LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - AT&T Inc is in talks with Apple Inc to extend its exclusive U.S. agreement to sell the iPhone from 2010 to 2011, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said in an interview that he plans to shift the company’s focus away from the U.S. landline phone business into wireless.
Apple’s iPhone has sold 17 million units worldwide since it was launched in June of 2007.
AT&T declined to comment on the report and repeated its previous statement that it had a multi-year agreement with Apple. An Apple spokeswoman also had no comment on the Journal report.
Apple has a number of relationships with other wireless carriers who service the iPhone in 80 countries. Those carriers include 02 in the United Kingdom, Softbank in Japan, Orange in France and T-Mobile in Germany.
The Journal also said Stephenson spent several months in 2008 evaluating potential acquisitions in India, including a deal with Indian cell phone giant Reliance Communications Ltd.
Stephenson ultimately decided that the potential price of as much as $30 billion, was too high, the Journal said, quoting people familiar with the discussions.
Reporting by Gina Keating; editing by Richard Chang