A tech firm is reported to have been hired by Apple to produce a CDMA compatible iPhone reigniting the Verizon iPhone rumor.
Pegatron Technology, according the DigiTimes, is said to start shipping the CDMA iPhone 4 to Apple in the fourth quarter.
This news has rekindled the rumors and hopes of those refusing AT&T their business. The iPhone for Big Red never dies.
AT&T wireless has exclusive rights to the iPhone in the United States. It is widely thought the AT&T and Apple alliance is contracted until 2012, however, the original agreement could have been amended by now.
The Wall Street Journal was bullish with its report on a CDMA iPhone scheduled for September 2010 which compelled Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg to state the company has told Apple that it wants to carry the iPhone. But he declined to say when - or even if.
More recently, Verizon spokesperson John Johnson said in an interview with Beet.TV, "No plans to carry the iPhone in the immediate future, but you've got to look at the incredible excitement around the Android devices." This is of course predictable since HTC and Motorola would be none too happy being shadowed by iPhone buzz with their product blitz on the horizon. The question is what precisely does "...No plans to carry the iPhone in the immediate future..." mean?
iPhone Alley cited an unnamed "good source" on its blog claiming Verizon was informing regional reps that the iPhone would join its line-up this June in select markets. You see how that has worked out.
CrunchGear reported a tip that ad firm Landor Associates is creating an ad campaign for a Verizon iPhone.
Just this month, an analyst suggested T-Mobile would be getting the iPhone. In a note to investors, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu said his checks with Apple suppliers and others suggest AT&T will lose its exclusive place as the iPhone carrier no later than the first half of next year. T-Mobile could be amenable to working with Apple to win back lost subscribers.
Sprint, also struggling to retain customers, was rumored to get the iPhone. The Tech Update site claimed an anonymous Best Buy employee claimed that Sprint would also offer the new iPhone this year and expected a shelf display within a week or two of the report. That display is still MIA. Best Buy is involved with iPhone 4 sales so maybe this rumor originated from a misunderstanding or an assumption.
One other possibility is based on the fact that Verizon and AT&T will both support GSM-based LTE by the start of 2012 so Apple would not need to produce two network specific models. Verizon has been testing LTE and expects to have LTE devices available maybe even this year. Verizon claims speeds over 5 Mbps over LTE.
The rumors regarding an alternate iPhone carrier certainly reflect, if they are not outright driven by, consumer desire for another wireless provider with an iPhone on their shelf.
One other possible explanation the Verizon rumor persists is that it could be true.