On Friday morning, during the iPhone 4 press conference, one person in the audience noted that he couldn't get the "death grip" to work with his BlackBerry Bold 9700. The reason, answered Apple CEO Steve Jobs, was the fact that the signal was strong on the Apple Campus. More than that, it was strong not just for AT&T devices.
“We’ve got a strong signal here. We have both AT&T and Verizon towers on campus.”
It was an offhanded comment, but while people have long known there's an AT&T tower on the Apple campus, knowledge of a Verizon tower came as a surprise to many. We heard it ourselves, but it took time to sink in.
We've long said that's when you will know a Verizon iPhone is coming: when there's a Verizon tower on Apple's campus. While that's no guarantee that a Verizon iPhone is coming, the signs of an iPhone coming to Verizon seem pretty strong right now.
In particular, the generousity of AT&T with regards to early upgrades to the iPhone 4 was supremely suspicious. Why be so magnanimous, after all? If they are about to lose exclusivity, that would be a reason.
We'll see; our guess for the last few months has been that a Verizon iPhone will appear in Q1 2011.