Verizon Executive Calls CDMA iPhone Inevitable

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.

WASHINGTON-The 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 president.

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 Apple.

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 story.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...