Tell us if you're heard this one
before: Apple is is reportedly in the process of ramping up
production for a CDMA iPhone. Rumors of Apple making the move to
embrace CDMA-based carriers in the U.S. like Verizon have
been tossed around before, but the evidence continues to mount
that Apple will indeed launch new iPhones at the beginning of 2011.
According to the latest
reports from Apple Insider, Apple is prepared to produce
as many as 3 million CDMA iPhones in December to support an early
2011 launch. These CDMA-equipped iPhone would join an estimated 18.2
to 18.4 million GSM-based iPhones that will be built during the same
This news comes just after a recent
study showed that most iPhone customers are happy with their
handsets and Apple in general, but wish they could use an a carrier
other than AT&T. The study showed that nearly 50 percent of
iPhone owners would switch to a CDMA iPhone using Verizon's network
if it were made available.
However, AT&T CEO Randall
Stephenson doesn't believe that so many of his company's customers
would be willing to flock to Big Red. “If you look at the iPhone
base, about 80% is either on a family-talk plan or in a business
relationship with us,” said
Stephenson at a recent investor conference. “Those customers
tend to be very sticky. They don’t churn very frequently.”
Stephenson went on to state that
roughly two-third of its customers were already AT&T customers
before purchasing an iPhone.
It should also be noted that when the
iPhone was first released, the number of competent, touchscreen-based
smartphone competitors on Verizon were lacking – hence the
increased interest from Verizon customers. However, a “lack of
product” is not the case anymore with Verizon. With devices like
Incredible, and Fascinate,
those on Verizon who were patiently waiting for the iPhone may have
already given up and made the switch to Android. So those who were
previously interested in the iPhone may no longer have an incentive
to switch to Apple's top moneymaker.
Whether customers stay with AT&T or
flock to a Verizon iPhone -- if it ever materializes -- Apple is sure
to benefit either way. IPhone sales add greatly to Apple's bottom
line, and having Verizon to bring in another 3 million or more
customers can only be beneficial for the boys from Cupertino.
quote: Why haven't apple and verizon come together already?
quote: It took a good, long while, but AT&T has finally closed on its acquisition of the markets Verizon was required to divest in order to get the government to agree to its purchase of Alltel early last year.
quote: the number of competent, touchscreen-based smartphone competitors on Verizon were lacking