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'Complicated' Verizon iPhone deal said to be unlikely in 2010

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
Though Apple striking a deal with the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., Verizon, would be ideal, competitors T-Mobile and Sprint are more likely to carry the iPhone in 2010, one analyst believes.

With 89 million total customers, Verizon is the top prize in terms of the four major U.S. carriers. Apple is currently in an exclusive deal with the No. 2 carrier, AT&T, which has 82 million customers. But that agreement is believed by many to expire in 2010.

In a new note to investors Wednesday morning, analyst Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. said although many believe the iPhone will come to Verizon in 2010, it's likely wishful thinking. The problem, he said, is both Verizon and Apple have found success by focusing on "customer control." Their similarities are what he believes will keep them apart.

"Apple runs its own App Store and VZ has aspirations to do so," Wu said. "Apple controls the media experience with iTunes and VZ with its V CAST service. Moreover, Apple gets very favorable economics with an overall iPhone (average selling price) of $611 and at AT&T, we estimate it is higher at roughly $700. RIM, who is by far VZ's largest smart phone supplier, only has an ASP of $340. Palm's ASP is $436 and we estimate Motorola's Droid ASP is roughly $450."

Because Apple and Verizon have conflicting interests, Wu said he believes that a deal between the two companies would take longer than many currently expect. That would make a potential 2010 deal unlikely.

Instead, Wu said that Apple could strike deals with both Sprint, which has 48 million wireless subscribers, and T-Mobile, which has 33 million customers. Both companies are more likely to be agreeable with Apple's practices in order to offer the iPhone.

"While we believe VZ is likely inevitable at some point when 4G technology rolls out in 2012 or so, we believe Sprint and/or T-Mobile are more willing partners for Apple in helping maintain margins and customer controls," he said. "From a technology perspective, we believe T-Mobile may have an advantage with a similar 3G UMTS/WCDMA network as AT&T."

It's the second time this week an analyst has predicted Apple will jump to T-Mobile in 2010. In terms of technology, T-Mobile would be the simplest choice: Though carrier's high-speed 3G connectivity operates on a unique 1700MHz spectrum that is incompatible with the current iPhone, the addition of that frequency to a future hardware model would be much simpler than adding compatibility with Verizon or Sprint's CDMA networks.

Recent rumors have suggested Apple is working on an agreement with chip maker Qualcomm to add CDMA connectivity to a new iPhone in 2010. But both Verizon and Sprint use a technology that, unlike the GSM network of AT&T and T-Mobile, is not widely used abroad.

Another possibility noted by Wu: Apple could extend its contract with AT&T through 2011. The analyst said he believes AT&T's agreement ends in the summer of 2010, but a last-minute extension remains a possibility. Earlier this year, there were reports that AT&T was working to extend the contract with Apple for one more year.

Kaufman Bros. has reiterated its recommendation to buy AAPL stock. It has also maintained its price target of $235.
post #2 of 83
CDMA deal it's now or never. Yet, VZW as carrier has sure the huge appeal, way bigger, than T-Mo. It's not impossible that VZW gets iPhone, but hardly CDMA one.

Analog TV spectrum, which is destined to become LTE one, is freed everywhere right now (I believe, it's already finished in States). This means deployment in 2010, not in 2012.

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post #3 of 83
Duh? Like who can't figure this one out?
It's like the same story every other day, just re-worded differently.
post #4 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Duh? Like who can't figure this one out?
It's like the same story every other day, just re-worded differently.

Exactly. Apple will have no choice but to make a CDMA compatible phone for Verizon since their LTE rollout isn't going to be 100% complete until 2013.
post #5 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

CDMA deal it's now or never. Yet, VZW as carrier has sure the huge appeal, way bigger, than T-Mo. It's not impossible that VZW gets iPhone, but hardly CDMA one.

Analog TV spectrum, which is destined to become LTE one, is freed everywhere right now (I believe, it's already finished in States). This means deployment in 2010, not in 2012.

Deployment may START in 2010. But I think what he was referring to is the point where it's useful in that it has adequate coverage area. That is much more likely late 2011/2012.
post #6 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Exactly. Apple will have no choice but to make a CDMA compatible phone for Verizon since their LTE rollout isn't going to be 100% complete until 2013.

Apple isn't going to be on Verizon. Get used to it. They will more rapidly be on T-Mobile US than Verizon.

As LTE rollout commences, AT&T will see it's growth continue while Verizon will continue to see a net loss in subscribers.

There are no other Wireless providers to buy other than Cricket and other pay as you go rural players.
post #7 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Deployment may START in 2010. But I think what he was referring to is the point where it's useful in that it has adequate coverage area. That is much more likely late 2011/2012.

