We would have assumed Apple would have filed the AT&T debacle in the lessons learned file down in Cupertino—people don’t like crappy service. No one really blames Apple for signing exclusivity deals with telecommunications companies around the world, it’s how the world turns these days.

The geek in us wishes their phones would have shipped unlocked on day one, but we’re willing to agree that without these exclusivity deals in place, we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford the iPhone anyway. Again, we don’t blame Apple for going down the road.

But, the question remains, is now the time to take the fork in the road for greener pastures? Exclusivity has come to an end in a number of countries. In Canada the phone is available on both the Bell and Rogers networks, and we couldn’t have been happier then we were when that was announced.

Users in both China and the US are still locked to one company if consumers want an iPhone. In the US a lot of people switched to AT&T to get the iPhone, despite their track record for excessive dropped calls, and poor reception areas around the country. Unfortunately the Chinese don’t seem to be doing the same. The iPhone’s key demographic in China isn’t flocking to the device, and it seems like China Unicom is the primary reason. According to Cult of Mac, “Fewer than 10 percent of China residents between the age of 22 and 32 use China Unicom, and of that group, most said they disliked the service.” Out of 2,000 of the mobile phone owners surveyed, “more than 9 out of 10 people questions pointed to rival China Mobile as having better coverage and service.” That’s a lot of hate directed at a company, but it’s an important statistic if you’re Apple looking to sign a deal with a telecommunications company.

Thankfully, the exclusivity era is coming to an end, and with rumors of Verizon getting access to the fourth iPhone generation, these types of problems will quickly be coming to a close in North America. Hopefully, Apple sees fit to do the same thing in China, because the Chinese want access to Apple products just like the rest of us, right?

Article Via Cult of Mac

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