Verizon will carry the Apple iPhone starting in early 2011, according to unnamed sources speaking to Fortune magazine.
Apple's iPhone will arrive on Verizon Wireless in early 2011, another news outlet is
asserting. That report, which appears in Fortune, adds
to the swelling rumors that the smartphone will soon break its exclusive lock
with carrier AT&T.
"Fortune has confirmed that a Verizon iPhone will be
released in early 2011," reads
the Oct. 29 article in that publication by Sarah Ellison
, who goes on to
paraphrase "people familiar" with the Verizon iPhone's development as terming
the device "a fait accompli."
Fortune follows the Wall Street Journal and The New York
Times, which insisted earlier in October that a Verizon iPhone will appear
within the next few months. Both those publications cited unnamed
"Verizon, sources say, will sell its own version of
the iPhone 4, which will work on Verizon's CDMA-based 3G network," reads the
article in Fortune. "Unfortunately for globetrotters, the first version of the
phone likely won't be built to work outside the U.S.-it probably won't carry a
special chip that can turn it into a -world phone.'"
Other rumors suggest that Apple is working on a special SIM
card for the iPhone, which would allow customers to choose their own carrier at
the point of purchase. Citing sources connected with European carriers, tech
suggested in an Oct. 27 posting
had chosen Gamalto to collaborate on the SIM cards
An Apple-produced SIM card means the user's contract would
also be with Apple, as opposed to a carrier. "Customers could go to an Apple
store and check it out ... and walk through activation at the Genius Bar, instead
of trying to do it on the Web," Ken Hyers, an analyst with Technology Business
Research (TBRI), told eWEEK. "I can see this working in the U.S., and it would
be a real game changer."
Hyers added: "The carriers currently have a stranglehold on
phone distribution, but Apple really does have the heft, the ability, to shift
Apple's iOS occupied some 24.2 percent of the smartphone
market by August, holding a small lead over Android at 19.6 percent, according to comScore,. That represents a slight
decline for Apple from 25 percent in April, and suggests that expanding the
iPhone onto more carriers could help the company ease some of the competitive
pressures poised by Google and others.
AT&T documents suggest the company is prepared to lose
its exclusive grip on the iPhone. "We believe offering a wide variety of
handsets reduces the 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."
At the time, pundits assumed that "dependence on any single
handset" mention was a reference to the iPhone. Although Apple has remained
characteristically silent in public about the porting of its flagship mobile
product onto another carrier, executives from both Verizon and AT&T have
been much more open about debating the potential merits and drawbacks of running
the iPhone on their respective-and each other's-networks.