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iPhone coming to Verizon... no, really...

Unnamed sources say Verizon will be carrying a new CDMA iPhone early next year

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
October 7, 2010
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1272

Is the iPhone finally breaking free of its unhealthy co-dependent relationship with AT&T and coming to Verizon?!  The answer to that indefatigable question is a great, big, giant, resounding: “….maybe…” 

So what’s the new iPhone/Verizon rumor today?  According to “unnamed sources” (it would be really funny if someone just started a PR company called “Unnamed Sources” or “People Familiar with the Matter”) the iPhone will be coming to Verizon early next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday morning.

I sent an email to several people at Verizon, prefaced with: “I think I already know the answer to this question…”  And within minutes my inquiry was returned with: “No comment regarding this rumor…” and “Sorry. No comment from here.”  They were good sports for even opening my email.

Competition

The “leak” comes coincidentally after comScore and Nielsen released data finding that the Android OS is now the number one platform among new smartphone buyers, and has exhibited a steep upward trajectory among all smartphone owners.

Apple is currently poised to sell 40 million iPhones worldwide this year, and while 3 out of 4 iPhone owners report being “very satisfied” with their phones (compared to 65% of Android-phone owners), Apple’s exclusive carrier deal with AT&T is a sticking point for most people.  I struggled for well over a year to take the plunge and switch to AT&T for the sake of getting an iPhone, which I finally did last month, so I will be very ticked off if this rumor turns out to be true and Verizon starts carrying the iPhone in the next couple of months after I just signed two years of my life away to AT&T.

Others have simply chosen flashy alternatives.  I reported Wednesday that Android now accounts for 19% of the mobile market, more than doubling its 8% market share in February.  Android subscribers reached 10.9 million in August, up from 866,000 last year.

The Deets

Apple will begin mass production of the new phone by the end of this year for release in the first quarter of 2011, said those ubiquitous “people close to the matter.”  The phone will be similar to the iPhone 4, but will be based on Verizon’s wireless technology.

The report goes on to say that Verizon Wireless has been meeting with Apple to add capacity and test its networks in preparation for the onslaught of new iPhone users. 

At a Verizon press conference on Wednesday, President Lowell McAdam responded to a question as to whether Verizon would begin carrying the iPhone: "At some point our business interests are going to align," he said, in reference to Apple. "I fully expect it, but I don't have anything to say."

The Verizon-compatible CDMA iPhone is supposedly being made by Pegatron Technology Corp., said WSJ’s unnamed sources, who also told reporters that in early discussions, Apple and Verizon battled over Apple’s requirement that Verizon not allow its retail partners to sell the phone.  Another point of contention was Apple’s demand that Verizon give up its ability to sell content like music and videos through its proprietary service.

An email to Apple has, quite predictably, gone unanswered.

Image source: fonearena.com


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