The rumor that Apple was going to expand the number of carriers for the iPhone is true. A report was recently released stating that Apple will release a new iPhone that will be compatible with other carriers than AT&T, such as Verizon Wireless. The Verizon compatible phones will be available in early 2011.
This could be in part because of the growing competition that Apple’s iPhone has faced with the release of new Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile smartphone devices. While the iPhone has been a great success, as over 40 million iPhone devices were sold worldwide in this year alone, Apple still feels the need to one up the competition with a Verizon-compatible phone. Verizon Wireless is Apple’s next target because Verizon stands to be the biggest carrier by subscribers in the U.S.
The Verizon-compatible iPhones will be mass produced at the end of this year. They should be available for retail in the first quarter of next year. While the phone will be very similar to the iPhone 4, there will be minor changes to accommodate Verizon Wireless technology.
Verizon Wireless is preparing for this change as representatives have met with Apple several times to test Verizon’s networks in an effort to ensure that Verizon is ready for the increased data load from iPhone users. Verizon Communications Inc.’s president, Lowell McAdam, said, “At some point out business interest are going to align. I fully expect it, but I don’t have anything to say.” This was in reference to Apple.
This is bad news for AT&T, as the iPhone has contributed to a large part of the wireless company’s success. Also, Verizon is known to have a better network so this could be trouble for AT&T.
[Photo courtesy of hilltopoutdoorcentre.]