Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve probably heard that Apple has released a new iPhone and that this new iPhone has been having some problems with keeping a signal when you hold it in your left hand. Of course, any new iPhone– and particularly any new iPhone problems– brings out the rumors of Apple finally adding another carrier to their cell phone world, with most of the rumors focusing on a particular carrier that’s red and rhymes with Shmerizon.
Yes, the Verizon iPhone rumors are alive and hotter than ever; with many top, well-respected publications (like the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg) chiming in by saying that a Verizon iPhone is on the way– and really soon.
So what are these rumors and what do we think of them? Read on for the full scoop.
Ok, so here are some of the latest rumors followed by our thoughts on where they make sense, and where they don’t.
According to Bloomberg (a highly respected and credible news organization), Apple will announce a new Verizon iPhone in January of next year. Now this follows up on a Wall Street Journal report a few months back, in March, saying that Apple will begin producing a CDMA iPhone in September (CDMA is the tech Verizon uses in their cell phones– it is less popular internationally then the tech AT&T uses called GSM). This goes along with a new report surfacing today from the Boy Genius Report saying that Apple has a fully functional iPhone ready to be used on Verizon, and all that is left to be done is to finish working out a deal with Verizon (something that is much easier said than done. If you remember, Apple initially offered Verizon the first crack at the iPhone back in 2007, but it couldn’t make a deal work so Apple went to AT&T/Cingular instead).
Why it makes sense
AT&T’s problems: It’s no secret that AT&T has had a lot of trouble with the iPhone and with delivering good service– particularly in highly populated, high-profile areas like NYC and San Francisco. AT&T’s reputation (and to an extent by association, Apple’s) has been tarnished so bad that if you ask anyone, that’s right, ANYONE, about AT&T’s coverage you’ll more often than not here an “it stinks” (even if in that particular place it’s pretty good). It would make sense for this reason alone for Apple to make a Verizon iPhone (or an iPhone for any other US carrier) ASAP.
The Smartphone War: But that isn’t the only reason it makes sense for Apple. Apple is now officially in what may very well turn out to be the biggest tech battle in decades — the fight for mobile phone supremacy. This “battle” includes major companies and players like HP (formerly Palm), Microsoft, RIM (aka BlackBerry) and of course, Google. To put it simply– the amount of money on the line for the top winners (or should we say survivors? And it can be more than one…) here is worth more than you could possibly even imagine — enough to make LeBron’s billionaire aspirations seem like he’s only got a couple of bucks. Yes, we’re talking many billions and probably trillions once all is said and done. And the fight’s already in full force — look at how quickly smartphone OS’s are being updated and new phones being released– a new iPhone and iOS every year, multiple new versions of Android with new phones like the Nexus One, Droid X and EVO 4G, and new OS’s like Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry 6 and webOS — it’s crazy.
The more carriers Apple gets on the more phones it can sell. The more phones it can sell, the better the chance of it coming out of this fight in a top spot.
4G: Another reason this could all make sense is 4G. It’s also no secret that the iPhone sucks in a ton of data (which is one of the reasons why AT&T has been struggling so much. No carrier was ready for the mobile revolution the iPhone brought and the millions of data hungry apps and users that came to AT&T because of it), and having 4G will make the iPhone not only much better for us users, but for the carriers too. Verizon plans to launch their 4G network in the coming months, with plans to cover over 100 million people by the end of this year alone. Verizon’s 4G is also going to be based on the more popular LTE standard (as opposed to Sprint’s WiMax tech), that AT&T and many carriers around the world plan to use– meaning Apple only needs one iPhone to sell on all the networks (which Apple would want as it wouldn’t then have to make multiple different iPhones for different carriers). The fact that you can also have LTE, GSM and CDMA in one device means that not only will this work in 4G areas when available, but on Verizon’s 3G network when it’s not (GSM/CDMA combo devices have been sold for years now — just look at any BlackBerry Storm, Tour or Bold 9650).
Perfect timing: Oh, and an announcement in January also makes perfect sense as that is when Apple tends to make its new major product announcements (see the MacBook Air, first iPhone, and this year’s announcement of the iPad as proof).
These are all very good and highly plausible reasons for why all you Verizon iPhone hopefuls out there should have faith.
Why it doesn’t
This rumor has been going on FOREVER: The rumors of the iPhone coming to Verizon have been going on FOREVER. Seriously, ever since the first iPhone was announced people have been saying the iPhone was coming to Verizon in the next year. Be it 2008, 2009, or this year, 2010. Pretty much all those years (and rumors) have come and gone, and while it might still happen in 2010 that Apple announces the Verizon iPhone, there was just as much blind faith and hope in the past with no results.
(Pic via internetnews.com)
Verizon and Apple Can’t Agree: If you think greed isn’t playing a role in why Apple hasn’t released a Verizon iPhone yet, you’re kidding yourself. Apple has what they want in a deal, and Verizon has what they want. This disagreement over terms is the reason why Verizon didn’t get the iPhone first in 2007, and it could very well be the reason why they don’t yet have one today.
The iPad– AT&T’s offering of 3G without a contract for the iPad WiFi+3G was a big sacrifice on its end. Carriers hate uncertainty and love when they can lock you into a 2 year deal. It could very well be possible that Apple negotiated an exclusivity extension for the iPhone with AT&T if they gave in a little bit here (though that rumored extension could only have been through this year, and a Verizon iPhone in 2011 could very well still be possible).
The worst timing– To release (or even announce) a new iPhone on Verizon in January right after many people went out and bought new ones as holiday gifts will surely cause a lot of uproar and bad PR, which is reason in it of itself to wait until June of next year or an announcement later this year (such as September).
(Pic from ESPN)
Talk is cheap, just look at the LeBron James free agency– The biggest reason in all of this, is well, it’s all just talk and speculation. Anyone can makeup a rumor, particularly on a highly discussed topic like this, say it came from a “source” and soon see it spread on blogs and across the internet like wildfire. The perfect example of this is all the talk on where LeBron might sign.
I’m a die-hard New Jersey Nets fan, and in the past week leading up to the start of free agency you could have found a column in a respectable paper or website saying that a “source close to LeBron” said he’s going to sign with your team. Seriously, look at your local sports paper or ESPN– if you’re in New Jersey you open up the Bergen Record and see an article quoting a source “close to LeBron” saying that a “he’s coming to the Nets.” Miami? You’ve got the talk that’s everything’s all set for LeBron, Chris Bosh, and D-Wade to team up in South Beach. Chicago? “Done deal” that he and Bosh are joining with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Everyone wants to know where LeBron will go, so these sites (to no fault of their own — presuming they received the intel from what they consider reliable sources) are going to run the stories and try to gain some national attention, even if all they are running truly are just rumors.
Just like LeBron with his free agency– Apple, AT&T and Verizon have said nothing on the topic of a Verizon iPhone; leading us all on to wishfully think of something that currently is no more than just pure rumor and speculation.
In the end, we’re all just gonna have to wait and keep those wishful hopes of a Verizon iPhone alive. I personally wish Apple and Verizon say something on the topic soon just so we can finally put all this talk to rest.
What do you think– do you believe these rumors are true and the iPhone is coming to Verizon real soon? If so, when you think Apple and Verizon will announce it? You think there’s a better shot of the iPhone going to a carrier like T-Mobile, which uses the same tech as AT&T right now, before it goes to Verizon? Where do you think LeBron and other star free agents will end up (I know, not a tech question here, but heck, why not)? Share your thoughts in the comments.