Another massive piece of the mysterious augmented reality puzzle known as Magic Leap fell into place on Wednesday as AT&T announced that it will be the exclusive launch carrier for the device.
"AT&T is excited to pair our pioneering technologies, unmatched network, content platform, and vast customer ecosystem with Magic Leap's efforts to build the next generation of computing," said John Donovan, AT&T Communications CEO, in a statement.
"We're designing and offering the future of entertainment and connectivity, and this exclusive arrangement – in combination with our 5G leadership position – will open up new opportunities and experiences."
The pairing will give the Magic Leap One: Creator Edition one of the largest wireless carriers in the US to work with as it rolls out its category-defying device. Fans of the original iPhone will note that Apple also picked AT&T as its first, exclusive launch partner back in 2007, before eventually opening up the smartphone to other carriers.
Now, it seems Magic Leap is looking to recreate a bit of the magic that eventually led to the iPhone changing the mobile phone space forever.
"We've joined with AT&T because we believe in a combined vision of expanding high-speed networks, edge computing, and deep integration with creative content," said Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap's founder and CEO. "Coupling the strength of the evolving AT&T network with Magic Leap's spatial computing platform can transform computing experiences for people."
Although the announcement doesn't reveal an exact launch date (it's still just "later this year"), we do now know that the first cities to get the Magic Leap One at AT&T stores will be Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco (with additional markets to be announced later).
On its website, Magic Leap also notes that the new AT&T relationship is part of its Series D equity funding round. That part of the deal will include Donovan gaining "observer rights with Magic Leap's board," a role that generally allows for attending board meetings, but does not including voting rights.
The timing of the official partnership announcement is perfect, as it comes just hours before Magic Leap is set to deliver the first live demonstration of its software working on the headset during a broadcast on Twitch, scheduled for broadcast at 2 p.m. ET. Now that we know just how mainstream the device will be in terms of a wireless carrier, there will likely be a lot more eyes watching as the company tries to pull of its first real "magic trick."
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