Sure. I believe strongly VZW would have something potable already in 2010; sure, it will not be the 100% coverage.
And we never saw before that handset features lagged behind the infrastructure...

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post #8 of 83
Verizon doesn't run the app store for Droid, why would this issue be a problem for carrying the iPhone.
post #9 of 83
Though Apple and Verizon may both focus on "customer control", their execution couldn't be further apart. Verizon's "control" ignores the customer for it's own gain, while Apple's makes the customer experience tantamount.
Example - Verizon's version of the Motorola RAZR. Verizon insisted on shoehorning their interface into the phone, removing or crippling existing features because they might reduce demand for Verizon-controlled services that they could bill extra for. The result - a phone that is maddeningly slow in responding to even simple commands. When you can count past 3 before the phone responds to a first level menu request, there is something wrong. When the same function (erase, for example) appears on different keys depending on whether you are in voice mail, text messaging in, or text messaging out, your interface has failed. VCast fails in the most basic way - it provides what Verizon wants to provide, regardless of what the customer wants, rather than what the customer wants, with Verizon enhancements that make that service even more desirable.
In short, Verizon is still the phone company, and their underlaying culture is still "we don't care, we don't have to." AT&T (aka Cingular) may have 3G and overall peak demand coverage problems, but they understood that the key to the iPhone was not the hardware, but the software and interface experience, and (VOIP not withstanding) kept their hands off.
post #10 of 83
Two stories in two days that are now saying what many of us on this forum have been saying for a couple years now.
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post #11 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by richardk32 View Post

In short, Verizon is still the phone company, and their underlaying culture is still "we don't care, we don't have to." AT&T (aka Cingular) may have 3G and overall peak demand coverage problems, but they understood that the key to the iPhone was not the hardware, but the software and interface experience, and (VOIP not withstanding) kept their hands off.

i think its more like ATT probably sold their soul to Apple to get the Iphone
post #12 of 83
....if it is T-Mobile, what do they offer that AT&T does not?

AT&T has roll over minutes and over 20,000 free wifi hotspots (really nice when you need it).

Q for all the T-Mobile users....what can they offer us iPhone users that will make us switch?
post #13 of 83
I still find it hard to believe that Apple would go with Verizon with their current anti-global technology. I really would be surprised if they did, because it would mean that Apple has become a different company in my eyes.

As I have said before, I don't think that Apple is out to be #1 in smart phone sales. They just want to make a cool product and have fun doing so. And in the process of course, make more money with it than all others combined.

Here's an older article from Daniel Eran Dilger, that mentions a few more things about it:
<http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2009/10/30/why-apples-iphone-is-still-not-coming-to-verizon/#more-3930>
post #14 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep View Post

i think its more like ATT probably sold their soul to Apple to get the Iphone

It certainly doesnt look to be the other way around. With the iPhone being as successful as it is (whereas AT&T reportedly didnt even have a prototype to look at when making the deal) Id think T-Mobile would sell their soul and give their first born to Apple to get the iPhone.

This may be what T-Mo needs to finally push into 3rd place within 5 quarters. They are 15M subs away and would likely have done it anyway with Sprints slow collapse, but with AT&T and T-Mo as choices T-Mo will make big gains and Sprint users will have another reason not to stay with them.
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post #15 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

At least competition is coming to us consumers.
....if it is T-Mobile, what do they offer that AT&T does not?

AT&T has roll over minutes and over 20,000 free wifi hotspots (really nice when you need it).

Q for all the T-Mobile users....what can they offer us iPhone users that will make us switch?

Potentially cheaper plans. Of course, their current offerings may not apply to the iPhone with its huge subsidization, excessive data usage and popularity.
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post #16 of 83
From the article:
Quote:
Earlier this year, there were reports that AT&T was working to extend the contract with Apple for one more year.

This is ambiguous; are they working to extend an exclusive contract, or simply a general non-exclusive contract to carry the iPhone?

Also, which is it going to be, AT&T? Is the iPhone the best product for your bottom line, or the worst because of all the heavy data traffic? I've never seen a clear answer to that one.
post #17 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

....if it is T-Mobile, what do they offer that AT&T does not?

AT&T has roll over minutes and over 20,000 free wifi hotspots (really nice when you need it).

Q for all the T-Mobile users....what can they offer us iPhone users that will make us switch?


