Apple would be smart to offer an iPhone on Verizon Wireless, as a survey from ChangeWave found that 54% of existing Big Red subscribers would ditch their handset to buy Apple’s smartphone.
This is probably not too surprising, as the iPhone has long been a lust-filled desire of many Verizon customers but the demand is a bit stronger than I expected, especially considering the types of handsets Verizon now offers. A few years ago, Big Red’s smartphones were cruddy but now you can walk into a store and pick up a snazzy Motorola Droid or Droid Incredible. The Incredible is arguably better than the iPhone 3GS too, as it sports a beefier processor, screen and camera.
Still, there is something undeniably compelling about the iPhone. Maybe it’s the marketing, the hundreds of thousands of programs in the App Store, or the “hip” factor, but folks still want Apple’s handset. When you pair it with Verizon’s rock-solid voice and data network, it would seem like a match made in heaven. Of course, having that many iPhones on Verizon would surely cause havoc on Big Red’s network, so maybe we’re still waiting for its Long-Term Evolution 4G network to be rolled out.
So, how likely is it that the iPhone comes to Verizon soon? Unfortunately, that’s still up in the air. We know Verizon’s CEO wants it, and there were reports that Apple is prepping a CDMA version for this fall. But I’d bet that version will be TD-CDMA – which will only work with Chinese networks – because Apple sees massive growth potential China.
Another issue is that AT&T is giving Apple a lot of cash for each iPhone because the handset has been the catalyst for new subscriber growth over the last few years. An analyst also said the exclusive agreement was extended when AT&T offered iPad 3G users really well-priced data plans.
We’ll be at WWDC in a couple weeks when the next iPhone is unveiled. Maybe, just maybe, Steve Jobs will surprise us all and announce the Verizon version as his “one more thing.”