The iPhone is currently an AT&T exclusive, but it won’t necessarily stay that way forever. Verizon may have rebuffed Apple’s initial offer to sell the iPhone (or so goes the legend), but that doesn’t mean that a deal won’t be worked out in the future.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal today, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg discussed a number of broad ranging topics, including, surprise surprise, the possibility of Verizon eventually selling the iPhone.
Seidenberg also addressed the notion of the iPhone ever coming to the Verizon Wireless network, saying it’s more likely that Apple Inc. (AAPL) would be willing to work with the carrier under the fourth-generation, or 4G, network, which follows the same technology standard as AT&T Inc.’s (T) 4G plans. He said Apple never seriously considered making a CDMA version of the iPhone because it didn’t have as wide a distribution opportunity.
Verizon’s 4G rollout is scheduled for 2010, which is conveniently also when AT&T’s exclusive contract to sell the iPhone is rumored to expire. Just recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T has been in negotiations with Apple to extend their exclusivity contract until 2011. Opening up the iPhone to Verizon customers would be huge for Apple, and AT&T would probably have to really sweeten the deal to keep Apple on board for another year.