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  • About Those VeriPhone Rumors...


    Rumors are not news, I know… but when enough reports come together, all pointing in the same direction, then at a given point it's worth stopping and taking a look at what it all adds up to. If you're bored by all the rumor talk (and believe me, I'm pretty sick of it myself), please accept my apologies, and don't click the MORE link. For the sake of some folks out there, though - people who are wondering if they should buy an iPhone 4 now, for example, or if they should extend their AT&T contract - let's look at what the evidence there is for a Verizon iPhone in 2011.

    Verizon Wireless - just to review - uses a different telephony standard from AT&T and the other big US carriers. All current iPhones use GSM, so there would need to be a different device to work on Verizon's CDMA network. According to many observers, Apple has been working on an iPhone compatible with the largets US network for a long time now. In particular, John Gruber - who has a lot of inside sources and is so reliably pro-Apple that some people think that Steve Jobs pays him off - has been saying for a while that "Apple has a skunkworks CDMA iPhone project" like the skunkworks Intel Mac project back in the day when Mac OS X only ran on PowerPC.

    Gruber went further this week and specifically identified the CDMA iPhone by the Apple codename N92 (the iPhone 4, you may remember, was called N89 before its release). The phone, he says, is in Engineering Verification Test phase, which is limited to testing of one-off units inside the company. DVT, or Design Verification Test phase, is when Apple employees take phones out in the world (and lose them, sometimes). So if the CDMA phone takes that next step, it means the wheels need to already be turning for production in China.

    Bolstering this idea, TechCrunch's Steve Cheney reported at the beginning of the week that Apple is ordering millions of CDMA chips from Qualcomm. If Gruber is right that the VeriPhone is in EVT, then Apple would need to place that order right about now to have production ready by the end of the year. And as Michael reported the same day, leaks from the Asian manufacturing industry independently corroborated this story, and are indicating that a CDMA phone (possibly made of Apple's new Magic Metal) will be built by Pegatron for Verizon and China Telecom.

    Also this week, we learned that AT&T revealed in a filing to the SEC that it's warning its investors about possible negative effects when "exclusivity arrangements end" for popular smartphones. Since the iPhone is the only AT&T-exclusive smartphone that can be considered "popular," it's pretty clear what they were referring to. Big companies don't risk upsetting their investors for no reason. And finally, another piece of the puzzle came with the announcement this week that Verizon Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg had been selected to give the high-profile keynote address at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next January. The head of the big electronics confab said he'd be looking forward to hear about "Verizon’s next generation of products," which could certainly include a certain popular smartphone currently only available on a certain unpopular carrier.

    As Yogi Berra said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." We don't really know whether any of these reports are true, obviously. However, if you think you can wait until January for your next phone, and won't owe AT&T a huge early termination fee… it might not be a bad idea to wait and see what happens.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: About Those VeriPhone Rumors... started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 87 Comments
    1. pacmac's Avatar
      pacmac -
      ok make it happen alreay..lol..more people off AT&T faster 3G for me =) already getting 3mb down/2mb upload..here in san diego lots of people not bad..
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      With Qualcomm only advertising for an iPhone developer now it 'might' happen, but not any time soon I'd guess.

      Qualcomm job listing for iPhone dev guru sets internet absolutely aflutter -- Engadget
    1. ohiomagician's Avatar
      ohiomagician -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trooper Sam View Post
      China has an enormous base of CDMA users. That market alone would make it a good business decision.
      I sure hope it is not going to be just T-Mobile and AT&T because both carriers have enormous dead spots. I live in suburbia between Akron and Cleveland and T-Mobile and AT&T have very little coverage here. On the other hand, Verizon has great coverage here. Yes, I know I can use a network extender, but AT&T charges $50 (after the rebate) and an extra $20 a month on my bill. No thanks, I'm already paying too much.
    1. newportgambler's Avatar
      newportgambler -
      i'd be surprised to see a CDMA iPhone since only CDMA works in the states I believe. no?
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by newportgambler View Post
      i'd be surprised to see a CDMA iPhone since only CDMA works in the states I believe. no?
      Did you not read the quote in the post above yours?
    1. Bluemoldycheeze88's Avatar
      Bluemoldycheeze88 -
      I went into a Verizon Store and said when is the iphone coming, the sales rep said there is a rumor for Jan. 2011 but that's just a rumor.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Yup - they probably read it here.