Opinion Brief

Is Apple finally ditching AT&T?

Apple iPhone users have long bemoaned poor service by exclusive carrier AT&T. If recent reports are true, they may soon have another choice

Apple fans, your long, frequently interrupted AT&T nightmare may be over. After reports that a Taiwanese manufacturer, Pegatron, is producing iPhones that are only compatible with rival carriers, tech bloggers are speculating that a Verizon Wireless-compatible version of Apple's iPhone 4 could start shipping by the end of 2010. The news follows serious problems with AT&T's online iPhone ordering system, and a massive security breach that left customers feeling exposed. Is this just another rumor — or is Apple finally expanding its horizons? (Watch a CNN report about Apple's AT&T dilemma)

Goodbye, AT&T: "Simply put, the tea leaves point to an iPhone coming to Verizon," says Larry Dignan in ZDNet. AT&T's "extremely generous" decision to allow customers to upgrade to iPhone 4 before the end of their contract "indicates that the telecom provider is trying to lock up as many customers as possible before exclusivity disappears." I doubt "Apple would torch AT&T" before the holiday season, but expect a Verizon iPhone by early next year.
"Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)"

Don't count on it: It's extremely "unlikely" that Apple will drop exclusivity with AT&T anytime soon, says Bianca Bosker in the Huffington Post. The current deal "doesn't expire until 2012." Plus, Pegatron has "incentive to build buzz around its brand" right now, since it will reportedly be listed on the Taiwanese Stock Exchange next week. Given that, it sounds like a rumor to me.
"Verizon iPhone to be released later this year? New rumors surface"

Leak, please: It may just be rumor, says Kit Eaton in Fast Times. But, given "millions" of dissatisfied customers, a Verizon iPhone deal makes perfect sense for Apple and this latest news confirms a March report by The Wall Street Journal. The only way we'll know for sure, however, "is if another Apple engineer, or a Pegatron employee, lets one slip unofficially out of their pocket."
"Verizon iPhone 4 pegged to chinese manufacturer Pegatron"

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