AT&T & Apple 5 Year Deal?!
According to court documents Apple filed in 2008 in a response to a class action lawsuit in California, AT&T and Apple have an exclusive term of five years.
Engadget got a copy of those documents yesterday and confirmed that the original deal was supposed to last until 2012. Of course it is very possible that Apple and AT&T renegotiated the deal when the iPad came out.
USA Today broke the news of the five-year exclusivity deal prior to the iPhone’s launch in May 2007, but at that time, the news was never confirmed and no one really cared as much since the iPhone was still very new. It seems though that with the proof in the court filing, US iPhone users will be with AT&T until at least 2012.
Only Apple and AT&T know whether their original five-year exclusivity is still in effect, but that might just mean a big window of opportunity for the Verizon/Android users to continue to grab market share and be a serious contender to Apple/AT&T.