Ok, so Cingular has the exclusive contract on the iPhone, right? Well, sort of – because “Cingular” is now AT&T. In other words, you’ll be buying your iPhone from AT&T. Remember AT&T?

It breaks down like this:

  • As we begin, Cingular is owned by SBC and BellSouth in a joint venture between the two companies.
  • Next, Cingular buys AT&T Wireless, making Cingular the largest wireless provider in the USA with 46 million customers and the largest coverage of any wireless provider.
  • Then Cingular’s owner, SBC, buys AT&T (which was different than AT&T wireless.)
  • Then AT&T (now owned by SBC) buys BellSouth.

The result is that Cingular is now a huge company providing wired and wireless phone and data services, and is going to change it’s name to AT&T. Simply AT&T.

Cingular wireless stores can now demo other AT&T products and services such as AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet, AT&T U-verse TV, or AT&T Homezone.

Edward Whitacre Jr., chairman and CEO of AT&T, said in a statement, “AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular are now one company, and going to market with our services under one brand is the right thing to do.”

Also, this means that investors can get a slice of what was Cingular Wireless by buying AT&T’s stock, which lists as “T.”

This is Apple’s new reality: dealing with the mish-mash stew that is the telecommunications industry. Makes me miss the day when all we had to worry about was G5 vs Intel!

FYI, Cingular now trades as AT&T, stock ticker “T”


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