Tell me “I told you so” in six months, but Bloomberg’s exciting news that two dudes said something about the iPhone coming to Verizon is false until we see hardware and there has been no hardware.
Apple picked GSM because it is an international standard. CDMA, the system used by Verizon and Sprint, is about as international as American beer – both are considered weak and both are reviled. Picking AT&T in this case was the only way Apple could reach a mass audience quickly without having two separate phone SKUs on the books – one for us and one for the rest of the world. AT&T has also been a good partner in terms of odd pricing systems including a la carte data. From a business perspective, it made sense.
Apple doesn’t innovate, per se. They make existing technologies better. If you recall, the first iPhone wasn’t 3G even though 3G was popular. It’s because they wanted to first inject something good on the market. The next iPhone had no front-facing camera although they had existed for years. It’s because they wanted to perfect the process of face-to-face calling. Howl all you want about your janky Nokia from 2002 with face chat: how many wireless face-to-face video chats on a cellphone had you ever experienced before Facetime? Approximately zero?
To that end, the possibility of bouncing off into CDMA/LTE/WiMax is highly suspect. First, they’d never go 4G/WiMax until it’s an established standard available everywhere.
Consider, also, the audience for Verizon phones – an audience that rarely travels abroad and is looking for the lowest price possible. Verizon just slashed prices on Microsoft’s abysmal Kin phones without Microsoft’s input and I doubt Apple would accept that sort of guff from any carrier. AT&T, at the very least, has been very amenable to changes in the age-old structure of the carrier universe.
But look: you guys need a little cheering up. Here’s a rumor I heard from “two reliable sources:” the iPhone will come to all carriers! They’ll have two radios built-in and two SIM cards and a keyboard and come in multiple colors and include a bumper case! And they’ll be free with contract with all carriers! Take that to the SEC and smoke it, Bloomberg.