Maybe the iPhone 4G, says Verizon’s Seidenberg

April 17, 2009

Although there’s been a groundswell of support for the idea that Apple should end AT&T’s monopoly on US distribution, apparently no work is being done behind the scenes to make it a reality any time soon. Or, at least that’s one way to read some off-hand remarks by one of the industry’s top CEOs.

Recently, reports from knowledgeable bloggers and in the mainstream media have established the AT&T is seeking to extend its exclusive hold on iPhone distribution in the US. A fair percentage of those of the same group of writers and pundits, including Blorge (see box below), have come out against the idea, saying it’s high time to bring competition to this market space.

For better or worse, comments by Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg being carried by Total Telecom would seem to indicate that, at the very least, Apple hasn’t been talking to the US’ biggest wireless carrier about near term cooperation:

Seidenberg also addressed the notion of Apple’s iPhone ever coming to the Verizon Wireless network, saying it is more likely that Apple would be willing to work with the carrier under the fourth-generation, or 4G, network, which follows the same technology standard as AT&T’s 4G plans. He said Apple never seriously considered making a CDMA version of the iPhone because it didn’t have as wide a distribution opportunity.

See also:
AT&T To Apple: Come On, What’s Two More Years? (CNN)
Extending AT&T’s Exclusivity Is Bad For Consumers, Apple? (Washington Post)
Why Apple Should Not Extend AT&T’s Exclusive iPhone Service Deal (Cult of Mac)

Verizon’s 4G network will begin roll out next year.

Of course, the technically most likely carrier for Apple to add is T-Mobile, whose network is iPhone compatible with little or no modification needed.

With Verizon temporarily out of the picture, is there any real possibility of carrier choice coming to the US this year? I’m guessing the chances are quite slim, but haven’t entirely given up hope…

What’s your take?

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