Despite the fact that the next iPhone hasn’t yet been officially announced, that hasn’t stopped one retailer from beginning to accept preorders for the mystery device. German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom confirmed that customers will be able to reserve Apple’s next iPhone as of Monday.
According to a report over the weekend on HotHardware.com, Apple (s aapl) may have more to announce at its special event this Wednesday than its mythical tablet.
We have been led to believe by an inside source that AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity on the same day, though it’s not yet clear what other carrier (or carriers) will be stepping in to also carry the phone.
It doesn’t come as any great surprise to hear about the end of AT&T’s (s att) exclusive partnership with Apple, but I will be surprised if El Jobso deliberately announces it during his keynote. After all, if he did announce it, at what may become the most-watched-and-reported-on keynote in Apple’s history, the predictable whoops of delight from the attendees will be hugely embarrassing for AT&T. Will Jobs be so insensitive?
AppleInsider says AT&T’s contract with Apple expires in June this year. Certainly, AT&T has recently been shoring-up its offering of smartphones to include Android-based handsets, but that’s hardly unusual for a mobile operator striving to remain relevant in a crowded and hugely competitive market.
While Apple may be looking forward to ending the exclusivity deal, I don’t think the same is true of AT&T. They have attracted and retained millions of new subscribers with the iPhone since its launch in 2007. The press hasn’t been kind to it, and even its own CEO has criticized its bandwidth-chomping customers, but I’m sure AT&T doesn’t regret one single lucrative day of that almost-three-year partnership. Read More about Rumor Has It: AT&T Losing iPhone Exclusivity this Wednesday
The folks at Google (s GOOG) must to be pretty pleased with themselves — G-1, a moderately useful phone using their Android mobile operating system, has sold a million handsets since it launched last October. Of course Apple (s aapl), by comparison, sold a million handsets around the planet during the launch weekend while Verizon (s vz) sold that number of BlackBerry Storms in about three months. One way or the other, the G-1 has been pretty good to T-Mobile USA as it’s pushed up the mobile web usage of subscribers. (Recommended reading: My Google Phone Review.)
Long Term Evolution (LTE), the next-generation wireless network chosen by 80 percent of the world’s carriers, isn’t turning out to be the star of this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. Instead of announcing LTE rollouts, carriers are talking up their upgrades to HSPA+, a small, software-based step up from existing GSM-based 3G networks. It’s like a Ferrari getting upstaged by an Acura. Acuras are cool, but underneath they’re still Hondas. Read More about MWC: HSPA Is Stealing LTE’s Thunder
Folks, I am traveling today to the D Conference down in Carlsbad, Calif., and won’t have much time to blog. Nevertheless, these are some of the stories that are worth your time today.
- Vodafone is changing CEOs. Arun Sarin, after handling the company for five tough years, is leaving Vodafone. The company has turned profitable again and has expanded quickly into fast growing wireless markets including India and Eastern Europe. Now, Vittorio Colao is going to take over. Sarin should move to Bharti Telecom and help that company become a global telecom.
- Deutsche Telekom has admitted it tracked phone calls to find out who was leaking company information to the media. Sort of like HP, except more sophisticated. What a bunch of morons and betrayers of their customers’ faith in the company.
- Pealgo, a location-based social look-up service has raised about $15 million from Kleiner Perkins’ iFund, T-Mobile’s venture arm and Reliance Communications, reports Business Week.
- Apple has gone green and filed a patent that could someday give iPods and iPhones the ability charge themselves using solar energy, reports Earth2Tech.
- The Canadian auction for 2Ghz spectrum for Advanced Wireless Services has run into problems. Today a consortium of U.S. equity houses, M/C Venture Partners and Columbia Capital dropped out, joining Primus Canada. Manitoba Telecom scaled back its plans. Rogers Telecom and cable company Shaw Communications are still in the running and looking to spend.
If Google’s bid for 700Mhz spectrum materializes in January, it will bring the trillion-dollar infotech and telecom industries into direct competition for the first time in 50 years. Read More about Here Comes Trouble: Infocom vs. Telecom