Wait, What? Verizon to Get iPhone Soon, say Reports
Depending on your sources, Apple's iPhone is either coming to Verizon this summer or is locked up with AT&T until 2012.
This week, Engadget confirmed that AT&T inked a deal to carry the iPhone exclusively for five years, starting in 2007. But now CrunchGear reports that marketing company Landor Associaties is creating an iPhone advertising campaign for Verizon Wireless. CrunchGear's John Biggs, who quotes an unnamed tipster, says the rumor "very nearly confirms" a late summer Verizon iPhone launch.
Who's right? On one hand, contracts are subject to change, so the fact that Apple and AT&T signed a deal through 2012 doesn't necessarily seal the iPhone's fate as a Ma Bell exclusive. And CrunchGear's tipster specifically called out Landor's Brad Scott, who handles Verizon's account, as the man in charge of this iPhone campaign.
Still, you can't ignore the rumors and speculation that say a Verizon iPhone is nowhere in sight. BroadPoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall believes AT&T got a six-month extension on iPhone exclusivity from this summer, in exchange for offering cut-rate 3G data plans on Apple's iPad. In March, sources told the Wall Street Journal that a CDMA-enabled iPhone -- the mobile phone standard Verizon uses -- would go into production this September, but other sources said the time frame could change and availability could be delayed.
The Journal then followed up with other analysts from Credit Suisse, UBS and Hudson Square Research, none of whom think the Verizon iPhone is happening this year. Ditto with Barclays capital analyst Vijay Jayant, who told All Things D that AT&T's lock on the iPhone could last through the end of 2010.
CrunchGear's report provides a small hope for the significant percentage of Verizon subscribers who've hungered for the iPhone, but if Apple announced a Verizon iPhone this summer, it'd be a shock.