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  1.    #1  
    What is the advantage of a newly released phone having carrier exclusivity? Is this something carriers negotiate so they can be the sole providers of the phone for a period of time? I can't see any way it's beneficial for the phone maker. Palm's Sprint exclusivity was a very bad idea in hindsight. Just wondering why phone makers agree to this stuff. I'd want to get out in as many hands as possible.
  2. #2  
    Usually it is in return for several things...

    1. If you give me an exclusive, i will pour $x millions into promotion. Notice how much VZ advertises for MotoDroid - exclusive to VZ.

    2. If you don't give me an exclusive, I won't offer your phone at all. There are so many Droid phones, so many BlackBerry phones, so Many slab phones. There are support costs to bringing on another brand, another OS, etc. Getting the first carrier to bite is often needed to get others to take the phone. If it sells well on one carrier, others want it. If it doesn't, or it's hard to support, they won't. That's why the VZ failure has been so damaging to Palm. If they put $200m into the Pre+ like they did MotoDroid, they could have made Palm the new darling. Sprint didn't do great, but they VZ actually hurt sales for Sprint by positioning Pre and a phone for busy moms, etc.

    3. If you offer my phone, I will do xyz to promote your carrier brand... Apple/AT&T did all three of these, but you can see the AT&T cross-promotion in Apple ads very clearly. Especially as AT&T advertises the iPhone less and is focused on the embarrassing Motorola Flip... You are seeing less AT&T promotion in the iPhone ads at the same time...
  3. #3  
    And for the corollary (what can happen when your phone is not exclusively tied to a carrier), just look at what happened with Google's Nexus One.

  4. #4  
    oh, one more...

    But, I'll make the carrier happy by creating potential for sharing ad and search revenue from the devices...

    And I will pay developers to write the initial killer apps for my catalog.

    But, while you aren't looking - I am going to create a free OS and a bunch of free underlying services - like google location services, google sync, etc etc... so every freaking phone you sell will be totally dependent on those services. That way I can have the carrier and every other phone maker by the short ones without them knowing what hit them.
  5. #5  
    HTC leverages "carrier exclusives" well. Each phone "model" they make is a slight tweak to other models they've made. Thus, each carrier has an "exclusive" phone, but deep down, they're all the same phone (Eris vs. Hero, for instance).

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