Verizon iPhone Story Refuses to Die

The rumors that Verizon will be selling a model of the Apple's wildly successful iPhone next year have more lives than a comic book villain. Here are some of the latest developments in a story that's as persistent as a bad cold and just as incurable.

After reporting that a "Verizon compatible" iPhone would be produced by Apple for the nation's largest wireless carrier, the Wall Street Journal revised its report on the subject. It now says that production of a Verizon iPhone--similar to the iPhone 4 and based on an "alternate" technology--will begin at the end of this year. It is being produced by Pegatron Technology Corp., the contract manufacturing subsidiary of Taiwan's Asustek Computer. Shipments are expected in the first quarter of 2011.

Not so fast, says Infosync. If Pegatron is producing an iPhone, would-be buyers should be worried, it contends. "Pegatron, primarily a PC manufacturer, doesn't have much experience in manufacturing smartphones," it opines.

"Does it sound like a viable path to let an inexperienced manufacturer produce an iPhone for Verizon Wireless?" it asks. "No, of course it doesn't."

"If true," it adds, "we should all cross our fingers and hope the iPhone for Verizon Wireless will work as intended"

Why has it taken so long to finalize a deal? Delays were pegged to Apple's insistence on controlling the retail outlets for the new phone and protecting the turf of its iTunes store, according to the Journal. Apple did not want Verizon's retail partners to sell the phone. It also wanted Verizon not to sell music and videos on the phone through its proprietary V Cast service.

The Journal, as well as other observers, are assuming the Verizon iPhone will be based on CDMA technology. The current iPhone uses the GSM standard, one used by most of the rest of the world. Apple considered making a combination GSM/CDMA iPhone for Verizon but scrapped the idea, according to the Journal.

But that alternative technology may indeed be an alternative technology, argues David Goldman, writing for CNNMoney. It may be LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless. The 4G technology is 10 times faster than existing 3G tech and Verizon will be rolling out its LTE network by the end of the year. It will be available in 38 cities and reach 110 million Americans. The new network could easily accommodate the data demands of a new iPhone, something existing iPhone carrier AT&T has had trouble handling. And an LTE iPhone could boost the demand for the new network.

This latest crop of rumors stirred up by the Wall Street Journal has more than a few folks screaming, "Stop!" and sharing these sentiments by Washington Post columnist Rob Pegoraro:

"I believe I speak for every tech reporter in America when I write this: Very few things would make me happier than not to have to answer 'When is the iPhone coming to Verizon?' questions anymore. Seriously--I hate this story. So, please, companies involved: Make it go away, one way or another."

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