The Apple iPhone, due out next month, has been breathlessly hailed as offering consumers the ultimate wireless experience.
It also could give AT&T, its exclusive U.S. distributor, the ultimate experience for a wireless carrier: an easy way to handcuff rivals and steal customers.
AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years — an eternity in the go-go cellphone world. And Apple is barred for that time from developing a version of the iPhone for CDMA wireless networks.
That ban is no small thing. AT&T rivals Verizon Wireless and Sprint are both CDMA shops. AT&T uses GSM, a global standard incompatible with CDMA.
Bottom line: If you want an iPhone anytime soon, you’ll have to take your business to AT&T.
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Read more: Courtesy www.usatoday.com