Gotta love those analysts, as they’re always good for stirring the rumor mill - this time it’s BusinessWeek reporting claims that Apple will likely be ending it’s exclusive relationship with AT&T in order to bring the iPhone to all major US carriers. According to Tim Horan, telecommunications analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., T-Mobile USA should have the iPhone available this summer (whatever the follow-up to the iPhone 3GS turns out to be,) with Verizon and Sprint getting the goods this fall. Even Clearwire will be able to get in on the action, as they are expected to get the iPhone sometime in 2011. Of course, AT&T has been the exclusive carrier of the iPhone since it launched in June 2007.
Of course, Apple has the perfect opportunity to announce changes like this if they’d like, as they’ve got what many are predicting to be a colossal Apple event on January 27th, just two days from now. We’ll keep you posted.
Read More | BusinessWeek
Verizon Wireless announced this morning that their President and CEO, Lowell McAdam, has sent a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill announcing that “Effective immediately for small wireless carriers…any new exclusivity arrangement we enter with handset makers will last no longer than six months - for all manufacturers and all devices.” At first glance, that’s kind of a big deal. After all, handset exclusivity is something that can be very financially beneficial to a carrier (see AT&T and iPhone as one such example.) So here’s the thing, when you re-read that statement, you discover that this exclusivity thing will still be in effect as it pertains to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. It’s only the small wireless carriers, those with 500,000 customers or less, that will be able to pick up handsets that are exclusive to Verizon Wireless after a six-month period. Still, it’s better than nothing, but the cast majority of non-Verizon Wireless mobile customers won’t benefit from this news.
In other words, this is a blatant attempt by Verizon Wireless to look like the nice guy while the FCC and congressional inquiries into exclusive handset deals proceed. This isn’t much progress at all. It’s just a political play that we can guarantee wouldn’t have happened if lawmakers weren’t taking a peek behind the curtain. What’s more, Verizon is hoping that other carriers will follow their lead with this move, specifically AT&T with the iPhone.
You can see the entire letter after the break.
Read More | Verizon Policy Blog
The official Guitar Hero: Rock the 80’s website has launched, and there’s a nasty surprise waiting for Xbox 360 owners. Currently, it looks like the game will only be released for the PS2. Still, given the money-printing nature of the GH franchise, I’m guessing the 80’s tunes will be made available to 360 owners one way or another. The big question, of course, is whether 80’s edition will ever be released in disc form for the 360, or whether the new characters, locales, and songs will just be released as downloadable content for the 360’s GHII, making it exclusive to Xbox 360 Premium and Elite systems.
We’ll keep you updated as we get more info about this title. For now, check out the tracklist and other info available at the official website. Guitar Hero Encore: 80’s edition will launch in summer ‘07.
Read More | Guitar Hero Website
In a statement today on Konami’s Japanese website, Konami apparently denied the exclusivity of their Pro Evolution Soccer 6 release, declaring:
It has been falsely reported on some websites that KONAMI will release its “Pro Evolution Soccer 6” exclusively for Microsoft’s Xbox 360. These reports are not true. KONAMI is currently proceeding with the production of a multi-platform release of “Pro Evolution Soccer 6” so that as many people as possible can enjoy the game.
Gamespot has dug into the statement a little further, but this has only muddied the waters. The actual text of the statement would seem to be refuting any websites that claim that the game will be exclusive to the Xbox 360, and not “next generation” exclusivity as claimed by Microsoft. However, Gamespot’s source at Konami indicated that the release was aimed at Microsoft’s release specifically. This whole thing very well could come down to a semantic issue, where the marketing-speak that Microsoft chose for their press release conflicted with Konami’s understanding, and should be clarified soon.
Update: 1up was able to talk to the series creator, Shingo Takatsuka, and he stated that the exclusivity window would be through the end of the year only, and that a PS3 version of the game was already in development.
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