For one thing, according to yesterdays Consumer Reports survey, T-Mobil has higher customer satisfaction than AT&T.
I still would like to see the iPhone on Verizon.
post #18 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ch2co View Post

For one thing, according to yesterdays Consumer Reports survey, T-Mobil has higher customer satisfaction than AT&T.
I still would like to see the iPhone on Verizon.

Yes...but for any carrier that supports the iPhone, I would guess that customer satisfaction would go down. Too much data....too little bandwidth.
post #19 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It certainly doesnt look to be the other way around. With the iPhone being as successful as it is (whereas AT&T reportedly didnt even have a prototype to look at when making the deal) Id think T-Mobile would sell their soul and give their first born to Apple to get the iPhone.

This may be what T-Mo needs to finally push into 3rd place within 5 quarters. They are 15M subs away and would likely have done it anyway with Sprints slow collapse, but with AT&T and T-Mo as choices T-Mo will make big gains and Sprint users will have another reason not to stay with them.

Why would I leave Sprint? What's wrong with Sprint? NOTHING. That's what.
post #20 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

....if it is T-Mobile, what do they offer that AT&T does not?

AT&T has roll over minutes and over 20,000 free wifi hotspots (really nice when you need it).

Q for all the T-Mobile users....what can they offer us iPhone users that will make us switch?


I'm not sure that large percentages of AT&T customers would switch - since they've already got the iPhone - but for people who are on VZ or Sprint, T-Mobile might be a good alternative.

There are three things T-Mobile has that I really value:

1. Customer Service
T-Mobile's customer service is phenomenal. I've been with them for 8 years, and I've had a few handset issues along the way (I had an old motorola that literally melted itself from some kind of malfunction!). Their service has been beyond helpful, both over the phone and in the store. When my phone broke they hurried like it was an emergency to get me in and out of the store with a replacement ASAP.

In 8 years I've never had a billing issue, even when I've needed to make complicated changes to plans while still under contract, they've made things easy. They always seem like their job is to help you, and that they're not worried about whether it costs them a few bucks to help you out.

With tech support they always put me through to an American who speaks English that I can understand, and they've been great at resolving issues quickly.

Overall, top to bottom, I think T-Mobile has the best customer service in the industry.

2. Price
T-Mobile consistently delivers more minutes / text / data at lower prices than the other networks. You can get an unlimited talk / text / data plan with no contract right now for $80 / month WITH NO CONTRACT!

AT&T costs $100 / month for unlimited talk with no text or data - $130 a month to get data and unlimited talk.

The iPhone going to T-Mobile would certainly drive prices down - T-Mobile will charge a lot less and eventually AT&T will have to lower its prices somewhat to remain competitive.

3. International service

Because T-Mobile is a branch of Germany's Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile exists all over Europe. I lived in Italy for a while several years ago, and this connection was very helpful for me. If you travel to Europe a lot it's nice to be able to find your cell phone provider overseas.

In promoting iPhone as something for saavy execs I could see T-Mobile doing even more to unify their coverage so that there was no longer a distinction between calls on T-Mobiles various national networks. I don't know about technical limitations to this, but T-Mobile already carries the iPhone around Europe, so it can't be that big of an obstacle.



So those are just personal reasons that I like T-Mobile, but I expect most other T-Mobile customers feel similarly (esp. about the first two). I know most of my extended family is on T-Mobile, and all of us have had the same experience - the customer service is fantastic and the best we've ever dealt with.

I really hope T-Mobile USA gets the iPhone, that would be a dream come true for me.
post #21 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by burlesona View Post

I really hope T-Mobile USA gets the iPhone, that would be a dream come true for me.

Me too. Being a T-Mo user for six years.

Another point you can add to your list of what T-Mo offers... I see you were passionate enough regarding T-Mobile, that you registered in order to make your first post here on AI, as opposed to being a casual guest. I hope to read more.

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post #22 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by webpoet73 View Post

Why would I leave Sprint? What's wrong with Sprint? NOTHING. That's what.

I dont know why you would stay or leave them or why youd take it personally. Hell, I dont even know who you are or what carrier you had until you just mentioned it, but the facts are that Sprint is hemorrhaging customers faster than any US carrier despite continued price drops in an attempt at retention.

They are also making a lot of expensive mistakes with technology to make them viable in the future. If T-Mo gets the iPhone this becomes an even bigger issue since the public generally has Verizon is paired with AT&T as the big players, and Sprint paired with T-Mo for cheaper rate plan offerings.
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post #23 of 83
I agree T-Mo will likely have more aggressive pricing than AT&T. The pressure in on T-Mo to compete with ATT. But I seriously doubt T-Mo will offer the iPhone out of contract as expensive as the subsidy is.

