The AT&T/Verizon/Apple Thing

Ever since the iPhone came out, there’s been talk about it moving over to Verizon. Speculation has been going rampant since day 1, and now there’s a new rumor about it coming back up to the surface, but this time it’s from the Wall Street Journal.

Apple Inc. plans to begin producing this year a new iPhone that could allow U.S. phone carriers other than AT&T Inc. to sell the iconic gadget, said people briefed by the company.

The new iPhone would work on a type of wireless network called CDMA, these people said. CDMA is used by Verizon Wireless, AT&T’s main competitor, as well as Sprint Nextel Corp. and a handful of cellular operators in countries including South Korea and Japan. The vast majority of carriers world-wide, including AT&T, use another technology called GSM.

With Apple developing a phone with CDMA capability, its exclusive U.S. arrangement with AT&T dating to 2007 appears set to end.

I’ve been hunting for this quote for a while now, but I haven’t been able to find it. I was under the impression that Apple and AT&T were stuck together until 2012. If it really is 2010, then come this summer, the iPhone may be Verizon bound.

So what does this mean if it is true?

First off, people will flock to Verizon in droves. I know I’m tired of dealing with AT&T and their crappy service, but they’d have to do some fancy things to lure me over for good. Like drop the price a bit, or offer to cover my ETF from AT&T. On the flip side, AT&T is going to have to really kiss some ass to keep people on their side. Cheaper plans, cheaper upgrades, and better service. If I had a dollar for every dropped call I’ve had with AT&T, I’d have 20 iPhones.

I do wonder though if this just makes Verizon that much more of an evil empire. I was never with them before because their plans were always $40 more for what I needed. Will they really be good to Apple’s fanbase, or will they be as evil as they’ve been in the past?

Of course, there could be another interesting twist here. Apple could open it up to everyone if they wanted to. Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon could all get the iPhone potentially. That levels the playing field and gives Apple a huge base. Would the networks be willing to give up exclusivity to have arguably the best device on the market? To know that they’ve got the same as their competitors and the only difference will be the service?

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to hear about Apple’s newest iPhone this summer.

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