US iPhone operator stops revenue sharing with Apple

AT&T, the official iPhone partner for Apple in the States and the first operator in the world to offer the original model, has revealed that it has struck a new agreement with Apple for the 3G version of the phone.

This new deal "eliminates" the revenue-sharing model under which AT&T gave a portion of monthly service revenue (the amount of which was speculated about but never confirmed) to Apple.

Under the revised agreement, a "traditional equipment manufacturer-carrier arrangement", there is no revenue sharing and AT&T says both iPhone 3G models will be offered at "attractive prices to broaden the market potential and accelerate subscriber volumes".

Although in the short-term, AT&T says subsidising the phone will cost them profit, based on the company's experience, average monthly revenues per iPhone subscriber are nearly double the average of the company's overall subscriber base, so it plans to make up the losses from customer spend.

iPhone 3G will be available in the US on 11 July for a retail price of $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB model in both Apple and AT&T’s retail stores and requires a new two year contract. AT&T will also sell iPhone 3G through its direct business sales teams.

Unlimited iPhone 3G data plans for consumers will be available for $30 a month for consumers, $45 for business users, in addition to voice plans starting at $39.99 a month.