News Analysis: Michael Maiorana, a Verizon Wireless regional president, tells eWEEK the introduction of a CDMA Apple iPhone for the Verizon network is a matter of when, not if. While Apple didn't announce a Verizon iPhone at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June as was widely predicted, rumors continue to circulate from a number of sources that such a mobile device is in the works. Other rumors say T-Mobile will soon make a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone in the United States.
introduction of a version of the Apple iPhone for the Verizon Wireless network
is not only possible, it is "inevitable," according to a Verizon regional
In an interview with eWEEK at the National Press Club on
June 14, Michael Maiorana, Verizon president for the
Washington-Baltimore-Virginia region, said it was a matter of when, not if,
Apple would release a version of the iPhone for the Verizon network.
However, Maiorana declined to predict when a CDMA (Code
Division Multiple Access) version of the iPhone suitable for the Verizon
network would be ready for the market, saying he didn't want such speculation
to hurt Motorola Droid sales during the summer.
Maiorana's comments come as rumors continue to arrive from sources far
afield that the companies that manufacture the subassemblies for Apple iPhones
are acquiring the chips and other support hardware required to create a CDMA
version of the iPhone. Some of these rumors indicate that a CDMA iPhone will be
ready for shipment in November. However, Maiorana declined to confirm or deny
that November was a target release date.
While most of these rumors are third- and fourth-hand, there
are enough of them that they can't be ignored. If these stories are true, and
if they mean what they seem to mean, Verizon Wireless could be getting its own
version of the iPhone in a few months.
Meanwhile, there are analysts, such as Shaw Wu from
Kaufman Bros., who suggest that T-Mobile
could bring the iPhone to market this year or in early 2011. It could
easily be that both T-Mobile and Verizon will carry iPhones. In fact, T-Mobile could
bring the iPhone to the United States
in a matter of weeks, assuming that an agreement could be reached with
The reason T-Mobile could move so quickly is that the
company already sells the iPhone, just not in the United
States. You can buy
a T-Mobile iPhone in Europe easily, and it'll work just fine in the United
States. In fact, calls to T-Mobile tech
support managers have confirmed that the company will happily provision your
European iPhone for U.S.
use, and include all of the various features and applications that you'd
normally get from any other T-Mobile phone in service here. T-Mobile will also
provision your AT&T iPhone to run on T-Mobile as well, but that's another
Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.
He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.