Rumors the iPhone is headed for Verizon's wireless network will not die. The latest crop of speculation surfaced Friday and traces back to Taiwan-based hardware maker Pegatron that will reportedly start manufacturing a Verizon-compatible iPhone in November. That is according to a new report from Digitimes.
For the iPhone to work on Verizon's CDMA network, Apple's phone would need to be built with slightly different components. Foxconn, based in China, currently produces the GSM version of the iPhone that works on AT&T and other GSM carriers around the world. Pegatron is expected to make up to 4 million CDMA iPhones in the first three months and 10 million by mid-2011, according to Digitimes.
The new report comes just one day after Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg appeared to quash rumors that his company would offer the iPhone in January. The Verizon chief suggested his network wouldn't be carrying the iPhone before its new LTE 4G cellular network was in place. The next-generation network will be available in 25-30 cities by the end of 2010, and will cover most of the nation by 2012, according to the Associated Press. Seidenberg's recent comments echo similar statements the Verizon chief made in April.
Rumors about the iPhone coming to Verizon have been circulating for almost as long as the iPhone has been around. Nevertheless, reports that a CDMA-based iPhone is in the works have significantly increased in recent months. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Pegatron would begin producing CDMA iPhones by September. Then in late June, Bloomberg Businessweek reported the iPhone would launch on Verizon's network by January.
In August, AT&T inadvertently ramped up the Verizon iPhone rumors with some vague statements the company made in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The wireless carrier appeared to be preparing its investors for the end of iPhone exclusivity in the United States saying it offered a wide range of phones to reduce "dependence on any single handset." Many critics assumed AT&T's statement was a reference to the iPhone since the company regularly reports record-breaking numbers after Apple launches a new iPhone. In June, the company said day the first day of pre-order sales for the iPhone 4 was ten times higher than the same period for the iPhone 3GS in 2009.
Despite the popularity of rumors about the iPhone coming to Verizon, some analysts and Apple watchers have a new theory that the iPhone could come to Sprint or T-Mobile before it hits Verizon's network.
Whatever the fate of the iPhone in the U.S., it's clear we can expect many new rumors about the iPhone coming to Verizon over the next few months.