Apple iPhone could come to Verizon in 2011 with new LTE network

Apple’s popular iPhone smartphone has been sold exclusively through the telecom AT&T in the U.S. since the very first generation of the device that launched about five years ago.

Five years later, the latest iPhone 4 is still only available on the AT&T network in the United States, but that could change as soon as next summer.

Apple has not built an iPhone that supports the CDMA network standard, the same standard used by the biggest telecom in the United States, Verizon.

Verizon chief executive Mr. Seidenberg told investors today that his company had no plans to launch Apple’s iPhone 4 in the near future, but expressed his favor of carrying the iPhone in the future.

 Verizon is currently readying the launch of its new voice and data network, Long Term Evolution 4G (LTE 4G) that will be ready for use by the end of this year.

Smartphone devices are expected to support the service by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

It is widely believed Apple will opt to support the LTE network standard, which could see a Verizon launch some time in mid 2011, when Apple is expected to launch the next-generation iPhone.

Verizon did not speculate if Apple would support the standard, but industry analyst believe the company will as it tries to maximize sales on the biggest network in the U.S., which has more than 50-million subscribers nationwide.

Additionally, consumers have long complained of poor reception on the AT&T network, and many will find the option of switching to Verizon very welcoming.

A recent survey (2,000 sample size, normally distributed) conducted by one of the top accounting firms in North America, Deloitte Inc., concluded that almost half of iPhone AT&T customers surveyed responded that they would be “very interested” in switching from AT&T to Verizon.

AT&T CEO Mr. Stephenson subsequently responded to the survey results at a Goldman Sachs meeting by saying a significant number of total iPhone subscribers (including commercial users) were locked to the network with a term contract and that those users typically do not turnover given the complexity of exiting contracts.

The CDMA network standard is largely only popular in North America, while telecoms mainly use the GSM standard.

In Canada, Rogers Communications previously held a monopoly over the country’s GSM networks as it owned its only competitor, Fido.

A joint partnership between competing CDMA telecoms, Bell and Telus, invested over $1-billion in infrastructure to support GSM 3G devices.

As a result, in Canada, the iPhone is available at all major carriers, including Rogers, Fido, Telus, and Bell, but still, Canadian’s have not benefited as widely as expected since the iPhone remains aggressively priced at all of the carriers.

The Verizon stock (NYSE:VZ) is trading down but nearly at par from today’s opening price, at $32.26 per share.

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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 [email protected]
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  • Abc

    Who cares? Droid is just fine. The new Samsung Fascinate is an impressive smart phone.

    • Hercules K

      I really think Android will do really well in the future, Google is taking the right step of making Android open and free for device makers, it will really penetrate the mobile market because of that strategy and that is exactly why Gartner Research is now forecasting Android would over edge out RIM from 2nd top smartphone-maker

  • Codercotton

    Or, 3 years ago, since the first iPhone came out in June 2007…

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