Verizon on iPhone? Is it for real this time?
July 2, 2010 21 Comments
Good News for those of you loving iPhone, but hating its current and exclusive carrier, At&t. Bloomberg News recently reported Verizon Wireless to start offering iPhone in January of next year. The move will end the domestic exclusivity deal Apple has had with AT&T Mobility since the first iPhone launched in 2007. Although, you might have heard such a rumor many times since 2008, but I think it is real this time.
Here are my reasons:
1. At&t-iPhone Exclusivity will expire this year
Apple’s exclusivity contract with AT&T has long been shrouded in mystery. Recent reports have guessed that the deal expires sometime in 2010
2. The Verizon-iPhone Technology are ready to Wed
Verizon is big on CDMA technology. The CDMA-based device for Verizon Wireless would have required Apple to make at least two separate models for international sale or at least required the company to pack a pair of radios into an already densely-packed device. Apple has also been able to tout a number of features on the iPhone, including the ability to talk and access data services at the same time thanks to an ability of the UMTS-based 3G network that is currently not available from CDMA.
The timing of a launch “next year” also lines up with Verizon Wireless’ plans to begin rolling out LTE markets later this year. Apple also has a history of announcing new devices well in advance of their actual launch date, which could give it time to announce a Verizon Wireless/LTE device in early 2011 with plans to bring the device to market by the end of next year. However, the timing would still require Apple to include a CDMA radio in the device to provide customers with nationwide coverage, a move that could increase the cost of the device, though that could be made up by the expected increased sales volume.
An LTE device would also play well overseas as a number of international carriers are moving towards the LTE standard for their next generation networks, which would allow Apple to diffuse the cost over multiple operators.
AT&T Mobility is also working on an LTE deployment, though it’s expected to trail that of Verizon Wireless by a few years.
Android-based phones are exploding right now, and the slew of newly released options is increasingly eating away at Apple’s mobile market share. A report released in March finds Android creeping dangerously close to the iPhone’s American stronghold — and with slick new handsets like the HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Galaxy S on the way, sales of Android phones are only going to climb higher in the months to come. In fact, it already has.
With the possibility of a shiny new iPhone on a slightly less evil-seeming carrier, consumers considering an Android phone might instead wait it out — meaning competitors’ sales would suffer at least through the start of summer.
Verizon Wireless in the meantime has been pushing its relationship with Google around the Android operating system. The relationship has been for the most part successful for both as Verizon Wireless now offers a number of high-end Android-powered devices that have sold well thanks to strong marketing efforts.
I have no doubt Apple is fully aware of this and working toward finalizing their deal with Verizon wireless early next year.
4. At&t Network is killing iPhone reputation
Although, At&t has been a big factor in iPhone Success, but the troubles with their network infrastructure and they have been lacking in both the depth and reach needed to support millions of now data-crazed consumers, they have been ruining iPhone’s reputation.
AT&T Mobility’s network struggles have significantly served to further feed Verizon Wireless’ ongoing claims of network superiority and thus the public’s increased clamoring for an iPhone that would work on the carrier’s network.
So, all that being said, what do you think? Do you also think the rumor is real this time?