Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

Summary: A version of Apple's iPhone that would be compatible with Verizon Wireless' network will reportedly start shipping in the fourth quarter. The possibility is yet another reason to freeze a smartphone upgrade.

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A version of Apple's iPhone that would be compatible with Verizon Wireless' network will reportedly start shipping in the fourth quarter.

According to DigiTimes, contract equipment manufacturer Pegatron Technology is using its plants in Shanghai to manufacture CDMA iPhones. Verizon Wireless' network is CDMA based. The DigiTimes report just mentions a CDMA iPhone so technically Sprint could also be an end destination, but most signs point to Verizon Wireless.

This report comes amid AT&T's high-profile systems breakdown with Apple iPhone 4 preorders. The DigiTimes report may add up. The Wall Street Journal reported in March that a CDMA iPhone was in the works and headed to Verizon.

Verizon-iPhone stories are a dime a dozen. Reports about Apple and Verizon teaming up have been around for years, but so far haven't panned out. Meanwhile, AT&T continues to hold iPhone exclusivity. And much to the chagrin of WWDC attendees, Apple CEO Steve Jobs didn't announce any plans to bring the iPhone to Verizon.

So why should we give the DigiTimes report any play? Simply put, the tea leaves point to an iPhone coming to Verizon. To wit:

  • AT&T's move to allow for early iPhone 4 upgrades is not only extremely generous---as Jobs would put it---it indicates that the telecom provider is trying to lock up as many customers as possible before exclusivity disappears.
  • Verizon officials have repeatedly said that their network could handle iPhone-ish data demand.:
  • An iPhone launch in the first quarter would match up well with Verizon's LTE 4G network rollout. A CDMA iPhone could be dual-mode 3G/4G.
  • And Apple could double the addressable market for the iPhone. Let's face it. If you haven't moved to AT&T for the iPhone yet you aren't going to.

It all adds up to a first quarter iPhone launch with an announcement timed around the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Or if Verizon wants to screw up AT&T's fourth quarter, it could make an announcement about the iPhone in November. I doubt Apple would torch AT&T with a fourth quarter announcement---that would freeze holiday sales---so expect an announcement to upstage CES.

In the meantime, Verizon Wireless will continue to be Droid happy and do quite well.

What does this mean if you're a smartphone buyer right now? I think it means you sit and wait with your existing phone. My contract is up shortly at Verizon Wireless and I'm just going to hang and see how these smartphone wars shake out. I like the sounds of the latest Motorola Droid. I'm open to the iPhone on another network as well as the HTC Incredible. Hell, even the upcoming BlackBerry from Research in Motion could be a contender. And while I'm at it I may check out the latest Windows Phone 7 devices.

Add it up and there's no reason to buy a smartphone right now. The innovation curve dictates that you'll have buyer's remorse in 5 minutes anyway. It's hard to jump in when the latest and greatest devices come every other week.

Jason Perlow sums up this shopping conundrum well. Speaking about the rapid smartphone upgrade cycle, Perlow writes:

From a consumer perspective, this seems rather frustrating, as the constant “what’s coming next?” factor is always in play, and if you are someone who is at the end of a contract cycle or between contracts, it’s always a question of when the right time is to upgrade or to jump on a new platform.

Bottom line: While increased chatter about the iPhone coming to Verizon Wireless is notable it's likely to freeze a smartphone upgrade just a bit longer.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Smartphones, AT&T, Verizon

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37 comments
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  • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

    I help but think either Verizon leaks these "reports" to stop people from hopping over to AT&T.
    Yensi717
    • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

      @Yensi717

      I can only concur!
      dimithrak@...
  • No Need

    Verizon already offers superior devices.

