With 2011 inching closer and closer, the iPhone 4 coming to Verizon is looming on the horizon. But a CDMA capable iPhone also means that Apple’s revolutionary smartphone could also run on networks like Sprint and T-Mobile. Sounds like a win-win for all US customers, right?
Not so fast.
AppleInsider relays an investor note from analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. who notes that Verizon may be willing to pay Apple a premium to ensure that the iPhone doesn’t end up on rival CDMA carriers.
“We are hearing that (Verizon) does not want iPhone, the hottest selling smartphone, available on T-Mobile USA and/or Sprint and may be willing to pay for exclusivity to itself and AT&T,” Wu writes. “For these reasons, (Verizon) could be more willing to give in to Apple’s terms.”
He said that Apple’s record-setting iPhone sales, which reached 14.1 million last quarter, have placed Apple in the “driver’s seat” when it comes to negotiations. Wu also asserted that Google’s Android operating system has begun to “lose some of its luster” at Verizon.
Sources also indicated to Wu that Verizon does not have high hopes for the upcoming BlackBerry 6 OS, which will introduce multi-touch gestures like on the iPhone. Verizon reportedly believes Research in Motion’s upcoming mobile operating system will not have a “material impact.”
Now Apple is never one to bow to another entity’s demand, and indeed, the tremendous success of the iPhone while relegated solely to AT&T signifies just how much of a game changer the iPhone was and continues to be. And with over 90 million subscribers, Verizon is easily the largest carrier in the US and it is indeed possible that Apple would strike a deal with Verizon to keep the iPhone 4 away from Sprint and T-Mobile.
Ah, the little guys just can’t catch a break.