Making Sense Of Verizon iPhone Reports - InformationWeek

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3/29/2010
10:06 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Making Sense Of Verizon iPhone Reports

Yet another iPhone-for-Verizon-Wireless report surfaced today, this one published by the Wall Street Journal. The report doesn't really offer anything surprisingly new -- and certainly nothing solid. So why is everyone already foaming at the mouth?

Yet another iPhone-for-Verizon-Wireless report surfaced today, this one published by the Wall Street Journal. The report doesn't really offer anything surprisingly new -- and certainly nothing solid. So why is everyone already foaming at the mouth?"When is Verizon going to get the iPhone?"

I receive that question every single day. Multiple times. I live in northern New Jersey, and for one reason or another (cough, Verizon's headquarters, cough) most of my friends and family are all using Verizon's services. They all know what I do. They all like the iPhone. But none of them want to leave Verizon Wireless, which they've come to trust over the years. Hence the oft-repeated query.

My friends and family are not the only people who feel this way about the iPhone and Verizon.

Today things ramped up a bit. Here's what the Journal reported:

1. Apple is working on a CDMA version of the iPhone. 2. Such an iPhone would work with Verizon's and Sprint's networks. 3. That phone is due to be released before the end of the third quarter. 4. Apple is also working on a new GSM version of the iPhone. 5. The new GSM version will debut in the late June or early July time frame. 6. It will be thinner, and have a faster processor (duh, 1GHz A4).

The new GSM phone will be built by long-time Apple manufacturer Hon Hai, and the CDMA version will be built by Pegatron Technology Corp. The Journal's sources seem to be particularly well-armed with more detailed specifics than normally come with such reports.

All the players involved declined to comment on the story, save for AT&T. It said, "There has been lots of incorrect speculation on CDMA iPhones for a long time. We haven't seen one yet and only Apple knows when that might occur." AT&T is exactly yet. There's been speculation for ages, and so far none of it has panned out.

Will it come to fruition this time around? Verizon has openly said that the ball is in Apple's court. If Apple builds a CDMA version of the iPhone, Verizon will consider selling it. That's as far as it's gone -- at least as far as the public is concerned.

Apple surely feels it has reached some sort of saturation point with the distribution deal it has with AT&T, at least as far as the U.S. market is concerned. By offering a Verizon version of the iPhone, Apple could tap its potential 80 million subscribers and sell a bazillion more iPhones. AT&T could suffer if this happens, but remember that there are plenty of iPhone users stuck in two year contracts who won't be able to upgrade or break their contracts without forking over a fistful of dollars.

Bottom line here: Anything's possible, but nothing has been confirmed, and there have been no official announcements. Until Apple says it is so, it ain't.

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