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Apple, Verizon contemplating iPhone deal?

updated 11:05 am EDT, Mon April 27, 2009

Verizon iPhone deal?

A version of the iPhone for Verizon could be coming next year, claims USA Today. The newspaper cites "people familiar with the situation," who say that Apple is in negotiations with Verizon, and in fact has been talking with the carrier for several months, back to point before Apple CEO Steve Jobs took a medical leave of absence. The diminished participation of Jobs has not stopped efforts, say USA's sources.

The American iPhone has so far been an exclusive to AT&T, but the contract enforcing that arrangement is set to expire with 2010, giving Apple the option of shopping the device around to competing wireless firms. A potential obstacle to deployment with Verizon may be available wireless protocols; whereas the current iPhone uses a GSM/HSPA mix, Verizon is dependent on CDMA and EVDO, which could necessitate doubling the number of phone variants. The carrier is planning to implement LTE (4G) networks in 2010 however, which could allow Apple to build a single hybrid mixing 3G and 4G. AT&T's 4G network is scheduled to debut in 2011.

AT&T is expected to put up resistance due to the lucrative nature of the iPhone deal, which gave the company 1.6 million new subscriptions in Q1 2009, 40 percent of which were formerly with other carriers. Some analysts suggest that AT&T may want to extend its contract by a year; Nielsen analyst Roger Entner notes that while the carrier would likely continue to sell iPhones, it may be worried that factors like the perceived reliability of Verizon's network could draw people away.

by MacNN Staff




  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    About friggin time

    In this area at least, call quality of Verizon is FAR superior to that of AT&T. You can always tell when you're talking to someone on an AT&T phone in this area.

  1. snork

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Switch back to VZW...

    I would switch back to VZW if they got the 4G iPhone ONLY IF they don't cripple the OS with VZW crapware and nickle and dime you for simple services like they do for their regular phones.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'll get it in a heart beat if there's one available for Verizon. I guess CDMA is here to stay. Yes I know it's a stone age wireless signal but it covers more areas in the states than ATT does.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    which could necessitate doubling the number of phone variants.

    You mean Apple might have to make 3 or 4 models instead of 2? Well, we can't have that. I mean, Apple only has $29 billion in reserves. This kind of blatant money-wasting would drive this company into bankruptcy in a year if they did this...

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't hold your breath!

    Some people here are genuinely orgasmic at the prospect of a Verizon iPhone. Here are the reasons why this news seems to be only Apple gaining more leverage in negotiations with AT&T on extending exclusivity, rather than a good-will intention to expand offerings to Verizon.

    Verizon Wireless is an undisputed world champion in crippling and limiting their handsets. No carrier in the world exerts as much control over their hardware as does Verizon, and it would be practically impossible for them to give that up for the iPhone (imagine Samsung, RIM, Motorola asking: why Apple gets to have WiFi, Bluetooth file sharing, independent app and music store and we can't??!!). Second, Verizon's CDMA represents less than 10% of global market (GSM being the dominant technology). To build and manufacture separate hardware only to address 10% of the market was never Apple's philosophy. They prompty and efficiently killed hardware variants in their line-up that were under-performing (matte screens, anyone?).

    In the end, there is absolutely nothing of value for Apple to gain with Verizon, and a lot to lose. Having non-exclusive agreements in the US means there is no motivation for any of those carriers to offer concessions to Apple. Why would they do it if their iPhone customers are free to take their mobile phone number to another iPhone carrier? By doing these "talks" with Verizon, Apple is putting pressure on AT&T for more concessions, which should result with a better deal for Apple, and most likely, ultimately, for consumers too (perhaps free tethering?)

  1. cvbcvb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As mentioned in the article, if itís a ď single hybrid mixing 3G and 4GĒ Verizon LTE (4G) will be in itís infancy. Apple would skip any CDMA compatibility.

    That being the case, who can say at this time how great your reception will be on LTE Verizon - it may rock for CDMA but LTE is whole other beast...


  1. Da Coyote

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've avoided the Iphone because AT&T coverage is awful. My company provides me a B-berry and it is awful - from coverage to slow response to the world's worse ergonomics.

    If Apple goes Verizon, I'm first in line for the Iphone.

  1. lysolman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not Going to Happen

    This isn't going to happen for years down the line.

    Most of the time ol' Testudo makes some good cynical points, but dude, you're way off on this one.

    Apple doesn't currently make "2" different models of the phone. Technically yes, but the difference is flash chips, not an entirely different FREAKING CHIPSET.

    climacs was right on point. It's the simplified product line that separates Apple from everyone else's 15 versions of the same phone to pair with different providers.

    Back to the point at the top. Until Verizon goes LTE, the iPhone is NEVER EVER EVER EVER, going to run on their network (or until they make a Hybrid HSPA/EVDO/CDMA chipset, but with QualComm being who they are, that's never gonna f****** happen). And even when Verizon is LTE, Apple will probably still be exclusive to AT&T, and you have to buy the phone unsubsidized to take it to Verizon, which will at that point have a network in infancy and will blow worse than some people say AT&T blows (I've had great recent success, they used to suck more).

    But no, if you think Testudo, that Apple is going to make a 2nd version of the phone with a different incompatible chipset, I don't know what the f*** you've been watching over the past 12 years, but Steve's not gonna do it.

    Lysol, out!

  1. lysolman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm not exactly sure how this would work, but that's what it says. (If you could shed some light on this you pros you, I would appreciate it)


    Co-existence with legacy standards (users can transparently start a call or transfer of data in an area using an LTE standard, and, should coverage be unavailable, continue the operation without any action on their part using GSM/GPRS or W-CDMA-based UMTS or even 3GPP2 networks such as cdmaOne or CDMA2000)

  1. lysolman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Aaaahhhhh HA!

    Listing of QualComm's proposed chipsets. Other companies have released similar plans for LTE chipsets.

    If Apple decides to use a chipset in the future like the third listed, I still think they will stay exclusive to AT&T and offer the phone unsubsidized a year after the release, right before the next one comes out. haha.

    So technically it would work with Verizon, but they would still make it more appealing to be with AT&T (Cost and most current model).

    The new family of MDM9xxx-series LTE device chipsets will include:

    -- MDM9200(TM) chipset designed to support UMTS, HSPA and LTE
    -- MDM9800(TM) chipset designed to support EV-DO Rev. B, UMB and LTE
    -- MDM9600(TM) chipset designed to support UMTS, HSPA , EV-DO Rev. B, UMB
    and LTE

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