updated 07:10 am EDT, Mon July 20, 2009
Apple dictates iPhone term
Apple could dictate its own terms should it switch to Verizon Wireless, says TechCrunch . The website suggests that AT&T has numerous shortcomings, such as recent problems with the carriers visual voicemail service, that could cost it the iPhone when its contract expires next year. AT&T is currently attempting to press Apple for a contract extension, but TechCrunch points out that a contract renewal could be an unwise decision that would cause users to drop AT&T and the iPhone associated with it.
AT&T has had numerous problems related to its handling of the iPhone including activation problems following both the release of the iPhone 3G and subsequent 3GS as well as an inability to support MMS and tethering despite many other carriers, such as Rogers in Canada, enabling both on day one.
In a related article, ZDNet suggests a Verizon iPhone deal is a possibility, but an Apple-dictated deal is deemed questionable due to the incidental benefits for Verizon; the CDMA carrier has been able to capitalize on the slowdowns and other flaws with AT&T's services to pick up certain customers. Supporting the iPhone would potentially create strain on its own network.
How likely it is that Apple will add or switch to the Verizon network is unclear. Verizon was offered exclusivity when the original iPhone was launched but declined. Growth in the spring quarter also indicates that Verizon can sustain itself without the iPhone. However, the network has reportedly been contemplating an iPhone deal, and the saturation of the phone market has left companies fighting more to attract customers from other rivals rather than completely new customers.