The iPhone market is booming, but it could potentially be even greater if the folks at AT&T didn’t have the exclusive rights to the popular mobile phone. Making the iPhone available through additional carriers would widen the market and would (hopefully) lower pricing on plans thanks to competition. There’s been a rumor going around for a long time now that Verizon will be getting the iPhone in the near future, and now a Wall Street Journal report suggests that a new model with CDMA capability, the cellular technology used by Verizon, is slated to be manufactured this September.
It’s not clear, however, when Apple might actually launch the CDMA version. AT&T naturally played down the speculation. “There has been lots of incorrect speculation on CDMA iPhones for a long time. We haven’t seen one yet and only Apple knows when that might occur,” said an AT&T spokesman.
The report also indicated that the next iteration of the standard AT&T iPhone is being prepared for launch this July. In the meantime, analysts remain skeptical about Verizon seeing any iPhone product this year. “A launch of a CDMA-based phone with Verizon this year is unlikely,” UBS analyst Maynard Um wrote in a research note, according to TheStreet.com. Um added that he believes “a CDMA phone could be launched with other operators later in the year.” Those other telcos include China Telecom and Japan’s KDDI.
RBC analyst Mike Abramsky added that Verizon and Apple will also first need to address potential hurdles before they strike a deal. “The two parties may still need to resolve contentious issues such as subsidies, branding, revenue share, data plans, etc.,” he said. “And Verizon just launched its own App store last week, which it may require some or all smartphones to offer.”