AT&T to link iPhone to U-verse video, Internet

A customer examines his new Apple iPhone 3G at Telcel Center in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata August 21, 2008. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. phone company AT&T Inc plans to eventually link Apple Inc’s iPhone to its high-speed Internet and video service called U-verse, and introduce new features like using the phone as a remote control.

At an event on Monday to showcase some recently developed technologies that are not yet being marketed, AT&T emphasized that in the future, consumers should be able to use their phones, computer and television in more interesting ways.

“We’re looking at the whole landscape, of what people use, and what’s out there in the home,” said AT&T Chief Technology Officer John Donovan, adding that some of the services may be launched by the end of the year.

AT&T is currently the sole U.S. carrier for the iPhone --an advantage over other mobile providers like Verizon Wireless, owned by Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, as well as over cable television providers.

For example, consumers will be able to listen to their voice mails on their screens, and download shows from their digital video recorders onto their iPhones.

They also will be able to use their iPhones to navigate channels like a normal remote control, and for entertainment purposes like virtually hurling tomatoes at the TV screen using iPhone applications.

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; editing by Carol Bishopric