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Apple and Verizon consider iphone deal

Discussion in 'Wireless News' started by JasonLAllerdings, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. JasonLAllerdings

    JasonLAllerdings Junior Member
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    By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY
    Verizon (VZ) and Apple (AAPL) are discussing the possible development of an iPhone for Verizon, with the goal of introducing it next year, people familiar with the situation say.
    It would mark the first time Apple has produced a version of the iPhone for a CDMA wireless network, which is different from AT&T's GSM technology. Vodafone, co-owner of Verizon Wireless, already sells the iPhone in Europe.

    The New York-based telecom entered into "high-level" discussions with Apple management a few months ago, when CEO Steve Jobs was overseeing day-to-day business, these sources say. They declined to be named because they aren't authorized to speak publicly.


    Apple and Verizon consider iPhone deal - USATODAY.com
     
  2. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    This is a rumor more than anything else. Until something concrete comes to bear this out, it's still rumor.
     
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  3. Kalimotxo

    Kalimotxo Bronze Senior Member
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    I would be very skeptical... except this is from USA Today. That's a pretty reputable source - not some random technology blog on the internet. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
     
  4. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    So let's say they release a CDMA iPhone in 2010 (a year from now). By that time will it even be worth the investment and development if the iPhone starts to lose steam? People aren't going to be flocking in droves to one particular phone forever and 2010 might be the time when it starts to drop off. But then again there are probably a whole of die hard CDMA customers that might want to try the iPhone for the first time.
     
  5. cellular_freak

    cellular_freak Senior Member
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    I, for one, would definitely jump ships if Verizon released a CDMA iPhone. I really like my iPhone, but AT&T is just a sad excuse for a cellular carrier throughout much of Mid-Michigan. There are so many GSM gaps in coverage in many rural areas and I experience many dropped calls. However, Verizon covers all of Mid-Michigan almost universally. Even in the most solid of brick buildings. I would not even hesitate to drop AT&T by the wayside. They would have to triple the number of towers they currently have and activate 3G throughout 100% of their network for me to stay.
     
  6. spleck

    spleck Tool
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    Based on the timing, its more likely about a CDMA-LTE phone. We won't see it in 2009 (considering Apple's June/July release timing), and 2010 may be a tough date to meet unless they've already been working on it.

    That would suggest 2011, which would see some LTE availability from VZW.

    You also have the MSM8960 and QTR8610 from Qualcomm which will start sampling in mid-2010. If I'm reading it right, the MSM supports CDMA2000/EVDO, UMTS (including GSM), and LTE. The QTR chip ties in to support worldwide frequency bands, plus GPS, Bluetooth, and more. That would go a long way toward providing one iPhone that works on all carriers.

    There's also a couple chipsets available sooner that will support CDMA-LTE without GSM/UMTS if Apple decided that the revolutionary idea of producing TWO products would be feasible.
     
  7. spleck

    spleck Tool
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    I don't think Apple intends to produce the same iPhone year after year. They'll probably try to make new phones each year or so, kind of like everyone else.
     
  8. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    True they could always make the iPhone 2, 3, 4 etc. lol
     
  9. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Yeah, they will beat that design to death like Motorola tried with the Razr...
     
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  10. hf1khal

    hf1khal Who am I to judge
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    When FW 3.0 was released there was notice to more than one new model of the iphone. However, this could be the ones for the world and the other for the China market. As to CDMA, I am in agreement that it will not happen before 2011. Another thing, we also heard that AT&T is in discussions to extend the agreement and I wonder how this is progressing.
     
  11. hf1khal

    hf1khal Who am I to judge
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    Here is another article in BusinessWeek:

    Link: New Gear from Apple and Verizon Wireless? - BusinessWeek


    Telecommunications April 27, 2009, 5:55PM EST text size: TT
    New Gear from Apple and Verizon Wireless?
    The companies are in talks to develop two iPhone-like handhelds that could be unveiled as soon as this year
    By Spencer E. Ante and Arik Hesseldahl

    Verizon Wireless is warming to the idea of an Apple (AAPL) partnership. Verizon Wireless is in talks with Apple to distribute two new iPhone-like devices, BusinessWeek has learned. Apple has created prototypes of the devices, and discussions reaching back a half-year have involved Apple CEO Steve Jobs, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    One device is a smaller, less expensive calling device described by a person who has seen it as an "iPhone lite." The other is a media pad that would let users listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos, the person says. It would place calls over a Wi-Fi connection. One of these devices may be introduced as early as this summer, one person says.

    Until now, AT&T (T) has been the only carrier of Apple's iPhone in the U.S., adding more than 7 million subscribers as a result of the arrangement; the company has said it's in talks with Apple to extend the partnership, due to end as soon as next year. An agreement to distribute Apple communication devices via Verizon Wireless may cost AT&T some of the business it has gained as the sole Apple carrier. Even if Verizon Wireless and Apple fail to strike a deal, talks between them increase pressure on AT&T to accept partnership terms favorable to Apple.

    A Turnabout for Verizon Wireless
    In a recent interview with BusinessWeek, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed that the company has spoken with Apple executives. "In the last six months, I have talked to Steve Jobs," McAdam says. Although McAdam would not say what the two companies discussed, two people familiar with the subject said talks covered the new smaller iPhone-like device under development. Representatives of Verizon Wireless and Apple declined to comment. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel says: "We are delighted with the iPhone and our partnership with Apple." The company declined to make an executive available.

