Verizon Wireless iPhone Announcement Confirmed February Launch

verizonUpdate: Verizon has announced the iPhone, and it will launch on February 10, 2011, with the company accepting pre-orders starting on February 3. The iPhone model is slightly tweaked with buttons on the left side of the phone being pushed slightly higher, likely to address the antenna issues with the early models. All other sides look  identical to the AT&T version. There are some differences between Verizon and AT&T plans: Verizon is not offering consumers early phone upgrades, no global roaming, and no ability to simultaneously use voice and data features, as AT&T customers could. The company is expected to offer unlimited data for about $30 per month. The Verizon iPhone also offers hotspot support for up to five devices at the same time to share an Internet connection. The AT&T version does not, but applications for jailbroken iPhone devices are already available with even fewer restrictions. The Verizon iPhone does not come preinstalled with any third party applications, only traditional apps from Apple. It also does not have any branding to indicate the phone is from Verizon, rather, only Apple logos are on the device, just like you’d normally expect from any Apple product. The Verizon iPhone is operating on iOS 4.2.5, likely an OS that includes some tweaks for the CDMA version, without really any other differences except under-the-hood technical additions. When Verizon president and chief operating officer, Lowell McAdam, was asked about users not being able to simultaneously use voice and data, he replied, “people place different emphasis on things…they will make those sorts of tradeoffs,” he went on to say he couldn’t be happier at being able to tell people the iPhone is simply now available on Verizon. Mr. Seidenberg also said the company isn’t going for the Long Term Evolution network for now, just to get the iPhone working on its network ASAP. When asked about possible attenuation issues, he said there was sufficient time to make changes, and he expected the phone to work great on its 3G network. Despite the announcement, the Verizon stock (NYSE:VZ) is trading down about 20 basis points in mid-day trading.

According to people familiar with the matter who leaked information to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon wireless, the largest telecom carrier by the number of subscribers, tomorrow will announce that the company would carry Apple’s popular iPhone smartphone.

According to sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, an iPhone compatible version with Verizon networks would launch by the end of this month.

Reports also speculate that Verizon is preparing to provide unlimited data plans to entice consumers.

A significant number of iPhone users have long complained of poor reception associated with the AT&T network.

Having the option of being on the Verizon network could provide a better user experience when it comes to call quality, at least in certain parts of the U.S. were 3G coverage could be better with Verizon in some areas.

AT&T has been the exclusive network provider of the iPhone since the first generation iPhone device launched about three years ago.

Users have also long complained about expensive rate plans, something that could change with added competition with the phone being carried by Verizon as well.

Verizon declined to confirm the rumors as the company does not comment on rumors and speculation.

Assuming the sources that provided the information to The Wall Street Journal are correct, a Verizon iPhone could in fact be launched tomorrow, but again, the announcement is only based on information from confidential sources.

Verizon could merely use the event to discuss the company’s upcoming Long Term Evolution network, among other possible announcements, instead of an iPhone.

Nevertheless, a Verizon iPhone has long been rumored, and today, it is more likely than ever.

The Verizon press announcement will commence Thursday, January 11, 2010 at 11am, and we’ll be blogging live to bring you all of the details, as the break, so ensure to stay tuned for all of the latest.

The Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed up $6.33 per share to anew all time-high $342.45 per share at the close of today’s trading session.

The Apple stock is trading up nearly 80-percent from its January 2010 stock price of about $192 per share.

Verizon could sell about 10-million subsidized iPhone units this fiscal year, at about a $375 subsidy, costing Verizon about $3.7-billion just to add those subscribers.

Analyst expectations on future expected revenue from iPhone sales vary significantly, with some estimates expecting closer to 20-million sold iPhone units.

The Verizon stock (NYSE:VZ) closed nearly at par from Monday’s trading session at $35.92 per share. VZ has trended upward from about six months ago, trading up about 34-percent from that time period.

Adding the iPhone to the Verizon network could add millions of new subscribers, further propelling already strong earnings for the company, in turn, adding further upward pressure on Apple’s stock price from higher future expected earnings.


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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to hercules@business2press.com
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