AT&T will not have to lower its pricing, it will only need to provide better service.


Quote:
Originally Posted by burlesona View Post

2. Price
T-Mobile consistently delivers more minutes / text / data at lower prices than the other networks. You can get an unlimited talk / text / data plan with no contract right now for $80 / month WITH NO CONTRACT!

AT&T costs $100 / month for unlimited talk with no text or data - $130 a month to get data and unlimited talk.

The iPhone going to T-Mobile would certainly drive prices down - T-Mobile will charge a lot less and eventually AT&T will have to lower its prices somewhat to remain competitive.
post #24 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

....if it is T-Mobile, what do they offer that AT&T does not?

AT&T has roll over minutes and over 20,000 free wifi hotspots (really nice when you need it).

Q for all the T-Mobile users....what can they offer us iPhone users that will make us switch?

Actual customer service that isn’t a complete joke?

3 times as many minutes for the same price?

Better coverage within large cities?

The ability to make a call longer than 5 minutes without it dropping?

A decent set of roaming agreements so you still have coverage when you go off-network?

Nah, no one would ever be interested in those things.
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post #25 of 83
Can anyone comment to T-Mobile's coverage in New York City? I want an iPhone, and in fact what I really want is a Verizon iPhone, but I've long ago accepted that the latter won't happen till 2012/2013. The only thing that currently keeps me from getting an iPhone is the fact that I live in Manhattan, and I'm well aware of how bad ATT is around here.

Does anyone know if T-Mo is any better?
post #26 of 83
Its not that complicated.

1) So Apple needs to come out with a CDMA phone - this is not a big deal - every phone makers does this, sometimes across several models. Apple can do this in its sleep.

2) Pricing - are you kidding? They need to sit down and work out pricing. Uh, sorry, what is the big deal here?

3) App Store. If Verizon is ok with Android app-store then Apple's app-store should not be an issue.

Now would it be simpler to add T-Mobile as a support carrier? Maybe. Nothing really stops them from supporting every carrier, which they should.

Someone who wants an IPhone should not have to worry about switching carriers. They should just go to a store, any store, say what carrier they have and activate their new phone.
post #27 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Exactly. Apple will have no choice but to make a CDMA compatible phone for Verizon since their LTE rollout isn't going to be 100% complete until 2013.

Keep dreaming. A CDMA iPhone will never come. T-Mo could potentially get it next year or the year after as the 1700Mhz addition is a piece of cake.

Adi
post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkie View Post

Its not that complicated.

1) So Apple needs to come out with a CDMA phone - this is not a big deal - every phone makers does this, sometimes across several models. Apple can do this in its sleep.

2) Pricing - are you kidding? They need to sit down and work out pricing. Uh, sorry, what is the big deal here?

3) App Store. If Verizon is ok with Android app-store then Apple's app-store should not be an issue.

Now would it be simpler to add T-Mobile as a support carrier? Maybe. Nothing really stops them from supporting every carrier, which they should.

Someone who wants an IPhone should not have to worry about switching carriers. They should just go to a store, any store, say what carrier they have and activate their new phone.

Apple has no interest in expanding it's costs to satisfy the CMDA market--a legacy market.
post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by richardk32 View Post

Though Apple and Verizon may both focus on "customer control", their execution couldn't be further apart. Verizon's "control" ignores the customer for it's own gain, while Apple's makes the customer experience tantamount.
Example - Verizon's version of the Motorola RAZR. Verizon insisted on shoehorning their interface into the phone, removing or crippling existing features because they might reduce demand for Verizon-controlled services that they could bill extra for. The result - a phone that is maddeningly slow in responding to even simple commands. When you can count past 3 before the phone responds to a first level menu request, there is something wrong. When the same function (erase, for example) appears on different keys depending on whether you are in voice mail, text messaging in, or text messaging out, your interface has failed. VCast fails in the most basic way - it provides what Verizon wants to provide, regardless of what the customer wants, rather than what the customer wants, with Verizon enhancements that make that service even more desirable.
In short, Verizon is still the phone company, and their underlaying culture is still "we don't care, we don't have to." AT&T (aka Cingular) may have 3G and overall peak demand coverage problems, but they understood that the key to the iPhone was not the hardware, but the software and interface experience, and (VOIP not withstanding) kept their hands off.

Agreed. Verizon Customer Service is POS 101.
post #30 of 83
Just to correct a bit the perpetual BS spreading around.
2013 is for VZW the projected date of the complete shutdown of CDMA networks.
Period.
P.S. Yeah, in Sep 2009 VZW have reported having been completely on track of their roadmap. Which means pre-commercial LTE deployment in two cities already in 2009.
Now, that's period.

