Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Carriers cheerfully take heat on iPhone pricing

For all the consumer griping over pricing plans for Apple Inc.'s new iPhones, the exclusivity contracts the big telecom carriers have signed with the computer giant to distribute the coveted touchscreen devices are paying off as planned.

AT&T Inc. in the United States and Rogers Wireless Communications Inc. in Canada have exclusive rights in their respective countries to sell Apple's updated iPhone. And each is taking heat online from customers for the pricing packages they've put together, as well as for their reluctance to offer the phones without lengthy contracts.

Even with the public relations headaches and the fact it had to shoulder the costs of a recent price cut when Apple decided to make the iPhone cheaper, you won't hear AT&T complaining. Publicity is firmly on its side and consumers are expected to fall in line.

“I got to be honest, we really haven't faced any challenges,” said Michael Coe, an AT&T spokesman. “I mean, you know, from the time that the iPhone was first announced it's been the most written about device probably in the history of the industry.”

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