Yes, we have all heard this rumor before, but sources are now saying there is evidence to back up the prediction that the Apple iPhone will be available through Verizon Wireless in January 2011.
The Apple iPhone is currently exclusively sold through AT&T, but rumors have swirled for quite some time that AT&T competitor Verizon may be offering the iPhone someday as well. Sources close to Apple’s hardware suppliers say that Apple has ordered millions of CDMA chipsets from Qualcomm – CDMA is the wireless technology used by Verizon. The wireless technology in the current iPhones sold is GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), which works with the AT&T network.
AT&T has had exclusive rights since the iPhone debuted in 2007. Some consumers complain about the service and reception of AT&T and other loyal Verizon consumers have said they wouldn’t buy an iPhone until it became available through Verizon. That being said, it seems like a no-brainer for Apple to make the iPhone available through Verizon. Surveys have shown that nearly half of Verizon customers would switch to the iPhone if they could. And with the complaints of service and reception through AT&T, it would be no surprise to see current iPhone owners switch to Verizon – meaning they would have to buy the Verizon CDMA based iPhone, which means more iPhone sales for Apple.
“Apple is going to dramatically increase the number of devices it sells in the U.S. when exclusivity at AT&T ends,” UBS AG analyst John Hodulik said in an interview. “It’s hard to ignore the quality issues that AT&T has faced.”
“For Apple it means a larger addressable market,” said Andy Hargreaves, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Oregon. “It’s also good news for Apple in that it will spread the load on the wireless data networks, which will be good for their customers.”