Apple and AT&T have had a successful partnership, selling millions of iPhones together. But analysts say Apple has wandering eyes, and will bring both the iPhone and the iSlate to Verizon Wireless later this year.
There have been persistent but unconfirmed reports that Apple’s hugely popular smartphone will be coming to Verizon this summer, but there may be a problem: Maynard J. Um, an analyst for UBS Investment Research, says these two companies haven’t yet been able to agree on cost issues.
Um told investors:
“We believe a CDMA-iPhone is also in the works, though Verizon Wireless and Apple may currently be apart on pricing.”
Um is probably not referring to the price that consumers will pay for this device, but rather what Verizon will pay Apple for each unit. This will be considerably more that the street price, with the carrier absorbing the difference, and making it up by charging customers for wireless service.
Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., and could potentially bring hundreds of millions of dollars into Apple’s coffers. It is probably trying to use that fact to convince Apple to reduce its reportedly very healthy profit margin on each iPhone sold.
The next-generation iPhone is expected to be released this summer, about a year after the launch of the current version. According to leaked information and some speculation, the new model will offer twice as much storage as the current one, and a better camera.
The iSlate, Too
Apple’s first tablet computer — the iSlate — is supposedly going to be unveiled late this month, and then be released in the spring. This upcoming device may come with Verizon Wireless’ 3G service.
Obviously, this will be a data-centric device, and will need a way to wirelessly access the Internet. Wi-Fi is a safe bet, but cellular-wireless data may also be included.
Brian Marshall, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech, says he has been told by industry sources that the iSlate will support multiple wireless carriers, including Verizon.
The iSlate will allegedly have a 10.1-inch screen and run the iPhone OS. It will apparently function much like a netbook, giving users access to the Web and e-mail while on the go, as well as allowing them to watch movies and read e-books on its relatively large screen.