    Having used both, Droid Incredible makes the iPhone look silly.
    Tim Patterson
    • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

      @Tim Patterson Dude do you do ANYTHING other than troll on these boards? Seriously I've seen nothing from you that was not Anti-Apple...
      athynz
    • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

      @Tim Patterson And 600,000 people last Tuesady definitely agree with your comment. :| How many anti-Droid or anti AT&T comments have you made on other sites lately? Why do you even read these blogs? Unless you work for Verizon or own a butt-load of stock?
      JHenk
    • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

      @Tim Patterson

      you posted on the wrong page dude.. Troll.com is completely different domain!..
      dimithrak@...
  • More speculation

    You're right, Verizon-iPhone stories ARE a dime a dozen. If you are ATT, why would you NOT allow for early upgrades?
    mograph
    • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

      The early upgrades are just a myth. I stood in line yesterday to pre-order only to be told that I could pre-order for $400 now or wait until my regular upgrade in Feb 2011. If Verizon picks up the iPhone, I will be there in a heartbeat as I've always felt they gave better service and customer service. I wanted an iPhone (current 3g version) and the only way to get it was to go to AT&T. I think the competition would be good for them and might give them reason to improve customer service. <br><br>So Jobs claim of giving upgrades to current customers doesn't always pan out.
      eichling
      • The question there is--did you bother to verify your eligibility prior?

        @eichlinc@... I could be wrong, but I do believe that eligibility statement also tells you what the upgrade would cost, does it not?

        I'm eligible to upgrade; I know because I checked. I'm choosing to wait simply because my wife wants my 3G when we pick up the iPhone 4.
        Vulpinemac
      • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

        @eichlinc@...

        Sorry - both my wife and I have had a 3GS less than a year and we both are eligible for the 199/299 upgrade on the i4 and the complete discount on any other phone.
        and @vulpine is right - if you check your eligibility online it will tell you. If you check via phone (call>text) it will not.
        rhonin
      • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

        @eichlinc@...
        The early upgrade is meant for contracts due anytime *this* year, not the next one.
        Jobs' claim was not that of "giving upgrades to current customers", but rather "giving upgrades to current customers whose contracts end in 2010", which apparently is not your case.
        abelitin
      • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

        @eichlinc@... Verizon customer service is HORRIBLE!!! I am using a cheap samsumg flip phone for work and it drops everytime i use the piece of cr@p. These anti-ATT and Apple posts are so old and getting stale. I have an iphone and use it for everything and have never dropped a call and have never had any issues with ATT. I had signal problems before i got the iphone and they took care of me by reducing my bill for several months until the probelm was fixed. When I had Verizon the lines at the store were a joke as well as the people working there. I sat there for 45 minutes before anyone helped me and then they wanted to get me in and otu as fast as possible....reminds me of CIGNA service! I will never use Verizon!
        az49erfn
  • Could be AT&T starting the rumors?

    A good way to get people to upgrade early, is to give the impression that it will move over to a competing network?

    I don't think anyone would be willing to wait 6 months or whatever on the rumor of it being available on Verizon, they want a smart phone now, but for those already invested in iPhones, the opportunity is there for you to take advantage of the upgrade offer: If it doesn't pan out, and Verizon doesn't get the iPhone, no harm to the upgraded AT&T iPhone buyer.
    John Zern
    • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

      @John Zern

      if they did... then they blew it!
      dimithrak@...
  • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

    I used Verizon from my first cell till I got my iPhone two years ago. For those who think Apple is controlling, they should use Verizon. Admittedly, I didn't have a 'smart phone' but the way Verizon controls their ring tones, games, et al makes Steve look like a libertarian. The stuff you can get on an iOS device is legion, and Apple only takes a 'taste'. Verizon wants it all. I don't think Apple's business model will fly at Verizon. Besides, why would Apple create a crippled product just to tap Verizon's customers when they (Apple) can't make iPhones fast enough to fill AT&Ts customers? Verizon is losing market share, largely due to the iPhone. Regardless of how fast they are replacing WinMo with Android, they just don't get Apple's business model, which has become a juggernaught. As for 4G being an attraction, I read in these very pages where due to extensive tuning, etc. AT&T's 3G is faster than TMobile's 4G. AT&T isn't perfect by any stretch, but I'll take my experience with them over my experience with the big V any day.
    dheady@...
    • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

      @dheady@... <br><br>That's how Verizon USED to be. I know. I HATED the dumbphone UI's and the stupid Vcast. But, Cingular after their acquisition of AT&T made several huge mistakes in terms of serving me (their customer) so I went to Verizon. I end up paying a little bit more each month, but I get much better service.<br><br>Also, Verizon is no longer like that in regards to their smartphones. It all started changing back when they announced the partnership with Google (prior to the Android phones). So currently, Verizon offers the MOST OPEN smartphones of any carrier in the US.<br><br>Here's a link to the partnership announcement:<br><a href="http://www.internetnews.com/mobility/article.php/3842486/Verizon-Google-Partner-Up-on-Android.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.internetnews.com/mobility/article.php/3842486/Verizon-Google-Partner-Up-on-Android.htm</a>

      A couple more points: Verizon isn't losing marketshare to iPhone. Verizon has the most subscribers of any US carrier. Also, Android is gaining marketshare, not losing it (iPhone's not losing it either). Regarding 4G: I've read that TMobile isn't true 4G to begin with... But even with theoretical speeds being faster for AT&T, under real world conditions TMobile is supposed to be faster. I'm not sure how true of false these statements are but why are we even talking about TMobile? Verizon's 4G is LTE, TMobile is something else entirely...

      But I can guarantee you LTE has much more potential than AT&T's current 3G network, that's for sure. So it could very well be an attraction. iPhone (or any phone for that matter) or true 4G? Anyone would say 'Yes.'
      midenginedrift
    • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

      Been on Verizon for years; they were controlling with feature phones, but much less with smartphones.

      I've had a Motorola Droid since they first came out and have had no limitations from Verizon. I haven't had crapware forced on me by Verizon either. The only "extras" I've seen are:

      1) Verizon logo on front bezel of Droid.
      2) A top-level tab in the Android Market labeled "Verizon" that accompanies the Apps and Games tabs. When you click it you get a page called VCast Apps which includes featured apps Verizon is pushing - like Skype mobile(!), Twitter. and many others.

      As far as I can tell, Verizon hasn't put it's (formerly) grubby fingers on the OS and the phone.

      By default, Android only loads apps from the Android market, but you can *choose* to load apps from other sources (via a checkbox in the Settings control panel).

      If Verizon permits the use of Android 2.2's wifi hot-spot functionality without extra charges, then they're heroes! Note that I still have an unlimited data plan ($34.95/month because it supports enterprise connectivity to Exchange, etc.).
      dstein42
  • When someone leaks FCC testing with a CDMA based ...

    iphone 4 then I will believe it, otherwise it is all guess work.
    mrlinux
  • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

    @heady:

    You know, I might have agreed wih you before I got my Mtotrola Droid. Verizon has not so much as hinted that I have to get ring tones, backgrounds, games or anything else from them, The Market application on the Droid lets you get things from any vendor, including but by no means limited to Verizon. So I have downloaded a bunch of smartphone apps, and not a one has come from Verizon. And BTW, I haven't found one I needed to pay for either.

    Now when I had a conventional dumb phone from Verizon, things were really different as you correctly pointed out. Verizon wanted to control everything and made it appear that you could only get things like ring tones from them. I say made it appear, becasue any nerd worth his nerdyness, could figure out how to use a memory card (assuming the phone was so equipped) and / or a cable to his/her computer and using freeware load the proper format audio and graphics files to the phone putting ringtones on and backgrounds for free or from another source than Verizon. I did this frequently when I had a Verizon dumbphone.

    But here is where I don't agree with you. Nobody can be as controlling as Apple. I love the human interface of the iPhone, but I won't be enslaved by Steve Jobs. The main reason that the iPhone hasn;t gone to other cariiers might be because of the AT&T contract, but it might also be that Steve-O doesn't want to open his toy up to a carrier that wants to make it more like a Droid, which on Verizon is pretty much open for users to do whatever they want.

    The reasons to go with Verizon are: 1) Get a nice open Droid of some kind, 2) Get anything that is not a piece fo fruit and 3) Get the nice bandwith advantages of staying away from AT&T.
    Rich_F
  • RE: Apple iPhone to Verizon drumbeat picks up (again)

    This article does make sense. The reasons I?m hoping to get an iPhone 4 soon anyway are:

    * the trade-in deal from Radio Shack looks interesting. Less cash out now

    * my current iPhone 3G, two gens old, is now too slow. Too slow to wait for 1st quarter ?11

    * the AT&T service, where I am, usually isn?t that bad

    * if it was, when/if hordes of iPhone users switch to Verizon, that could lighten up the AT&T load where it is bad
    markcoppock