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The Wall Street Journal says the iPhone is coming to Verizon early next year.  (Source: FoneArena)
New carrier is unlikely to turn back the Android tide, but should make Apple a tidy sum of cash

Since the launch of the iPhone one critical factor has remained constant.  In the smartphone's biggest market -- the United States -- the iPhone was sold exclusively on AT&T.  But that's about to change.

The Wall Street Journal claims that multiple sources brief by Apple have said that a CDMA iPhone will land early next year on Verizon's network.  CDMA is Verizon's 3G tech of choice.  Sprint also uses CDMA, while T-Mobile and AT&T utilize GSM, a rival standard.

The iPhone undeniably helped AT&T hang on to its second place spot in the U.S.  However, many customers -- particularly in 2007 and 2008 -- were disgruntled about AT&T's poor voice network.  While AT&T has made a concerted effort to improve, the experience has still left a bitter taste in many's mouth, and many still hold a negative opinion about the carrier's quality of service. 

Meanwhile the iPhone is struggling to stave off dozens of handsets sporting Google's Android operating system which have flooded the U.S. market.  Android has already passed the iPhone in U.S. sales and analysts generally believe that it is only a matter of time before it does the same worldwide.  More worrisome for Apple, interest in the iPhone is also dropping.

A shift to Verizon, the nation's largest carrier, could help Apple somewhat with both problems. According to James Ratcliffe at Barclays Capital, a Verizon iPhone would grow the carrier's subscriber base by 900,000 in 2011 and sell 9 million iPhones in total (most sales going to existing customers).  Hudson Square Research, on the other hand, believes that Verizon could gain even more new subscribers, estimating that 4 million iPhone users would switch from AT&T -- roughly 18 percent of AT&T's iPhone subscriber base.

Verizon Communications Inc. President Lowell McAdam refused to confirm or deny the rumors of an Apple deal, stating, "At some point our business interests are going to align.  I fully expect it, but I don't have anything to say."

The report offers a lot of compelling details to support its claims that the Verizon iPhone is real.  It claims that Pegatron Technology Corp., a contract manufacturer subsidiary of Taiwanese electronics giant Asustek Computer Inc. won the contract to produce the phone.  And reportedly Qualcomm is providing the CDMA chipset for the new phone, though the form factor will stay the same.

A Verizon iPhone was already prophesied earlier this year by 
Bloomberg, which says the phone will land in January (coinciding with one of Apple's typical product launch times).  However, one of the sources briefed by Apple told The Wall Street Journal offers a new piece of information -- Apple is also working on a different form factor of its popular device.

If it truly exists, the real question is whether this form factor is bigger or smaller than the existing iPhone.  A likely scenario seems a smaller candy-bar like phone, similar to the iPod Nano 5G.

The need for a Verizon iPhone is illustrated most clearly by subscriber numbers.  According to market researchers at Comscore, in August 2009 there were only 866,000 Android smartphones, compared to 7.8 million iPhones in the U.S.  In August 2010 Android had exploded to 10.9 million phones, while Apple managed an impressive, but lesser growth to 13.5 million handsets.

Ultimately despite the "danger" of getting passed by Android, the release of a Verizon iPhone may be more about bumping up profit and less about staving off its competitor.  After all, Apple currently has only 2.8 percent market share in the global phone market, but it makes 39 percent of its profits thanks to its ability to move less-than-premium hardware at premium prices and its aggressive negotiation of supply deals.  Android eventually passing Apple seems inevitable, even if Apple does launch a Verizon iPhone, but the new phone could send the already profitable company soaring to new heights in profitability.

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RE: I hope this is true...
By rickcole3 on 10/7/2010 9:31:52 AM , Rating: 2
Instead of calling the person stupid perhaps you may consider that there is a reason they want the iOS interface? They could have an extensive library of iTunes songs and don't want to convert them all to mp3? Perhaps they prefer the interface of iOS? Just because people don't jump over to your choice of mobile operating system doesn't make them "stupid". It's called consumer choice. You made one with Android. Why belittle someone for preferring something else?

RE: I hope this is true...
By Raraniel on 10/7/2010 9:33:13 AM , Rating: 5
He needs the iphone 4. Give him the iphone 4. The one with the bigger gee-bees.

RE: I hope this is true...
By xpax on 10/7/2010 11:48:48 AM , Rating: 5
I don't care.

RE: I hope this is true...
By DN23 on 10/7/2010 1:27:52 PM , Rating: 4
This F-ing thing prints money!

RE: I hope this is true...
By deltadeltadelta on 10/12/2010 10:59:18 AM , Rating: 1
I do not care.

RE: I hope this is true...
By sviola on 10/7/2010 10:38:57 AM , Rating: 3
I think what he is saying is that there are options in Verizon that would fit her needs (phone+music player) that she could have right away, so her complain is just unnecessary.

But I agree with you on the name calling...

RE: I hope this is true...
By charrytg on 10/7/2010 12:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
So it wouldn't be stupid to change a carrier just so that you could have a particular brand of smartphone, but it would be stupid to suck it up and stick with the carrier you like, and get a comparable smartphone?

RE: I hope this is true...
By Sazabi19 on 10/7/2010 1:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have read what i said wrong. I said THAT was stupid, not the person. People are not stupid for ideologies, they are stupid becuase of what they do.

RE: I hope this is true...
By Ammohunt on 10/7/2010 2:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
True but extremely ignorant people follow leftist ideologies doesn't that make them temporarily stupid?

RE: I hope this is true...
By omnicronx on 10/7/2010 2:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
Does the interface make the music sound any better?

Consumer choice is just that, a choice, but it does not make said choice logical by any means..

Perhaps he uses the iPod for iOS apps too, that you could not get on Android, but if Music is the only reason he carries around two devices then you really have to wonder if he is just trying to validate his purchase of an iPhone4..

(battery life which is always my concern does not seem to be an issue either, as he seems content with having one device if it fits 'his needs')

RE: I hope this is true...
By omnicronx on 10/7/2010 2:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
Heck perhaps the guy does not have a smartphone at all..

I know many people that have a 5 year old phone, but got an iPod touch to fill the void.

Who knows ;)

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