WSJ: Verizon iPhone On Way for 2011

| Rumor

Guess what? We have a new rumor about an iPhone coming to Verizon, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper is reporting that Apple has developed an iPhone built for CDMA networks, the kind of network operated by Big Red, and that Apple will begin producing it late in 2010 for release through Verizon in early 2011.

The Journal’s sources are unnamed people “briefed by Apple,” and those same sources said that Apple was designing the product around the current iPhone 4 form-factor. Qualcomm is providing the CDMA chip for the handset.

This report is in keeping with many rumors this year about Apple working on a CDMA version of the iPhone, a phone for which Qualcomm is the provider of the chip. Most of those reports have intimated or explicitly stated that such a device was being developed for sale for Verizon’s network,

For instance, the same reporters — Yukari Iwatani Kane and Ting-I Tsai — behind today’s story reported in March 2010 that Apple would release a CMDA iPhone for Verizon’s network in the Summer of 2010, the Summer that just ended with a Verizon CMDA iPhone.

On September 22nd, Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Jeffry Fidacaro told clients virtually the same thing as today’s story, that Apple was building millions of CDMA iPhones for Verizon at the end of 2010. In August of this year, Daring Fireball reported that Apple was working on testing a CDMA iPhone for a January launch. Going back to April of 2009, USA Today reported that Apple was in talks with Verizon to make a CDMA iPhone. (There are many more such stories in our archives, too.)

This seems an propitious time, however, to point out that the world’s largest CDMA network is China Mobile’s network in China. China Mobile has more customers than the U.S. has people, and Apple has a five year exclusivity agreement in the U.S. with AT&T.

That said, it’s not known when the five year agreement actually began — the iPhone went on sale in June of 2007, but it could have started the moment the two companies signed an agreement for AT&T to sell the device, and it’s not known when that happened. Many analysts have speculated that the agreement will expire as early as 2010 (this year) or 2011. 2012 would be the obvious maximum time frame for such an agreement.

In recent years, rumors about Apple products that have many and varied sources have largely borne out. The iPad, for instance, leaked like a sieve before Apple announced it, and many aspects of the device’s form factor were all but commonly known. The iPhone 4 also had many details about its form factor leaked, and that was before Gizmodo got its hands on a prototype.

Such precedent lends weight to the idea of a CDMA-based iPhone. The question of whether it’s for Verizon or another market is not likely to be answered until we get an official announcement from Cupertino.

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9 Comments Leave Your Own

FlipFriddle

Heh. After the phone call I had with Verizon yesterday to try and change my service, I wouldn’t order 2 paper cups and a string from those shysters.

pjs_boston

Let’s recap the day’s events…

1) WSJ reports iPhone coming to Verizon in Q1 2011.

2) Verizon CEO sidesteps questions about the WSJ article saying “go ask Apple”. No outright denial from Verizon. This is new.

3) Motorola sues Apple for patent infringement.  Does Motorola know something we don’t?

Lancashire-Witch

According to AFP:
The Journal also said that Apple separately is developing a fifth-generation iPhone that will be a “different form factor” from those that are currently available.

Lee Dronick

God! Not another CDMA iPhone rumor, is there a bot that churns these out?

snaab4

Bryan, please re-check the wording of the WSJ article.  Does it really say the CDMA phone will be built specifically for Verizon, or does it only say the will produce a CDMA phone that COULD be used by Verizon?  There’s a difference, and makes the words in your first paragraph inaccurate.

MacKeeper_fan_Mod

Yea, WSJ sure is reputable now.

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/03/29/...-in-the-works/

“WSJ: Verizon iPhone hitting this summer”
http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2010/03/...g-this-summer/

“Monday, March 29, 2010, - Apple working on Verizon iPhone, Wall Street Journal reports”
http://www.cleveland.com/business/in…zon_iphon.html

“Verizon iPhone arriving in September, says WSJ”
http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/empt-20100330/

snaab4

Didn’t say they were reputable.  Their article today was weasel-worded so all the rumor sites would have extrapolated headlines to get pageviews

Lee Dronick

The chattering class is reporting this as if it were fact.

Ross Edwards

I still don’t see why they would do it.  I’m on VZ so I’d love to get an iPhone, but I’m content to wait until the ATT contract runs out, and Apple probably is too… why incur expense you don’t have to, when you are already selling iPhones as fast as you can ship them? 

I’ll use my perfectly functional BB for now and in late 2011 or early 2012 or whenever the VZ iPhone actually comes out, I’ll buy one.  Speculating that it’s coming sooner than that is just a bunch of web media playing make-believe.

China Telecom (or whatever the name is) is CDMA and has a looooot of customers.  I bet the CDMA iPhone currently being built, if that is really happening, is headed to China, not VZ US.

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