusive distribution deal with Apple, the executive expressed hope that the Senate Commerce Committee will let the industry "keep doing what it does best, coming up with innovative devices, like the iPhone, and not put additional restrictions."
The upcoming FCC head, Julius Genachowski, has made a commitment to investigate exclusive partnerships between carriers and manufacturers. The Rural Cellular Association and several senators have pushed the commission to investigate the impact on consumers and competition in the marketplace.
Aside from potential government regulations, de la Vega declined to comment on any talks with Apple to extend the deal. Unconfirmed reports suggest the carrier is negotiating to extend the deal into 2011, although the efforts would be futile if the government steps in.