Currently the iphone is only available to AT&T subscribers but rumor has it that Apple is planning to debut a new iphone this summer.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a new iphone that will be designed for Verizon Wireless, AT&T's biggest competitor. The new iPhone would work on a wireless network called CDMA, which is used by Verizon Wireless, as well as Sprint Nextel Corp.
What does this mean for AT&T? If Apple develops a new iphone then its exclusive U.S. arrangement with AT&T will come to an end. Their relationship has been critical to AT&T, helping to make the carrier the U.S. leader in the smart-phone market. According to comScore Inc., AT&T has over 43% of all U.S. smart-phone customers, compared with 23% for Verizon.
Apple and Verizon Wireless have declined to comment on the topic.
Will AT&T face new competition over the iphone from their largest competitors? Guess we'll have to wait and see.