As long suspected, Verizon Wireless will begin selling a version – or versions – of the Apple iPhone in January, at least according to “two people familiar with the plans” who spoke to Amy Thomson from Bloomberg news.
This would end AT&T Mobility’s exclusive reign over Apple’s smartphones in the United States, a move sure to make many Verizon customers happy – and to lower prices across the board as the two carriers battle for subscribers.
Verizon has been hard at work on its 4G data network, LTE, since 2007. Whether or not a Verizon iPhone would employ this type of data connectivity is unknown.
Some have speculated that the current iPhone 4 might have powered-down CDMA hardware already built-in, speculation fueled by a request Apple made to the FCC [PDF link] to keep some of the device’s technical details under wraps for a time. This is possible, but unlikely. If true, however, it wouldn’t require Apple to have a dedicated CDMA handset produced to work with Verizon’s network. All existing iPhones are sold by – and work with – GSM carriers around the world.
It’s also unknown whether Apple would broaden iPhone availability to other U.S. carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile once their AT&T exclusivity agreement is no longer in effect.