According to UBS Investment Research analyst Maynard Um, Apple might be close to announcing a partnership with Verizon Wireless. He suggests people could see a data-centric Apple device being offered through the wireless provider. While this reeks of the fabled Mac tablet, I'm hoping that the iPhone will come along for the ride. Here are five reasons why Apple should offer the iPhone through Verizon.
1. It would provide a major boost to iPhone sales: For a good number of people (whom I used to be one of), the iPhone is appealing, but AT&T is a deal breaker. Providing a second provider would capture these customers. Additionally, existing iPhone customers wanting to upgrade to the 3GS might find that jumping from AT&T to Verizon provides the perfect excuse to get a new phone with a new contract.
2. MMS: With the newest iPhone software, AT&T is now the weak link when it comes to the lack MMS on the iPhone. Surely Verizon, needing to provide features to entice customers, would offer Multimedia Messaging Services.
3. Tethering: As with MMS, we don't know for sure that Verizon would offer tethering. However, for the sake of competition, I'm betting they would. To remain competitive, AT&T would have to follow suit.
4. Dropped Calls: When a guy like wine guru Gary Vaynerchuck takes the time to complain about AT&T in a video blog, you know there's an issue. Verizon customers don't seem to suffer nearly as badly from dropped calls.
5. Voice Mail Delays: I know I'm not alone in this. On a good number of occasions, someone will call and leave me a message. Hours later, the message will finally show up in visual voicemail. Sometimes the messages are important and time sensitive. This feature is far too critical to have this kind of delay. We don't know that Verizon wouldn't screw this up too, but I'd be willing to give them a shot.
I know Apple has a sweetheart deal with AT&T, and that the notorious wireless provider pays handsomely for the privilege. However, it's been over two years, and I think it's time for Apple to give the public the option of a choice of wireless providers.
Michael Scalisi is an IT manager based in Alameda, California.