Rumors of a Verizon iPhone
have increased in intensity lately, with multiple clues pointing in the direction of Apple finally expanding its iPhone's coverage from the oft-criticized AT&T GSM network to Verizon's CDMA one. The final piece seems to be falling into place: a report of a huge Apple order for Qualcomm CDMA chipsets, necessary, of course, for a Verizon
The TechCrunch report states that Apple
has ordered millions of the chipsets, with the production run scheduled for December. This would actually seem to affirm an earlier DigiTimes report
that Pegatron would begin shipping CDMA iPhone 4s to Apple in December.
Much discussion as well as prior clues about a Verizon iPhone have emerged over the past few months. Not the least of the clues is how "generous" AT&T
was in terms of allowing subscribers to upgrade their phones to the iPhone 4 early.
Earlier in the year, it was also rumored that Verizon was working on an iPhone HD advertising campaign.
Additionally, AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega said that the carrier didn't expect a mass exodus to Verizon when a Verizon iPhone appeared. His reasoning at the time was that 70 percent of AT&T's customers are on family plans, which would involve a much costlier transition to a Verizon plan. Additionally, he noted, 40 percent of AT&T's customers are on corporate discount plans.
The timing of his statement is, of course, suspicious. However, AT&T has been defending its network and its relationship with Apple for some time.
There was also a Bloomberg report in late June which asserting that a January launch of a Verizon iPhone was coming. The confirmation
by Apple CEO Steve Jobs that the Apple campus had a Verizon cell tower also stands out.
On the other hand, the recent report on the contentious relationship between Apple and AT&T and the rash of Android devices might make one wonder why Verizon would want to team with Apple.
At any rate, we've been predicting a Q1 2011 launch of a Verizon iPhone for some time. We'll see if it comes to pass, and users may finally be able to see the answer to the question "can the Verizon network handle the iPhone better than AT&Ts?"
There's one other question, as well: "Will Apple modify the Verizon version to eliminate any 'Antennagate' issues or will that already be handled by a post-Sept. 30th (when the free case offer ends) revision?"