Currently in the U.S. and across the world the iPhone is a GSM network only device. That means that even unlocked you can not run the iPhone on the Verizon network which is CDMA. This may change soon -- as early as Macworld 2009. Where does this come from? A Verizon tipster told 9to5mac that "Apple will be announcing iPhones for Verizon Wireless in 2009, perhaps as early Macworld 2009."
While there are many reasons that this rumor could be true we think these are the big ones:
- Apple has been looking for EVDO and CDMA engineers with their job listings. You can check out these job listings here, here, here and here.
- Apple has been working very hard lately to expand their market share to other countries. Last count the iPhone is available for purchase in over 79 countries. It only makes sense that Apple would want to expand to also cover other network protocols to put their phone on networks currently excluded like Sprint, Verizon, and other networks in places like Canada (which currently has the iPhone on lame Rogers).
- Verizon and Vodafone are partners. Vodafone has contracts with Apple. Partners + pre existing contracts with Apple = iPhone on Verizon. It's just simple addition folks.
- Apple originally wanted to go with Verizon for the iPhone. Verizon refused, AT&T was the second choice and the rest is history. One of the major reasons that Apple and Verizon couldn't play nice together is Apple didn't want their jesus phone distributed at Verizon retailers like Best Buy. Since then Apple has become less paranoid about distribution channels and you can pick up the iPhone at Best Buy. Maybe now Verizon and Apple could both be happy together.
- AT&T's exclusivity contract with Apple may be ending soon. There is a lot of speculation about the ending of the deal between AT&T and Apple. Some folks say five years, some say two, others say three. We just don't know. If it is in fact 2 yrs. that would open Apple up to put the iPhone on other carriers sometime during 2009.
Odds are looking good for Apple's expansion on to other carriers like Verizon or Sprint with the iPhone. While many are happy with AT&T service many are not. If other carriers previously unable to support the iPhone start selling it we get more options on what carrier we use. In the end more carrier options + iPhone = consumer win.