    The recent round of talks marks a turnabout for Verizon Wireless, which initially balked at becoming the exclusive U.S. distributor of the iPhone. Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications (VZ) and Vodafone (VOD), chafed at Apple's request early on to take a cut of the phone's monthly service fees and its desire to choose which retailers could sell the phone. Despite the failure of that deal, McAdam says "there is no animosity" between the two companies.

    While talks between Verizon Wireless and Apple have heated up recently, no deal is imminent. It's possible both sides may disagree over financial terms, such as how big a subsidy Verizon Wireless might pay for each device or whether to share monthly service revenue with Apple. Another deal breaker could be disagreements over distribution of wireless software applications. Apple is the exclusive provider and distributor of apps for the AT&T iPhone. If Apple requests a similar deal on newer devices, Verizon Wireless may balk.

    Whatever the outcome of Apple's discussions with Verizon Wireless, they at least could be used as a bargaining chip to help win concessions from AT&T. Apple may want AT&T to absorb an even larger portion of the costs of manufacturing the phone. Plus, it may seek to obtain promises from AT&T to beef up investments in its network and customer service operations. Many iPhone customers have complained about the quality of AT&T's wireless network. AT&T's success is so tied to the iPhone that it may have little choice but to accede to Apple's demands. Still, during Apple's quarterly earnings call on Apr. 22, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said: "We're very happy with the relationship that we have [with AT&T] and do not have a plan to change it."

    Potent Threat
    Apple could also use the prospect of an iPhone-esque device as leverage to prevent Verizon Wireless from introducing the Palm (PALM) Pre, or at least delay the introduction of the smartphone on Verizon's network. Sprint Nextel (S) is due to release the widely anticipated phone in June. Selling the Pre through Sprint, with 35.5 million subscribers, is less a threat to Apple's iPhone than if Verizon Wireless, with 86.6 million subscribers and a reputation for a superior network, were to begin distributing the device.

    USA Today reported on Apr. 27 that Verizon Wireless and Apple are discussing the development of a current version of the iPhone for Verizon Wireless. That would mark the first time Apple has produced a version of the iPhone for a CDMA wireless network, which is different from AT&T's GSM technology.

    But analysts say such a deal is unlikely because it would mean Apple would have to develop two versions of the same phone, which would increase the company's costs. "We believe such a deal is unlikely due to the technology hurdles involved in building and supporting its first CDMA iPhone," Gene Munster, a senior analyst at Piper Jaffray (PJC), wrote in a research note. Re-engineering the existing iPhone would also prove challenging from a design point of view, says Richard Doherty, research director of the Envisioneering Group. "You would be throwing away dollars," he says. "Part of the miracle of the iPhone is they have big volumes with the same design."

    Terms of the Apple-AT&T agreement haven't been made public, but they very likely impose strict limits on Apple's ability to introduce an iPhone on a rival network. Many analysts speculate Apple and AT&T will extend their agreement in some fashion.

    Smaller Media Pad
    The new Apple devices under development, if introduced, hold the potential to shake up the tech industry. The media pad is smaller than an Amazon (AMZN) Kindle electronic reader, but its touchscreen is bigger than the Kindle's, says the person who has seen it. Carriers such as Verizon and AT&T are keen on striking deals to supply wireless Internet access to these new small computing devices, such as netbooks, which represent revenue growth opportunities. Phone carriers also fear being cut out of their core markets for supplying land-line and wireless voice services.

    "The media pad category might go to Verizon," said the person who has seen the device. "We are talking about a device where people will say, 'Damn, why didn't we do this?' Apple is probably going to define the damn category."

    The new iPhone-like device is slightly thinner and smaller than the existing iPhone, people say. The reason the device is much cheaper than existing iPhones is that it relies on a so-called system on a chip, which incorporates many types of chips and drives down the cost of silicon in such devices, says one source familiar with the design. This new chip could also potentially be used in the media pad. "It will have a much lower cost that will blow away the margins on the BlackBerry and the iPhone," the person says.

    Ante is an associate editor for BusinessWeek. Hesseldahl is a reporter for BusinessWeek. With Peter Burrows in Silicon Valley and Olga Kharif in Portland, Ore.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Copyright 2000-2009 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved
     
  12. spleck

    spleck Tool
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  13. hf1khal

    hf1khal Who am I to judge
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    It keeps on getting more confusing:

    Microsoft reiterates what we knew: no first-party handset, no Zunephone

    Microsoft reiterates what we knew: no first-party handset, no Zunephone
    by Chris Ziegler, posted Apr 29th 2009 at 3:49AM

    While avoiding the juicier questions surrounding the mystery of Project Pink and its potential ties to Verizon for maximizing Pink's launch, a Microsoft spokesperson has issued new comments that reiterate the stance Redmond has held from time immemorial: there's no Zunephone, and furthermore, there won't be any Microsoft-branded phones.

    Of course, the devil could lie in the precise wording, and the exact quote was as follows: "Microsoft is not going into the phone hardware business. Microsoft is not building a Zune-specific phone." Just because there's not a "Zune-specific phone" doesn't mean you can't steal some Zune tech for the phone business, and we have every reason to believe that Microsoft would want to be building Zune-esque features into Windows Mobile -- you can start to see tiny slivers of that in 6.5 with the home screen design, for example -- so we're still pretty confident that Pink (or another project) will ultimately marry portions of the technology and branding. In other words: Zunephone, no; Zune on Windows Mobile, though? Yeah, sure, why not?
     

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