I’ve been saying for quite some time now, that Apple wouldn’t release an iPhone on the Verizon Wireless network unless and until they had successfully rolled out their LTE network. It appears I was wrong.
Apple and Verizon recently announced that they would make the Verizon iPhone available on February 10, 2001… And they are NOT waiting for LTE implementation. The phone is going to be a CDMA only, based phone.
Ok, so, I admit it. I was wrong.
To all the people that I spoke to about this subject, in detail, I was wrong. While everyone, me included, knows that Apple and Verizon Wireless would be a good marriage, I really didn’t think that Apple would go for the iPhone on a CDMA based network. I, and many others, thought that both companies would wait until their LTE network had been implemented. Apparently we were wrong.
The manufacturing costs associated with what appear to be minor device design modifications coupled with the the radio/chip mods now made possible by smaller QUALCOMM chips, clearly were reasonable. Apple obviously went after the money they saw on the table; and implementing the device now, as opposed to later was worth the expense.
What does this mean in the long term? Good question. With Verizon’s announcement of their LTE network and with Apple’s iPhone set to rev sometime this summer (as of this writing, June/July 2011), it could mean a couple things.
- Obsolete devices – Apple’s iPhone 5 is anticipated this summer. Everyone is expecting it to include support for true 4G (HSPA+ and LTE at least…WiMAX..? Who knows.) The current CDMA iPhone 4 will be old and outdated in just a few months. It might be a good idea to hold out until the product revs so you have the latest, greatest hardware.
- Increased Revenue for both Apple & VzW – With an estimated 16% of AT&T customers jumping ship to get their iPhone goodness on a different network, both companies have guaranteed that they will likely show an impressive profit during 2011. They’ve scraped the money off the table, and it [appears to be] is good.
- Existing VzW iPhone Customers who can, may buy new hardware – Don’t put it past those that can… If they have the means and make the jump, I’d expect at least 1-2% (if not more) of those customers that DO move from AT&T to Verizon’s iPhone NOW to also buy the new iPhone when its released later this year. Apple fans have been known to do this; and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
So, this is going to be an interesting year; and I fully expect to see some interesting news from Apple as we move forward. I fully expect some up and down from them, given Steve’s new medical leave of absence; but all-in-all, I expect them to do very well over the next 5-10 years regardless of who’s steering the ship.