At least once a week I get an e-mail from a friend or reader asking me whether I think a Verizon iPhone will be announced on June 7 when Steve Jobs is expected to unveil the fourth-generation iPhone at Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference). A lot of the folks who e-mail me have fulfilled their contracts and are free to go to whichever carrier they want but are anti-AT&T. Others, of course, are simply loyal Verizon subscribers who refuse to switch to AT&T to get an iPhone.
"Have you heard anything on the Verizon iPhone situation?" one guy, seemingly desperate for information, asked me recently, "Can you offer some guidance? Need to replace my Samsung Omnia. Help."
From his desperate plea it sounded like he was hoping I had some sort of inside info and that I might provide a coded tip-off, a little wink, if you will. Alas, I could only deliver my humble opinion, which probably wasn't worth much, but it was better than no response at all (yes, I answer most of the e-mails you send).
Here's what I said, bullet-pointed for easy reference. Just remember: this is entirely an educated guess on my part.
- Yes, the Verizon iPhone is coming.
- No, Apple won't announce it at WWDC.
- In a renegotiated deal with Apple, AT&T will give up exclusivity rights to the iPhone.
- As part of the deal, AT&T will get to sell the new iPhone for a few months before Verizon sells it.
- Unlike Sprint's new EVO, neither the new AT&T or Verizon iPhone will be true 4G phones (both AT&T and Verizon's 4G networks aren't expected to launch until well into 2011).
- The Verizon iPhone will be announced and launched sometime in the fall (perhaps it'll be the "one more thing" at the inevitable September iPod/iTunes event).
- Some outrage will rightly follow--but it won't hurt sales.
Take it for what you will. And so what if AT&T announced it was increasing its early-termination fee to a whopping $325 on June 1, fueling rumors that a Verizon iPhone was coming soon (an AT&T rep said it had "nothing to do with the iPhone or any other device.")? It's my story and I'm sticking to it--for now, anyway.
Am I wrong?