Why Apple Will Not Release a CDMA iPhone in the US

  1. Verizon was offered the iPhone first and turned it down.
  2. Verizon historically exerts more control over their handsets than Apple would be comfortable with.
  3. The Verizon DROID ad campaign has been totally anti-iPhone.
  4. CDMA is a dying standard. Verizon will be moving to LTE in the next few years, by 2013.
  5. CDMA does not allow a phone to use the data and voice channels at the same time. Using WIFI gets around this issue, but it is suboptimal.
  6. GSM is a global standard which is used by the primary carriers in most countries. Telstra, in Australia closed down their CDMA network in 2008.
  7. Rumors of a CDMA iPhone for the Chinese market have turned out to be false. There are several wireless technologies commonly called “CDMA” and which are unrelated. WCDMA is used in China and is compatible with GSM. CDMA2000 is used in the US and Canada, among other places.

On the other hand:

  1. Verizon has roughly 93 million subscribers, which would be a big group of potential iPhone owners. In 2009, 15% of ATT subscribers had iPhones. If the same number of Verizon customers switched, that would be almost 14 million more iPhone owners. If Verizon was paying the “full” price of $600 / iPhone to Apple as ATT does, that’s 8,400,000,000 ($8.4 billion) for Apple.

Apple’s been earning money like crazy, having sold 8.75 million iPhones in Q2 2010, and it’s known that they don’t pursue markets just for the cash flow. Their movies have been quite strategic. That, plus the reasons I outline above make me think that there will be no iPhone on Verizon.

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