iPhone may end AT&T exclusivity to be on all carriers

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RUMOUR MILL: iPhone users in America might not need to subscribe to the AT&T network as Apple is planning to release the iPhone to all US mobile carriers within the next 18 months ahead of its announcement where the much-rumoured Apple Tablet is expected to be revealed. This would end the exclusive deal with AT&T and could double or triple the number of devices sold, according to an analyst at firm Oppenheimer & Co talking to Bloomberg.

The analyst has also noted that this would put pressure on mobile carriers profit margins as the subsidy costs are higher, and increase the spending on their networks – as much as US$3 billion – to support the increase data usage through their networks.

A proposed timeline could see T-Mobile, owned by Germany-based Deutsche Telekom, having the phone first by the summer; while Verizon and Sprint Nextel could get it in the fall. Clearwire could get the phone in 2011.