Verizon iPad Sets Stage for iPhone 4 Service
Also not mentioned in the press release are plans for Verizon applications for the iPad. While Apple's store has a wealth of applications, Verizon has a store of its own for devices it sells. Right now those apps are primarily aimed at Android devices. But Verizon's store generates revenue that the company will be loath to give up without an exceedingly good reason. The question is whether Verizon will make its own store available to iPad users or whether it will sell Verizon-specific apps on Apple's store. As you might imagine, a Verizon Wireless spokesperson refused to discuss what might come next, such as the much anticipated iPhone from Verizon. However, it seems unlikely that Verizon Wireless will enter into an arrangement with Apple to sell iPads and also give a reasonably discounted price on their products and service without something else coming down the pike.I don't think we'll see a 3G/4G iPad right away. Even though swapping radios in the iPad is probably a fairly trivial exercise, Apple is already making every iPad it can churn out. Adding one more variation to the production line isn't something that's easy. After all, even rolling the iPad out to all of the available countries that want it is taking time. But ultimately, it will certainly happen. Apple has little to gain from restricting the use of the iPad in the U.S. to only AT&T. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see the iPad showing up at T-Mobile and Sprint as well. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless has come up with a nice bundle that will provide service in a broader area than for the AT&T version of the iPad. The fact that you can get the whole package for a discount and not have to worry about a data plan contract sweetens the deal. If iPhone buyers are lucky, maybe Verizon Wireless will offer similar sweet deals when it starts selling the iPhone.
What I suspect will happen is this: We'll see the Verizon iPhone in January, which is no surprise. If I had to speculate further, I'd say that this iPhone will support 4G with a 3G fallback. The difference between the Verizon Wireless 3G/4G network is that of robustness. It's a better network than AT&T's. Analyst reports claim that the Verizon network has significantly more capacity and better redundancy. In other words, it's the network you want for your iPhone given AT&T's current problems.