Originally Posted by solipsism
Even if Apple chose CDMA in the US, they would have to chose GSM outside North America.
Which really isn't a big deal. CDMA technology is mature, inexpensive, and well understood. It's not difficult at all to make a phone in both CDMA and GSM 'flavors'... the RAZR is, for example.
1. Wanting to only get in bed with AT&T means that they can work with only one company and only one phone build in the US. Less time and money spent working out the logistics of the creating new interoperability between hardware and network services.
Again, it's not really a large hurdle. Motorola doesn't seem to have any problem cranking out both GSM and CDMA RAZRs for the US market, in fact, they're happy to, since the US market is split almost 50-50 between CDMA and GSM (with CDMA being a bit ahead) and doing so effectively doubles their revenues here.
At some point, Apple will have to make a CDMA iPhone if they really truly want to cash in on the US market. Cingular/ATT is only a little more than 25% of the US market... would not Apple want to eventually sell to the entire market? This is one of the things that makes me think that the exclusivity clause of the Apple-ATT contract either has loopholes for new models or is of a shorter duration than ATT is giving the impression of it being.
2. If I were in Jobs position I'd start negotiations will all the major competitors of the company I really wanted to pair with in order to strengthen my bargaining position.
Perhaps, but here's the thing... what if Verizon had said "Yes."??? What does Steve say then? "Um... err... just kidding. Heh."
I think it's more realistic to believe that Jobs had a Plan A (Verizon, whom he approached first) and a Plan B (ATT/Cingular), and he was only too happy to play them off against one another in order to secure better terms for Apple. But he was likely prepared to go with either. If you think about it, these two carriers were the only realistic partners for Apple in the US market, what with the only other potentials being T-Mobile (too small) and Sprint-Nextel (going through merger hell, generally underperforming, and in the midst of a not-fun major technology migration from iDEN to CDMA for its Nextel customers).
Basically, Jobs shopped the iPhone to 'everyone who made sense' in the US. Since the technological hurdles of making both a CDMA and a GSM version aren't high, it's logical to assume that he was willing to go with whomever came closer to meeting his terms, i.e. whomever needed the iPhone more. That was ATT.
3. Verizon's remarks about the iPhone had a bit of a "sour grapes" rings to me.
Of course. Jobs gave them a shot at it, but on terms that Verizon wasn't willing to agree to, and now its in the hands of Verizon's #1 competitor, who's going to club them over the head with it mercilessly until and unless Verizon gets their own version, which even in a best case scenario won't be for awhile.
They're also pissed because they're used to a world in which the carriers have always told the phonemakers what they want and the phonemakers then jump to it (even majors like Nokia and Motorola). The carriers had the power, the control. Apple went directly in the face of that, and Verizon was just not used to it. I can only imagine what the negotiations must've been like: You want WHAT again, Steve?
They probably ain't laughing now.