As the remarkable pre-sale buildup for Apple's iPhone--which runs on AT&T's network--nears its end, the other wireless carriers are figuring out how to compete over the long term. Apple signed a
multiyear exclusive agreement to sell the iPhone at AT&T in the U.S., meaning that customers will have to become AT&T users to get the iPhone.
If you walk into a T-Mobile store, for
instance, sales personnel will probably ask you to consider their new WiFi phones introduced this week to work with any WiFi network. At Sprint, leaked internal documents reveal that you will be
redirected to one of its phones and told, "Our network is faster than the one the iPhone operates on."
"We're not shutting the doors on our customers," says Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Boyd Raney, referring to AT&T and Apple's plan to shut down stores for several hours this afternoon as they receive their iPhones.