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post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Just to correct a bit the perpetual BS spreading around.
2013 is for VZW the projected date of the complete shutdown of CDMA networks.
Period.

really shutting it down in 4yrs? are you an idiot? there is no way it will be shut down once the LTE rollout is done.
post #32 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep View Post

really shutting it down in 4yrs? are you an idiot? there is no way it will be shut down once the LTE rollout is done.

Me? It's VZW's roadmap, ask them.

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post #33 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Me? It's VZW's roadmap, ask them.

where's this mythical roadmap? got a link for it? until you provide a official roadmap of verizon's plan to cut off CDMA in 2013 (the year they expect LTE to be complete), you're still an idiot.
post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep View Post

where's this mythical roadmap? got a link for it? until you provide a official roadmap of verizon's plan to cut off CDMA in 2013 (the year they expect LTE to be complete), you're still an idiot.

Banned by Google, eh?

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post #35 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Banned by Google, eh?

cant provide it? congrats on posting FUD. enjoy. idiot.
post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Me? It's VZW's roadmap, ask them.

Could you post ther roadmap for us? This isn't like buying a new laptop where you transfer the data and retire the old machine, these a complex, multi-billion dollar investments.

As I recall it, Verizon previously stated testing in 2009, starting the rollout in 2010, completing in 2013 (which in itself is very unlikely) with LTE being used for data while CDMA is used for voice. CDMA has a good codec, it's well establshed, understood and will be more power efficient than LTE.

LTE doesn't even have voice in the spec, but with VoIP and QoS it doesn't need it, but it does mean that Verizon's entire internal voice infrastructure will have to be changed to accomodate LTE instead of CDMA. I'd be surprised if Verizon has any roadmap that details the end of CDMA at this point. It's just too viable not to keep it.
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post #37 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Q for all the T-Mobile users....what can they offer us iPhone users that will make us switch?

Um...customer service that doesn't close it's doors at 9 pm or go MIA on Sunday. I was horrified when I got my first iPhone and discovered that the new AT&T Wireless (the second largest carrier in the nation) didn't have 24/7 CS and support. If you had an issue late Saturday afternoon, you would be out of luck until Monday.

Got back to TMo as soon as the unlock was available...
post #38 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep View Post

where's this mythical roadmap? got a link for it? until you provide a official roadmap of verizon's plan to cut off CDMA in 2013 (the year they expect LTE to be complete), you're still an idiot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep View Post

cant provide it? congrats on posting FUD. enjoy. idiot.

I was gonna say dont make direct personal attacks, but its too late.
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post #39 of 83
if t-mobile or sprint got the iphone it would absolutely crush not only Verizon (which ive had for years before switching to AT&T) but AT&T as well. Cheaper prices with very good coverage you cant beat, but T-Mo is lacking in its 3G areas thus far, although something like this would really help expand their user base. I do fear though that if it does rollout to T-Mo without a robust 3G network like the others it will bring T-Mo's reputation down like it has done to AT&T.

If a Sprint version of the iPhone came you had better believe Verizon will be sucking it up really fast to get the phone on their network, and it will also help patch the bleeding thats happening right now with Sprint and lack of stellar phones...while the Pre is a good one, every other high profile smartphone they have is on another carrier and they dont have the iPhone either as well as say the Droid or the Passion.

BTW, if you think Verizon is going to shut its CDMA network down when it makes the switch to LTE you are tripping on acid. CDMA will be quite alive even after LTE is completely rolled out and will most likely be for areas not covered in LTE to still get decent speeds for connectivity and have voice coverage in all those areas they have now. 1XEV will become the new EDGE speeds while LTE will be the top dog.
post #40 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisor19 View Post

Keep dreaming. A CDMA iPhone will never come. T-Mo could potentially get it next year or the year after as the 1700Mhz addition is a piece of cake.

Adi

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Apple isn't going to be on Verizon. Get used to it. They will more rapidly be on T-Mobile US than Verizon.

As LTE rollout commences, AT&T will see it's growth continue while Verizon will continue to see a net loss in subscribers.

There are no other Wireless providers to buy other than Cricket and other pay as you go rural players.

I have never said that I am craving a Verizon phone so I can switch. Quite the opposite, I want a verizon phone so there can be a mass exodus to them, which will free up the network for whoever stays. My point was that since LTE won't be 100% rolled out for a few more years, if Apple were to make a different phone, it would have to contain CDMA to support people who aren't currently on LTE. I never meant to sound like that they must make a CDMA phone or else.
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