Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg shot down rumors that Apple’s iPhone will be coming to his network in the next few months, dashing the hopes of potential customers that have been trying to wish their fantasy into reality. Mr. Seidenberg is hoping Apple will be willing to sign a deal once Verizon’s 4G network is in place, which won’t happen until 2012, according to Yahoo! News.
When asked about the possibility of the iPhone coming to Verizon during a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Mr. Seidenberg replied “I think 4G will accelerate the process, and any other decisions Apple makes would be fine with us. Hopefully, at some point Apple will get with the program.”
Currently, the iPhone is available only on AT&T’s network in the U.S., which uses the GSM cell phone protocol for communication. Verizon’s network is based on the CDMA protocol, which isn’t compatible with GSM networks.
Mr. Seidenberg’s comments don’t fit with rumors and analyst speculation claiming Apple is already working on a Verizon-compatible version of the iPhone. Most recently, Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Jeffrey Fidacaro claimed Apple had already put the wheels in motion for a December manufacturing window and an early 2011 Verizon iPhone 4 launch.
Apple may be waiting for cell service providers to build their 4G networks before branching out beyond GSM-based companies. 4G networks promise faster data speeds, more reliable voice connections, and a more standardized protocol than carriers use today.
While customers may be disappointed by Mr. Seidenberg’s comments, he doesn’t think Verizon is missing out. “We don’t feel like we have an iPhone deficit,” he said. “We would love to carry it when we get there, but we have to earn it.”