Court documents have confirmed that the exclusive deal between AT&T and Apple was for five years, a timeframe that was reported - though unconfirmed - by a USA Today report three years ago. Engadget put the pieces together and excerpted parts of the court documents in its own post to confirm the earlier USA Today report.
The revelation would normally imply that there are two years left on that contract but, before anyone goes giving up on the iPhone coming to another carrier anytime soon, it's important to note that contracts can be altered or dissolved before their expiration dates and that Apple and AT&T likely renegotiated the terms surrounding the iPhone when they hammered out an agreement around the iPad.
Bottom line: No one knows how long Apple and AT&T have left in that exclusive contract. So, in essence, nothing has changed.
But for a consumer like me, it really doesn't matter one way or another. Google's Droid Incredible by HTC killed the last of the iPhone envy I had left in me and, assuming that Apple and AT&T stay tight for years to come, I can only imagine that others will "Go Google" the same way I did.
Apple continues to report strong iPhone sales quarter after quarter, but competitors are starting to catch up. NPD reported earlier today that retail sales of Android surpassed iPhone OS sales - and bloggers and analysts who follow the space didn't seem to be surprised by it.
By Sam Diaz