There have been persistent rumors that the Apple iPhone is going to be released by Verizon Wireless early next year. The CEO of this carrier, however, says that Apple’s smartphone isn’t coming any time soon.
Ivan Seidenberg was speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference when he said:
“We don’t feel like we have an iPhone deficit. We would love to carry it when we get there, but we have to earn it.”
“I think 4G will accelerate the process, and any other decisions Apple makes would be fine with us.”
Verizon is going to launch its 4G network in the next few months. LTE service will be available in 25 to 30 U.S. markets covering roughly 100 million people by year’s end.
Squashing the Rumors
There have been quite a few reports saying that Apple is going to start production in December of version of the iPhone for CDMA networks, the same type used by Verizon, and also rival Sprint.
In addition, sources at Verizon have said that a version of the iPhone is well along in this carrier’s testing process, and a few people have even claimed to have seen a prototype.
Seidenberg’s remarks, on the other hand, seem to say that his company is not anywhere close to releasing a smartphone from Apple.
This could means that AT&T will keep its exclusive right to offer the iPhone in the U.S., unless some other carrier picks it up. There have also been unconfirmed reports that T-Mobile USA is getting this model in the coming months.
Going the Android Way
The Apple iPhone is undoubtedly popular, but it isn’t the only fish in the sea. Verizon has made a big commitment to cell phones running its chief rival, Google’s Android OS.
This strategy has proved quite successful — smartphones like the Motorola Droid X and HTC Droid Incredible have sold very well. This is clearly the basis for Seidenberg’s comment about there bing no “iPhone deficit”.