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Actually.. Apple paired with Cingular. Because, as it turns out, Apple too had problems convincing carriers to take on the idea.

AT&T bought cingular, realised it was a good thing and got exclusivity in exchange for better plans for consumers.

"AT&T bought cingular" is not really accurate.

Sequence of events:

2000 - SBC and BellSouth jointly create a company called "Cingular Wireless".

2002 - AT&T spins off a company called "AT&T Wireless".

2004 - Cingular buys out AT&T Wireless and merges it completely into Cingular.

2005 - SBC buys out AT&T, and rebrands themselves as "AT&T". So at this point Cingular is jointly owned by AT&T and BellSouth.

2006 - AT&T buys out BellSouth. Cingular is now wholly owned by AT&T.

2007 - Given that, Cingular rebrands itself as AT&T (legally "AT&T Mobility").

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