Verizon iPhone Coming Right Up!
Some people have been hoping for a Verizon iPhone for a very long time. There were plenty of rumors to suggest that the handset will eventually be sold through another carrier other than AT&T eventually, but neither of them revealed when that would happen. But according to the latest reports, the days of AT&T’s exclusivity over the iPhone are numbered. Apple is apparently making a version of its smartphone that will become available through Verizon Wireless early next year.
According to the Wall Street Journal the Cupertino-based company plans to begin the mass-production of the new phone by the end of this year. Once finished, the handset would start shipping towards stores in the first quarter of 2011. The same sources that revealed this information also stated that the phone will be very much like the iPhone 4 which is currently available on AT&T, but it will be based on an alternative wireless technology so that it can work properly on the Verizon network. Apple’s plans of selling over 40 million iPhones during this year are somewhat hindered by massive competition from phones running the rival operating system, Google’s Android. Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile, the three US carriers who couldn’t offer the iPhone, all took care of properly promoting Android-running smartphones and making them increasingly popular in the country. Partly thanks to them, Android is has become as well-known as it is today.
The first iPhone was introduced in 2007. Since then, AT&T held an exclusive agreement with Apple through which it would offer all of the iPhone models in the US. Lately the company has been focusing on forming a more powerful lineup of Android smartphones which might spell, for some, that it’s getting ready to embrace the end of the exclusive arrangement. In fact, AT&T has taken steps in preparation for the loss of exclusivity all year, also stating at one point that four fifths of its subscribers are on family or business plans, which would make the task of switching to another carrier more difficult. According to the same sources, Verizon Wireless met with Apple on multiple occasions, has added capacity and tested its networks in order to get ready for the heavy data load which will be caused by iPhone users. Verizon is actually planning to avoid the situation AT&T was in, when its networks were hit by the boom in data-hungry networks, especially in highly populated areas like New York and San Francisco.
Several studies have actually concluded that at this time Verizon has a better network than AT&T and the carrier still offers unlimited Internet data plans (but it will apparently take them out quite soon). Judging by an article I wrote a bit earlier, Apple might not be gauging its own eyes out because Android is becoming more popular in the US than iOS. Profits are great and iDevices are selling massively. But it could be better. AT&T customers who wanted an iPhone already got one. People who wanted to switch carriers just for the sake of the iPhone did so. But most of Verizon’s loyal customers would love to get themselves an iPhone. Assuming it’s not too costly to offer them one, Apple can only benefit from releasing the iPhone through a second carrier.
The same people who revealed this information also stated that Apple is working on a new iPhone model, the fifth generation one. They revealed that the handset will have a different form factor than the ones which were unveiled so far. There’s no mention on how far into development the phone is or when it will become available on the market, but you can very well pair this speculation up with the rumor regarding the upcoming iPhones with larger and smaller screens.
During a press conference that took place on Wednesday, Verizon’s president Lowell McAdam refused to comment on whether the iPhone will start selling through his company. “At some point our business interests are going to align,” he said, referring to Apple. “I fully expect it, but I don’t have anything to say.” Apple’s spokespersons declined to comment as well. When questioned regarding this newly revealed information, McAdam told USAToday that: “I have said for the last three years that I have felt when the business interests of the two companies (Apple and Verizon) align, we would do something together. LTE is a great opportunity because it will be the premium network. I’m not ready to announce anything but we’re always interested in broadening our portfolio and doing business with them.” Yep, it’s still vague and it still doesn’t count as a confirmation. But the company won’t reveal anything until it hosts an official press event, that’s for sure.
While there is absolutely no official confirmation to support this, the manner in which WSJ has phrased the article leads you to believe that the release of a Verizon iPhone in the first months of next year is a sure thing. So why hasn’t this happened yet? What’s keeping Verizon and Apple from collaborating? According to the same report, Verizon may have its own set of demands for the iPhone and was said to be unwilling to give up the ability to sell music and videos through its proprietary service.
Meanwhile, TechCrunch seems to have found a pretty interesting link between multiple articles the same WSJ reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane (the author of the Verizon iPhone one as well) has written, which could lead you to believe that Apple is actually trying to leak and control information itself. TechCrunch believes this is happening because it would quiet all the talk of Android’s momentum against the iPhone in the US. I must admit they have a pretty valid point. A ton (literally) of Android smartphones were released to the market in the previous days. All we hear is Android. It might be of interest for Apple if we heard “iPhone” as well. I don’t know if this is a mere coincidence or Apple really is interested in how popular its products are, aside from just making a lot of profit. Popularity and profits are after all tied together in most cases. I guess it all goes down to what you decide to believe. I’ll maintain my point of view on this, if an iPhone will head out to Verizon and it’s scheduled for the first couple of months of 2011, more info will surface, leaked spy shots will appear and so on. Apple will possibly even contribute to the leaking, just to get people more interested and revved up. Right now, all I can think of is, are they going to release that white iPhone 4already? It’s taking ages. Do you think the release of an iPhone through Verizon is a good idea?11