USA Today reports this morning that Apple and Verizon are talking about the possible release of an iPhone on America’s largest cellular network when the AT&T exclusive expires next year.
As the paper notes, this is the biggest thing Apple could do to grow cellular market share in the US. (The paper doesn’t note that this is an old rumor that has been discounted before).
If the rumor is true, this would mean that Tim Cook was just practicing misdirection when he told analysts during the earnings call last week:
From a technology point of view as you know, Verizon is on CDMA and we chose from the beginning of the iPhone to focus on one phone for the whole of the world and when you do that, you really go down the GSM route, because CDMA is – doesn’t really have a life to it after a point in time.It sounds like Tim has been learning Apple secretiveness from the master, even more evidence that he’s preparing to run the company on a permanent basis.
Certainly I agree with USA Today that the big loser in any Apple-Verizon deal would be AT&T. In fact, people who prefer Verizon would presumably hold off switching to AT&T until they see if they will be able to get an iPhone 4.0 on their favorite carrier.