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Will the iPhone 4 be coming to Verizon Wireless? Latest rumors

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4 today, the one question on many potential buyer's minds was: when will it come to Verizon Wireless? In the United States, the iPhone 4 is exclusively available for the AT&T network which is widely regarded as being inferior and slower than the Verizon Wireless network. Indeed, Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and many other popular comedy shows have made fun of the poor quality of call reception and data download speeds on AT&T.

Perhaps the latest annoyance is that the new iPhone 4 supports a front-facing camera for video chat, but AT&T does not allow you to use the video chat option over the 3G data connection; you are required to use WiFi only. This of course defeats the point of having video chat and 3G data in the first place.

However, all may not be in vain. Speculating fueled in part by a report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that a Verizon-compatible (CDMA-based) iPhone 4 is in the works and will launch in the fall. The only publicly available confirmation is something slightly suspicious about AT&T's contract renewal policy: AT&T is allowing customers to upgrade to the new iPhone BEFORE their contract expires, thereby locking them in for another 2 years.

This led many to ask: why? This obviously costs AT&T money, and AT&T did not offer this last year when the iPhone 3GS was unveiled. Therefore, it is believed by some that this is an attempt to lock customers in to another 2-years of AT&T service before the Verizon-compatible iPhone 4 SKU is released this fall. A fall release date might make sense since the hardware would need to be customized for Verizon's network.

Update: The Wall Street Journal reports that Pegatron will be manufacturing a CDMA-based iPhone that will allegedly be "slimmer" than the iPhone 4, and that delivery to Apple will begin in September, 2010. GSM-based iPhones are manufactured by Foxconn.

It is also, of course, possible that AT&T is just being nice. It is believed by some that AT&T's exclusive deal with Apple for the iPhone is actually a 5-year deal, rather than a 2-year deal which would mean that no Verizon version will be coming. Such a deal would certainly mean that a Verizon version is impossible. The exact details of the agreement, however, are not known publicly.

by Margaret Walker on Mon, 06/07/2010 - 21:31

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