Rumor No More: Verizon Confirms iPhone Arrival in Early 2011
Anticipation continues to build for a long-rumored version of Apple's iPhone smartphone that would work on the Verizon network, and details have begun to emerge.
The latest report stoking the flames of desire in the tech community comes via Fortune magazine, where in a new article this unequivocal statement – set off in parentheses for added affect – appears: "Fortune has confirmed that a Verizon iPhone will be released in early 2011."
Field testing of the Verizon iPhone had allegedly come close to wrapping a week ago, a logical next step following reports in August that Apple had ordered million of so-called CDMA chips made by Qualcomm.
These chips are needed to run a phone on the CDMA network that Verizon relies on, rather than the GSM networks used by carriers AT&T and T-Mobile.
AT&T's network has been the butt of criticism over the three years since 2007 when Apple signed an exclusivity agreement with the carrier for the then-new iPhone.
The iPhone being tied to an overloaded network has not seemed to hurt sales, however; Apple recently surpassed RIM as the top smartphone manufacturer on the planet, despite some significant issues with the latest iPhone 4 that came out in June.
A solid third of iPhone owners have said in a survey that they are waiting to upgrade to a newer version of the smartphone pending it becoming available on another network; half of respondents said they were specifically interested in a Verizon iPhone .
In an attempt to thwart its customers from jumping ship, AT&T has started rolling out two year contract agreements, according to the Fortune article.
AT&T spokesperson Larry Solomon had some fighting words for rival Verizon in the magazine piece as well: "We carry half the U.S. wireless data on the fastest 3G network . . . Verizon's network hasn't been battle-tested yet, so you don't know if they can handle the data load or not."