Verizon iPhone rumors continue to walk the earth

Well, that only took three days. Less than a week since Apple argued in court, on legal record, the AT&T iPhone exclusivity deal was for five years, the rumors of a Verizon iPhone roam the earth once more. Actually, they never really stopped roaming. I had hoped they’d temporarily subside, but… they live!

First up, this report out of DigiTimes:

Pegatron Technology has received orders for an iPhone based on CDMA from Apple with annual shipments expected to reach 10 million units. The orders should start contributing to the Taiwan-based company’s revenues in August or September, according to sources from component makers. Pegatron has declined to comment on the report.

So we know Pegatron, a major manufacturer, is receiving components to build a CDMA iPhone. Or a CDMA phone with hardware similar to the iPhone’s, of which there are many.

Later, tech blogger Dwight Silverman (via jkOnTheRun) speculates Apple will make an iPhone for Verizon… and Sprint… and T-Mobile.  He points out this is pure speculation, but it is built on the backs of Verizon iPhone rumors. The strange thing is, I don’t think Dwight’s idea is far off the mark.

Apple needed the exclusive deal with AT&T to get them to retool their network for visual voice mail. Now everyone offers visual voice mail. Apple’s deal broke from the established practice of the carrier controlling the software and applications. Now that practice is all but gone. Once Apple needed a special deal to get what they wanted. Now they’re industry standards. Apple can take the iPhone to anyone once their AT&T deal is done, and they should take it to everyone.

The only problem I have with his speculation is the time frame. I don’t know why everyone thinks Apple/AT&T iPhone contract renegotiations could result in a shorter exclusive deal. AT&T pays money to subsidize the iPhone 3G price and in return gets less time to enjoy exclusivity? Who pays money for less benefit? Find me that person because I would like them to be on the opposite side of the negotiating table from me. And wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that people were speculating that the iPad deal extended AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity? The truth of the matter, whatever it is, cannot fluctuate week to week, but the rumors do… searching for juicy, yummy brains to eat.

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Comments

  1. GoodThings2Life says

    Shaun of the Dead… great movie! :)

    Verizon iPhone Rumors… not so great… very much like zombies, actually. But then I’ve always felt that way about Mac users…

  2. Dwight Silverman says

    Mark,

    I included the iPad-renegotiation theory just because it was out there, but I more suspect that Apple renegotiated the AT&T deal after AT&T’s network proved unworthy. Contracts like this usually have a clause the requires both parties to perform to a certain standard – it’s clear AT&T has not performed well. I bet Apple wasn’t above using that clause to negotiate a shorter deal, perhaps based on certain performance improvements. Once the door was open, the iPad deal could have been a consolation prize. “We’re invoking that clause, but here’s the iPad data plan deal as a lovely parting gift!” Makes sense in that context.

    • Sumocat says

      Dwight,

      Sorry, I wasn’t trying to single you out with that line about the iPad. When I wrote “everyone thinks…” that was to expand the argument back out. Until it was confirmed that the original iPhone deal was five years, everyone was using renegotiations on the 3G and iPad as a way to explain why the exclusivity was still on (and to explain they were wrong about a Verizon iPhone). Now they’re being used as a way to explain why the original deal may be cut short. It’s not possible for both arguments to be right, but they can both be wrong.

      As for your specific point here, I don’t think Apple ever seriously considered a partner other than AT&T for the iPad. If they had taken the iPad to someone else, that would have signaled unhappiness with AT&T and fueled rumors of a split, weakening iPhone sales. Furthermore, AT&T made big concessions with no-contract, half-rate pricing (possibly somewhat offset by an upfront cut of the 3G price premium) and allowing it to be unlocked. I think AT&T gave up enough to get the iPad without affecting the iPhone deal.

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