Cingular Rumored As Exclusive iPhone Carrier

Tech bloggers are heating up over rumors that Cingular Wireless will be the initial provider of Apple's long-awaited, but closely guarded iPhone cell phone handset. Reports from leading Apple-following Web sites say that Cingular will have exclusive rights to distribute the iPhone for six months, after which other carriers will be invited into the mix.

Cingular, a joint venture between AT&T and BellSouth, is already the exclusive distributor of the Apple iTunes-compatible Motorola Motorazr V3i handset, which enabled it to enhance its brand among the tech-savvy and youth markets.

Cingular recently announced the launch of its proprietary 3125 handset, the only Microsoft Windows Mobile-powered flip smart phone available in the U.S.

Neither Apple nor Cingular would comment on the iPhone or any prospective relationship. Apple insider information Web site Think Secret, reported that the phone will be released at the January 2007 Macworld conference in San Francisco.

Earlier this month, in a research note, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu confirmed suspicions that an Apple handset was imminent. According to Web publication AppleInsider, Wu predicted that the phone would have a design similar to that of an iPod Nano and could sell 10 million units at a $200 price point.



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