Verizon, Apple, the iPhone: will they, wont' they -- and when?
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Verizon, Apple, the iPhone: will they, wont' they -- and when?

We're still playing the "will they or won't they?" guessing game as to if and/or when there might be a Verizon version of the iPhone. But I think -- or maybe I'm just hoping -- that we'll see one sooner rather than later.

The rumor mill is abuzz that Landor Associates is working on an advertising campaign for Verizon for an upcoming iPhone. "CrunchGear" (http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/05/11/rumor-landor-associates-working-on-...) says that Ladnor has been working on Verizon branding since 2007 and is, according to a tipster, now hard at work preparing for the iPhone HD launch.

This suggests a Verizon launch of the iPhone at the end of the summer, but goes against another round of reports that say that Apple and AT&T's exclusive arrangement will continue until 2012.

The gang at "Engadget" (http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/10/confirmed-apple-and-atandt-signed-fiv...) say they've looked through a plethora of documents and discovered that, in 2008, a class-action lawsuit alleging monopoly was filed against Apple. Apple's response confirmed the five-year deal: "[T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T's] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years."

However, the terms of the contract could have changed since 2007 or 2008. "Contracts can be canceled, amended, and breached in many ways, and AT&T's spotty recent service history plus the explosion of the iPhone and the mobile market in general have given Apple any number of reasons to revisit the deal," "Engadget" says.

I think that's what has happened. I just can't imagine Apple being happy with the customer dissatisfaction with the AT&T service. Wireless telecom provider Verizon has been trouncing AT&T for months in surveys of customer satisfaction and loyalty. But a recent survey by ChangeWave Research shows dropped calls are a growing problem for AT&T stock, reports "InvestorPlace" (http://www.investorplace.com/experts/jeff_reeves/att-dropped-calls-t-sto...). Even Sprint Nextel (S) and T-Mobile -- a subsidiary of Deutsche Telecom -- could see gains as customers think of leaving AT&T over the network troubles, the article adds.

In April Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said it was up to Apple whether or not his company would carry the iPhone. But he said he was amendable to the idea.

In remarks before the Council on Foreign Relations, Seidenberg cited a recent "Wall Street Journal" report that said Apple is working on a version of the iPhone that would be compatible with Verizon's network, reports the "Associated Press" (http://www.courant.com/technology/sns-ap-us-tec-apple-verizon-iphone,0,4...?).. However, he didn't confirm the report or give any details.

My prediction: we'll see a Verizon iPhone in the first half of 2011.

Actually, I hope I'm wrong. I hope we'll see it this year. Because I'm one of those who simply refuses to buy an iPhone until either: 1) AT&T beefs up its service in my neck of the woods, or 2) I can get an iPhone that works (without jailbreaking) on Verizon.

-- Dennis Sellers

 

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