iPhone Coming to Verizon?
Speculation is rampant that Apple is developing an iPhone that will work on Verizon's cell network, breaking the U.S. stranglehold that AT&T has enjoyed since the phone's debut in 2007.
The Wall Street Journal first broke the story about the new phone's alleged development. And the operative word is "alleged," as Apple, long known for its atmosphere of secrecy about products in development, has not confirmed the rumors. The Journal quoted people "briefed on the matter," who said the phones will start being producted in September, with general availability still undetermined.
Verizon phones operate on the CDMA network, while AT&T uses the GSM network. AT&T has had an exclusive contract with Apple since the beginning, which has helped its sales enormously. The difficulty, from Apple's point of view, is that by locking in with one vendor, it has limited sales of the iPhone to one carrier, ignoring Verizon's 80 million-strong customer base.
Verizon is also in the midst of upgrading its network to 4G, which will mean faster speeds and greater capacity. If the new iPhone isn't released until 2011, it's likely that it will work on this new network.
Several news sources are reporting that Asustek subsidiary Pegatron has been picked as the new manufacturer of the CDMA iPhone, instead of Hon Hai, the iPhone's current manufacturer.
Hon Hai isn't out of the picture, though. Most sources expect Apple to debut a new iPhone sometime over the summer, as has been the company's practice since the beginning. That phone, in contrast to the rumored Verizon-capable phone, is expected to be AT&T exclusive as have previous phones. The big news swirling around is that it will have a smaller screen -- 2.8 inches compared to the current iPhone's 3.5 inches -- and roughly double the current screen's resolution, making it capable of playing high-definition video. As with everything surrounding Apple development, though, nothing is confirmed.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.