Well this is it. It is finally happening. Well, maybe.
According to a report from Bloomberg today citing two unnamed sources, Verizon Wireless will be getting the iPhone in January. All the companies involved are declining to comment, but Bloomberg seems to be confident in their two sources who are “familiar with the plans.”
This information could be backed up by the Wall Street Journal’s report in March that said that a CDMA (Verizon’s network type) capable iPhone would be entering production at some point this year to be released at some point afterwards.
There have been numerous reports in the past claiming that this was coming, and they very well could have been clever schemes by Apple to get AT&T to give them better deals to maintain the monopoly.
But this time, I personally think it’s real. This rumor seems to coincide well with AT&T’s recent actions locking in all iPhone users for two years with AT&T. They have also upped the early termination fee, so if a certain device were to appear on a more desirable network, it’d be more difficult to switch.
The public does not know the exact nature of Apple and AT&T’s exclusivity agreement, but it was set to end (depending on what report you want to believe) in 2009, 2010, or 2011. Of course, that deal has gone through many changes. But AT&T’s recent maneuvers suggest that they know it’s going to end soon.
Apple has said on multiple occasions that they were less than pleased with AT&T’s performance. CEO Steve Jobs actually said that publicly recently, but noted that the network should improve soon. Perhaps by soon he meant in January, when users can switch to a different network.
Still, it is a bit odd that Apple would select Verizon as their second carrier, being that they run a CDMA network. They could have easily gone to T-Mobile, which, like AT&T, runs a GSM network. Also notable is the fact that Verizon has been heavily adding support for Google Android devices in the past few months. Perhaps Apple wants to move to the biggest network in the US before Android dominates it.
Overall, it seems like moving to Verizon (while still supporting AT&T) would be a good idea. AT&T is just dead weight on the iPhone’s growth. If Apple doesn’t branch the iPhone out to other carriers, other devices will surely prevail.[Bloomberg]