Verizon on iPhone? Is it for real this time?


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.

3. Mounting Pressure on Apple from Android

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?

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

21 Responses to Verizon on iPhone? Is it for real this time?

  1. I want an iPhone but will not buy it until they are on Verizon…Yes, yes, ye, I hope it happens soon!!!

  2. Will dump AT&T for Verizon the minute I can. My contract is up in one year. My iPhone is pretty much a ver EXPENSIVE paperweight because of the crummy service provided by AT&T.

  3. Believe it when you see it! :-)

  4. Ada Booth says:

    I was terribly pleased to discover this websites.I wanted to thank you for this impressive look over!! I undeniably enjoying each and every small bit of it and I have you bookmarked to verify out new stuff you post.

  5. Next year will be very interesting for all the players (Apple, Google, Motorola, RIM, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon).

  6. Elias, don’t know. In Chicago you hear as many complaints about AT&T as you do Verizon. Believe it or not I am hearing more positives about Sprint.

    I have been using Verizon for years and still drop calls.

  7. While I agree it is time for AT&T to lose it’s strangle-hold on the iPhone market, I wonder how serious Verizon can be about supporting the device. VZW’s network is CDMA based, and they are touting their move into LTE. So if VZW gets the iPhone and subscribers migrate to the service, are they going to support both a CMDA network and an LTE network? If so, it will be the consumer that pays for this dual network model. CDMA can’t be converted to LTE, so VZW will legitimately need to start afresh with LTE.

    While my advice here could be considered biased based on relationship, I believe T-Mobile would be a much better suitor for those users looking to relocate their iPhones. Our technology is GSM based which is a natural fit for the iPhone and we are already deploying our HSPA+ network nationally. Many people are getting caught up in the WiMax vs 3G vs 4G cellular service but few people are paying attention to what drives these definitions – mbps download/upload speeds. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network has been cited as the fastest out there right now – faster even than Sprint’s WiMax. Considering that HSPA+ can increase speeds of other devices on the network that arent HSPA+ capable, I believe this would lead to a better experience for iPhone users. T-Mobile supports the iPhone in Europe and many, many iPhones (to the tune of 7 figures) are already supported by the carrier as customers unlock & defect from AT&T. And from a customer service standpoint, T-Mobile cant be beat. Just my .02

  8. I will be on line for iPhone when they add Verizon! AT&T service in my area…not good!

  9. My iPhone is pretty much a very EXPENSIVE paperweight because of the spotty service provided by AT&T.

    \My contract is up in one year… counting the days.

    Will switch from AT&T for Verizon the minute I can.

    70% of the time I can’t access email (the reason I purchase the iPhone), 70% of the time I can’t get online, I can’t watch videos on the iPhone because it’s incompatible and my calls drop constantly despite the fact that I live downtown in a major city.

  10. I am curious as to why a subscriber of one vendor would want to switch to another vendor. I have been hearing more and more often questions as to which is better, provider X or provider Y?

    My questions are:
    Which one provides the best security and privacy?
    Which provider allows me the most device customization?
    Which ISP allows me to configure my device and back up my data to SD Cards where I can encrypt and better secure it?

    Which one has had the least number of breaches/scandals? Considering of course that most breaches are kept hushed from the Press.

    Should mobile communication devices be modular thus providing the subscriber flexibility?

  11. John Rothe says:

    I’d like to reply – but I can’t get a signal on my iPhone :)

    I would love to switch, but I wonder if Verizon will have capacity issues once everyone switches. Might be a good idea not to follow the herd with this one.

  12. Frank Patrum says:

    Personally, I’m not interested in the iPhone, but I may convince my wife to switch her iPhone to use Verizon so she can be on the “family plan” with the rest of us.

  13. As a satisfied Verizon customer, I am patiently waiting for the day to ditch my Blackberry when the iPhone comes to Verizon. However, as John mentions, I do have concerns about capacity issues.

  14. Like Donna, as a satisfied Verizon customer I would be delighted to finally get an iPhone w/out having to ditch Verizon! But I hate to be a “guinea pig” so I’ll sit back and wait patiently until all of the hardware/software/capacity issues are resolved to the average Joe’s satisfaction:)!

  15. Absolutely!! Terrible coverage and I the rest of my family is on Verizon so get the shared minutes and much better coverage.

  16. Lee Love says:

    From personal experience I find whole AT&T Verizon issue over blown. I have used both services and actually had better coverage with AT&T. Every one forgets that cell phone are just fancy radios and ALL radios are subject to signal issues. I predict that when iPhone is available on Verizon there will issues, it all depends on your location.

  17. James Lucier says:

    To be honest I like the Droid so much more than the iPhone. The Android OS has more to offer I believe, and you can normally get good deals. Apple doesn’t believe in offering good products for less.

  18. remember why Apple did not start out on Verizon…CDMA technology vs 4G service

  19. I agree with James. I have 4 macs for both home and business and the Droid Incredible is where it’s at for me. Open source apps, I don’t need to use Itunes to load images/movies/songs, and Verizon service. What’s not to like?

  20. Lee Love says:

    Hey Matt ! I think the Droid strategy has a huge potential to backfire. We are already seeing problems with infected and spyware. Also if you notice every Droid phone maker has started to modify the interface which means inconsistent design and operation. Also the hardware I have held are heavy bricks and no where near the design elegance of the Apple products.

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