Engadget has discovered that AT&T’s initial contract with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) indeed gave the carrier exclusive dibs on the iPhone for five years beginning in 2007.
The long, sought-after nugget of information was buried deep in an ongoing California class-action lawsuit that claims that Apple and AT&T (NYSE: T) illegally created a monopoly by telling customers the iPhone’s required service contract was two years long when the deal was actually for five years. That’s because the deal technically would prevent customers from ditching AT&T and using their iPhone on a competing network, like T-Mobile USA.
The big caveat here is that no one can be certain that the contract hasn’t been amended to date. So, does AT&T’s iPhone exclusive last until 2012? Sorry folks, that answer is still unknown.