WSJ Tick-Tock on Apple’s iPhone/Cingular Deal

The weekend WSJ has a tick-tock on Apple’s deal for iPhone with Cingular. Some highlights:

  • Cingular’s CEO only saw the iPhone for the first time two weeks before launch, and Steve Jobs seemingly didn’t let him touch it
  • Only three Cingular execs ever saw iPhone before launch
  • Apple shares a portion of the monthly subscriber revenues
  • Steve repeatedly told Cingular execs during negotiations that they would never understand the Web and entertainment the way Apple did
  • Jobs first pitched iPhone to Cingular in early 2005
  • Jobs was adamant from the start that it be a touchscreen device
  • The Cingular deal was finalized in July of 2006
  • Cingular network engineers were only allowed to test a dummy phone, nothing like the real thing


  1. They may not have been cut in on the development of the handset, but this all looks like a very good deal from Cingular’s perspective – as they’re not having to subsidise the handset. There’s an intriguing article about the significance of the
    iPhone pricing structure here: