Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

Summary: The flap swirling around the Apple iPhone 4 antenna and Steve Jobs' defense of the device may have delayed a long-rumored move to Verizon Wireless, according to an analyst.

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The flap swirling around the Apple iPhone 4 antenna and Steve Jobs' defense of the device may have delayed a long-rumored move to Verizon Wireless, according to an analyst.

Many analysts and press reports have the iPhone as a lock coming to Verizon Wireless in the first quarter of 2011. But Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Larsen says the Verizon-iPhone connection may not be that strong following antennagate---or whatever you want to call it (all iPhone coverage, Apple video sans press Q&A).

Larsen handicaps the carrier reaction to Apple's iPhone 4 defense on Friday. In a nutshell, Apple's performance was good for AT&T since it deflected attention from the carrier's network. For Verizon Wireless, Apple's performance may give it pause before adding the iPhone to its lineup. Larsen writes in a research note:

For AT&T, we think all the attention on Apple has actually relieved some network image pressure, but, the bigger telecom impact from this fiasco could be on Verizon customers waiting for their own device.

Verizon has historically been known for having a very rigorous qualification process to get phones on its network (years ago, it took Nokia two years to get a phone qualified.). Over time, Verizon has also been known for having phones later than other carriers – often due to demanding tests being completed by Verizon network engineers. While we can never know for sure, it is possible that this strict testing has helped Verizon maintain its strong network image (if all of Verizon’s phones are better tuned and engineered to not drop calls, then the network would appear better).

That's an interesting point that lends credence to the emerging "Verizon doesn't need the iPhone" argument. Larsen continues:

With huge apparent pent-up demand for a Verizon iPhone, we would have thought that Verizon would take any iPhone given to it and sell it immediately in order to maintain and win share. Then, this spring brought the second generation of Droid phones (the Incredible and, now, the X) – both of which appear to have given Verizon a stronger competitive response to the iPhone (one that has better economics to Verizon than an iPhone likely would). Now we have the iPhone antenna issue putting a damper on the device and potentially giving more strength to the Android platform.

Related: Droid X: Bigger, badder better

The kicker? Verizon Wireless may not take the iPhone unconditionally and that will delay Apple's debut on the network. Now Larsen still argues that the iPhone will appear on Verizon---just not as fast as the current odds show.

Add all of this up and we can connect a few dots if Larsen's iPhone-to-Verizon delay theory sticks:

  • Android has more runway to gain share since Verizon's marketing heft will remain all about the Droids;
  • Verizon---after years of marketing against AT&T's network---may be having second thoughts about Apple;
  • Apple could benefit from all of this in the long run. Let's just say Verizon Wireless takes the iPhone 4 as currently constructed---even without the bumper. Verizon's tests may go farther than an evidence put up by Apple last week if you assume that AT&T will take any iPhone thrown its way.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPhone, Mobility, Networking, Smartphones, Verizon

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63 comments
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  • iPhone will not come to Verizon until Verizon can do

    voice and data at the same time on their network. No one wants to have their calls automatically routed to voicemail because they happened to be checking their email at the time.

    It still amazes me how tech pundits jump all over Apple for an antenna issue that affects about 5% of the population and blithely pretends this Verizon elephant in the room doesn't even exist.

    Just goes to show you that these guys aren't interested in informing.
    frgough
    • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

      @frgough <br><br>People also forget that Verizon is a business like any other. They have well over 3 million reasons why they would want the iPhone on their network.<br><br>Verizon is no stranger to issues with phones on their network, just none of them have been Apple branded so the blogosphere could care less.<br><br>I do agree that there needs to be some way to do data and voice at the same time. It's a feature people don't think they'd ever use until they have and find its quite useful. I would imagine that the issue would be something they would be able to figure out how to work out (or put the iphone on the 4g network).

      Edit: Just to point out a previous phone that received a lot of complaints from the more tech savvy was the T720. The phone was advertised with FULL bluetooth compatibility and support, though Verizon would only allow you to use a headset with it. Want to transfer files, pictures, contacts? Sure, pay money to their service and receive scaled down images, or transfer using a usb cable and some horrid windows software. The problem came to the point where if you had the phone, rather then unlocking the rest of the BT profiles, Verizon was letting people out of their contracts early with no fee if they weren't happy. I was one of those users. I switched to the RAZR on AT&T (well, Cingular back then) and was much happier. Sure the T720 issues are not an issue any more, and the issues weren't so much issues then as most people didn't care. But the iPhone 4 antenna one isn't as big as people make it out to be now.
      tk_77
    • Proof please

      @frgough Enough of this trolling. I'm not believe anything you see without proof.
      MSFTWorshipper
    • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

      @frgough

      I have been with Verizon for 6 years now. No matter what phone I have used...be it a flip phone or a smart phone. I have never had a call "automatically routed" to voice mail because I was using a data service.
      Dorrod
      • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

        @Dorrod

        I just a call rerouted to voicemail because I was on another call. Despite having call waiting and caller ID. And I still get voicemails showing up hours or days after the call was made to me. And I still get dropped calls while stationary.
        RILIB
      • Apple's Voicemail Servers Built by AT&T

        @Dorrod The 5yr Exclusive Contract required AT&T to build the infrastructure for Apple's exclusive Video/Voicemail, App Store & Walled Garden Network over the first year. This is the whole reason for the Exclusivity Contract in the first place. Here's an Apple insider's look at this, in this Fed Talk message to US Joint Forces Command:<br><br><a href="http://lists.apple.com/archives/fed-talk/2008/Jul/msg00157.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://lists.apple.com/archives/fed-talk/2008/Jul/msg00157.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://lists.apple.com/archives/fed-talk/2008/Jul/msg00157.html</a></a><br><br>AT&T invested considerable funds and man hours in building the infrastructure for Apple's closed Garden Walled Network, App Store and Voice Mail. They also promised 3yrs of Unlimited data rates that has now expired on the 3yr anniversary of their original Apple Exclusivity Contract. From this message you can see that was extended in June 2008 to another 5yrs because of the trouble AT&T went through in building this infrastructure for Apple. Which makes it 2013 before it runs out. As it says even if that's wrong, it still means it won't expire until June 2012!<br><br>On top of this what do these idiots on Wall Street need to face the facts no iPhone is coming to Verizon. Verizon as good as said no iPhone for their Network. That Droids were doing quite well and that was from the CEO! Furthermore, Verizon joined with a group of some 40 global carriers to make their own App Market. The JIL Developer Tools site is well under way and I don't think Apple would like competing with what could well be the largest App Market on the Planet one day!<br><br>Plus Verizon (after disbanding their own Walled Garden Network) has seen what AT&T has gone through with getting blamed for all Apple's woes. They would have to had been working on building their Own Infrastructure for Apple iPlatform. That would keep it isolated from the rest of their customers like AT&T has done. This isn't Europe or Asia where iPhones aren't behind the Garden Walls. So their answer is still going to be NO NO NO! <br><br>This Christopher Larsen and all the other Wall Street Dreamers need to get a life and realized they aren't going to reach those inflated AAPL stock goals. iPhone is not coming to Verizon any time soon and definitely not before June 2012..... if ever!!! ....and as you saw today AAPL stocks continue their downward spiral!<br><br>btw... that's what happens when you are completely invested in Soft Assets. The bottom can fall out and you're left with nothing but paper!
        i2fun@...
    • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

      @frgough
      Don't think data/call will be an issue as this is the functionality that Verizon users are familiar with.

      It will impact claimed functionality that Apple has touted for the iPhone though......
      rhonin
    • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

      @frgough "voice and data at the same time on their network. No one wants to have their calls automatically routed to voicemail because they happened to be checking their email at the time."

      Show how much you know. When I am surfing the web and someone calls me, the phone rings and I can stop surfing the web and answer it. Which is exactly like I do at home when someone calls me..I stop surfing the web and talk to them instead of half listening to them and continue doing my thing on the web.
      msprygada
      • Not good enough

        @msprygada and if that person asked you a question about the content of an email or something that needed to get looked up on the internet... ur SOL...One reason why I remain on AT&T. <br><br>Does anyone know if this issue will be resolved on LTE networks?
        jivester
      • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

        @jivester Yes the LTE and the 4G tech will allow both data and voice. It's why I expect the next iPhone to be on Verizon 2q of 2011. I'm betting the next on will have a CDMA & LTE chip in it so it can use the LTE where available.
        THavoc
    • Thanks for MISinforming everyone

      @frgough - If you're using your data connection on Verizon and someone calls you, the data connection is suspended until the call completes and then picks up where it left off.

      Just goes to show you that people will attempt to inform others even when they don't know what they're talking about.
      Too_Busy_To_Be_Here
      • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

        @Too_Busy_To_Be_Here That still sucks. Ever been on a long concall and lost access to email and IM during the call? Sucks! That is the achilles heel of CDMA in this country. LTE shouldnt have this problem as everything is treated as data (voice, data, SMS).
        equals42.net
    • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

      @frgough
      someone hears or reads something and tries to pass that information off as news and sometimes it may be, but I suggest that one should check ones sources before passing along information as relevant and true. I have been a Verizon customer for 5 years, and I currently have the Moto-Droid, when I have an incoming call and I am using the web for ANY reason the call doesn't go directly to V-mail, the phone rings. The phone system has always done it this way, I started with the Treo phones and had a Q and Omnia before the Droid. I have not tried to access the web while on a call, maybe that's the test.
      acopaloco
    • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

      @frgough Well unless Verizon's network is different than Sprints network, this is not the case. While it is true that I cannot go on the internet via 3G (although I might be able to via 4G once its available in my area) while I'm in a call, if I am on the net when I get a call, it throws me off the net and rings the phone. It has been this way for about 2-3 years now. So I'm not sure what your talking about.
      Jimster480
      • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

        @Jimster480 I don't know why you all are explaining this to him. The iPhone isn't capable of doing this type of stuff and thats what he's basing his assumption on. You know iFools don't understand anything outside of the iPhone so why bother.
        storm14k
    • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

      @frgough Wow...I didn't know the iPhone sucked this bad!!! You mean it doesn't interrupt whatever you're doing to bring the phone call to the front? Yea I think it better stay on AT&T at this point until they catch up to Google in software engineering.
      storm14k
  • iPhone dead, Windows Phone 7 will SAVE US....

    The whole iPhone/Android thing is making my rep and me sick. We all know the reason Verizon does not want the iPhone: they want the marketing flexibility for Windows Phone 7. My rep showed me a top-secret commercial for Windows Phone 7 from Verizon. It shows a bunch of hipsters in the mall, walking and laughing when one of them fires up PowerPoint and reviews a slide deck for school. The other fires up IE and launches into a web browsing eXPerience that is 2nd to none. My rep and I are at Starbucks and our drinks are ready, so ciao for now.
    Mike Cox
    • 8/10

      @Mike Cox Why not at yarrows Mike? What about the scones?
      MSFTWorshipper
    • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

      @Mike Cox

      Nice one. I lol'd.

      Seriously, WinMo 7 might turn out to be good, but again, as a business why would Verizon at this point NOT want the iPhone on their network? Unless of course, their network can't really handle the data load.

      Come on people. Think of how many users would jump ship and go Verizon if they could have an iPhone there. The geek world might prefer Android, but the average joe would prefer an iPhone if they could have one. Proof? The millions of users with iPhones that bitch about AT&T's signal day in and day out, yet stick with it.
      tk_77
      • RE: Did Apple iPhone 4 flap delay long-rumored Verizon Wireless debut?

        @tk_77

        I can think of a couple potential reason, as a business, that they might not want the iphone. Margins are ofter much smaller than people think and small things can easily change profitability to loss.

        1. Apple won't give them terms that make them enough money to bother, no matter how popular the phone is. Remeber, AT&T is the only provider because it was initially the only one willing to take them on, on the terms Apple gave them which are not standard terms.

        2. The cost of upgrading the network to support all the notoriously heavy data using iphones (with their not-so-great signal strength) outweighs the benefit of the user base.
        SlithyTove