Former Apple Employee Spills All: Apple & Verizon

| Rumor

Rumors about the iPhone coming to Verizon have been plentiful lately. Now, a former Apple employee claims to have information about Apple’s plans to bring the iPhone to Verizon, according to Cult of Mac on Wednesday. The unnamed source provided details about an LTE iPhone and the Apple/AT&T contract.

The source provided details about Apple’s thinking related to CDMA and LTE, namely that Apple wouldn’t release an iPhone via Verizon that’s not compatible with Verizon’s new LTE network. “He’s [Mr. Jobs] too forward-looking. Why release a nifty new phone that’s almost immediately obsolete? There’s no way,” Leander Kahney paraphrased. The source noted that in the summer of 2011, low power LTE chip sets will be available.

If true, that suggests that the boatload of CDMA phones Apple is said to be making really are headed to China. There has been recent speculation that Apple is making CDMA iPhones for China Telecom, China’s number three cell service provider.

Cult of Mac’s source also laid out a plausible timeline for the Apple & AT&T contract that went into effect in July 2006 and expires in July 2011.

Not much information has heretofore been available about the Apple & AT&T contract, but the timeline provided and the LTE technology window all seems to fit together — perhaps even too conveniently.

This story contradicts the Wall Street Journal’s recent assertion that Apple is making CDMA phones for Verizon.

As usual, until we get more concrete information about Apple’s plans, this item will just have to be filed away in our collective consciousness as we piece together various rumors and speculation. If anything, it also suggests that not even sources who claim to have inside information all have the same coherent picture of Apple’s plans. As we know, it’s not unusual for Apple senior management to supply different stories to different employees in order to identify leaks.



Cult of Mac just makes this stuff up for link bait, don’t buy it - they have no sources within Verizon or Apple, VERY few do.


Either this ‘Former Apple Employee’ just violated his NDA and will soon pay dearly for his chatty-mouth, or he left Apple so long ago that his information is just speculation.

If the former he is looking at an expensive suit from Apple and Verizon. Even if he wins (I’ve read that there’s some question about the enforceability of NDAs) he’ll go broke getting that far. Plus once his name gets out he will never work in computers or likely any high tech industry again. His career is over as in he’d better learn to say ‘would you like fries with that?’

The other option is as obvfob suggested, Cult of Mac or their source made this up out of thin air.


Why not? “There’s [precedent contradicting the] no way”

Why would a ‘CDMA/EVDO/VoRA-iPhone-while-waiting-for-low-power-LTE/4G-chips’ approach be any different from releasing a ‘GSM/EDGE-iPhone-while-waiting-for-low-power-HSPA/3G-chips’ as in 2007?

The iPhone 2G’s manufacturing run was for only a year but wasn’t ‘obsolete’ for lack of 3G. It became de-facto ‘obsoleted’ when it was passed over for MMS support in 2009, which is an entirely different matter.


I also don’t find the identified source persuasive.  First, Apple needn’t wait for LTE to introduce an iPhone on Verizon’s network.  Though Verizon will introduce LTE late this year, it will be providing concurrent 3G and LTE service on its network for a long time, well into this decade, so any 3G iPhone based on CDMA would have quite a run of years before it became obsolete. 

The most important thing for a CDMA iPhone is Verizon’ implementation of Rev. A of CDMA, which will enable simultaneous transmission of voice and data.  And it seems that Verizon is moving quickly to deploy Rev. A.  With Rev. A, there wouldn’t be any significant technical barrier to an iPhone on Verizon with the same capabilities as the iPhone on AT&T’s network.

Nor are contractual obligations necessarily a bar.  The source, supra, didn’t seem to have any first-hand information about the provisions of Apple and AT&T’s contract regarding the iPhone.  However, even if that source is correct in stating that the contract expires on its own terms in mid 2011, that is not necessarily a bar to earlier deployment on Verizon.  Contracts, such as the one between AT&T and Apple, often have escape clauses that are triggered by some condition, payment of additional consideration, or that are simply renegotiated.  This is especially true toward the expiration of such a contract, where, as here, the market has changed and is changing rapidly.  While I disagree with the source that Steve Jobs would simply breach the contract and has often breached contracts in the past—in fact, I would like the source to cite authority for such a statements—it is nothing extraordinary for a renegotiation to accelerate the termination of an exclusive supply agreement.  Indeed, I’ve wondered whether AT&T limited exclusive as the sole U.S. data network for the iPad was consideration for early termination of AT&T’s exclusive on the iPhone.

It may be that the source is correct in his speculations; after all, if there are enough different predictions, the probability that one of them will be correct is significant, and there have been many predictions about when or whether the iPhone will appear on Verizon’s network.  However, nothing in the source’s argument refutes the idea that Apple will provide the iPhone on Verizon’s network in early 2011.


It may be that the source is correct in his speculations

I think you’ve hit it. This is probably speculation presented as information. It may be correct, but I don’t think it’s based on any actual knowledge.

John Martellaro

Leander told me this morning that his story is an accurate representation of what his source told him. Whether the source is right, as we’ve surmised, is another matter.


I wonder if we’ll see a black market that will bring China’s CDMA to the US for us Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, etc. customers (rather than the usual US to foreign black market).


Well, it’s not a matter of popping in a SIM: they have to be activated by the CDMA carrier ? do they (any/all) allow ‘Bring-Your-Own-Phone’? Especially one that could conceivably (and intentionally) lack a FCC approval label?


Apple is not going to release an LTE phone for quite a while when it only works in major cities. The whole purpose of going to Verizon would to have Verizon’s whole network available to potential customers. Apple knows Google is eating it’s lunch on all the other non AT&T networks. It wants broad exposure. That is common sense.

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