This week AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson let it slip
that consumers could expect a new iPhone next year that offered HSDPA wireless broadband support. That's not a particularly bright move for the CEO of a massive telecom empire, whose Christmas sales could be impacted by the flood of users that will wait for the new model. The existing phone only works on AT&T's sluggish EDGE network.
PBS's Bob Cringely doesn't think
the CEO's comments were a mistake. He thinks it was a message from AT&T, who is annoyed with Apple for their plan to participate in the upcoming 700Mhz wireless broadband auction.
Apple's five year iPhone exclusive with AT&T apparently doesn't prohibit Apple from operating their own wireless network and providing VoIP via iPhone.
Reports emerged back in September that suggested Apple was at least weighing the possibility of jumping into the 700Mhz auction, though insiders suggested Apple was actually leaning away from
participating. Cringely's theory that Stephenson is being clever, not incompetent, will see confirmation soon enough -- the deadline to announce your intent to bid in the upcoming auction is December 3.