In the ongoing will-they-won't-they rumor mill about a Verizon iPhone, the heads of both Apple and Verizon have been pretty vague about it. With reports
this week that Apple was placing orders for a CDMA version of the iPhone, though, it seems as if the Verizon's CEO wanted to downplay the rumors. CEO Ivan Seidenberg told investors at a Goldman Sachs conference
that "would love to carry" the iPhone, but "we have to earn it,” suggesting that negotiations had either failed or were still ongoing.
While Seidenberg said nothing specific about an iPhone for the carrier's current network, he did say that he hopes Apple will make the it available for Verizon's 4G network, which the carrier intends to bring to 30 cities by the end of the year and the rest of the country by the end of 2012. "I think 4G will accelerate the process, and any other decisions Apple makes would be fine with us," Seidenberg said, adding that "hopefully, at some point, Apple will get with the program."
Verizon's 4G network will be based on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. It is expected to provide higher data transfer rates, with download speeds of 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps. The system won't carry phone calls initially, which is fine, because LTE smartphones are just coming to market
, and are still pretty rare. AT&T is also transitioning its network to LTE, which is an evolution of the GSM standards that carrier currently uses. As a result, it's almost certain that Apple will release an iPhone that uses LTE technology
at some point.
Seidenberg didn't give the impression that the iPhone would coming to Verizon anytime soon, but tried to sound upbeat about it. "We don't feel like we have an iPhone deficit," he said. "We would love to carry it when we get there, but we have to earn it," he added saying that what they would "need to do is show all the suppliers that... we have the best network for people to put all their equipment on."