Apple plans to start manufacturing a Verizon-ready iPhone by the end of 2010, with the carrier offering the device in early 2011, says a Wall Street Journal report.
Apple plans to manufacture an iPhone capable of running on Verizon's CDMA
(Code Division Multiple Access) network, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.
production start would pave the road for Verizon to offer the iPhone in early
Oct. 6 Journal report
unnamed people "briefed by Apple." Qualcomm will apparently build a
key chip for the Verizon iPhone. In addition, Apple is reportedly working on
the fifth-generation iPhone, although a timeframe for its release on Verizon
Rumors have circulated for months that Apple intends to break its iPhone
exclusivity with AT&T and release the smartphone on other carriers in the United
States. In August, TechCrunch reported that
Apple was in negotiations with manufacturers for a Verizon iPhone, again with a
tentative launch date of early 2011.
"Sources with knowledge of this entire situation have assured me that
Apple has submitted orders for millions of units of Qualcomm CDMA chipsets for
a Verizon iPhone run due in December," read
that Aug. 8 TechCrunch posting
. "This production run would likely be
for a January launch, and I'd bet the phone is nearly 100 [percent] consistent
with the current iPhone 4 (with a fixed insulator on the antenna)."
For its part, AT&T seemed ready to lose its exclusive lock on the
iPhone. "We believe offering a wide variety of handsets reduces dependence
on any single handset as these products evolve," the carrier wrote in a
Securities and Exchange Commission filing for the quarter ended June 30. "In
addition, offering a number of attractive handsets on an exclusive basis
distinguishes us from our competitors."
The filing's mention of "dependence on any single handset" is
assumed to be an iPhone reference.
Over the summer, Barclays Capital analyst James Ratcliffe suggested that,
while the user base for a Verizon iPhone would be huge, it wouldn't necessarily
come as a result of cannibalizing AT&T customers.
The "iPhone would be a plus for Verizon, but not a seismic industry
change, given the relative stickiness of smartphone customers," Ratcliffe
wrote in his June 22 research note. "[The] primary source of Verizon
iPhone [subscribers] would be pent-up demand by existing Verizon [subscribers]."
Ratcliffe predicted that between 500,000 and 1 million AT&T customers
would switch to Verizon's iPhone, but the number of Verizon subscribers would
only increase by a net total of 900,000 in 2011.
analysts have suggested that T-Mobile will receive the iPhone first
the carrier relies on the same GSM network standard as does AT&T.
executives have previously termed the iPhone's migration
onto their network