Apple Working on CDMA iPhone for Verizon? [UPDATED]
Looks like Apple (AAPL) may have decided to add Verizon (VZ) as an iPhone carrier, because The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is working on two new iPhones, a fourth-generation model and another designed for a CDMA network like Verizon’s.
Sources tell The Journal that Pegatron Technology, Apple’s manufacturing partner for the CDMA device, is scheduled to begin mass-producing the new iPhone in September, though it is not yet clear when or on whose network the company intends to launch it. The publication says the new model “appears” to be designed for Verizon Wireless. But other carriers use the CDMA standard–Sprint (S), China Telecom and SK Telecom, to name a few.
That said, Verizon certainly seems a likely candidate, as the carrier would immediately give Apple access to about 80 million new customers. But rumors of an Apple-Verizon deal for the iPhone and the iPad have been circulating for quite some time and none have ever panned out. Which is not to say they won’t pan out this time, just that The Journal has not yet been able to confirm that they will.
A Verizon iPhone would, of course, be bad news for AT&T (T). As I’ve noted here before, a move to nonexclusivity in the U.S. would likely have some negative impact on the carrier’s subscriber base.
[This post was clarified and updated with new details at 2:45 pm PDT]