The din of Verizon iPhone rumors rages louder, and now word is that Apple and Verizon are ironing out the details for the popular smartphone. First, we heard that there would be a surge in hiring to accommodate for a really big launch of some kind, one of Apple iPhone proportions. Then, a Verizon executive said that it was inevitable that the iPhone would come to Big Red. Next, we started hearing word and seeing code that showed field testing of iPhone or iPad devices on Verizon’s network.
According Kaufman Bro.’s analyst Shaw Wu via InformationWeek:
“From our checks with industry and supply chain sources and a recent SEC 10-Q filing by AT&T mentioning that exclusivity with ‘a number of attractive handsets’ could end, we have conviction that the iPhone could likely finally be at another carrier besides AT&T here in the U.S. in 2011 and potentially at Verizon in 2011 or 2012… We believe the argument for AAPL to pursue Verizon sooner than later is to address the growing presence of Android. What better way to do that than where Android has seen the majority of its success?”
“From our understanding, the Verizon negotiations are not finalized with important details still being ironed out, including technology and economics. We think it is premature to rule out T-Mobile or Sprint (who also uses CDMA but WiMAX for 4G). In addition, there is the possibility of multiple U.S. carriers being signed.”
So it seems that the assumption that Verizon will have the iPhone is reasonable given its size and presence in the U.S., but Wu also warns that it’s premature. Way to hedge his bets in an effort to retain any credibility. And of course it’s also premature to rule out carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint, but when we’re in the realm of likelihood and reality, I’m sure Apple would much rather see its iPhone on a network that can boast having the most subscribers in the nation. After all, many current iPhone users say they’d switch to Verizon if it picked up the Apple smartphone.