Citing anonymous sources, USA Today reported that Verizon Wireless and Apple are in talks to bring a CDMA version of the iPhone to Verizon’s network.
Analysts and industry insiders have reacted with a degree of skepticism to recent stories of Apple breaking its exclusivity with AT&T. Few believe that Apple would gain from such a deal given the expense of developing a CDMA-capable iPhone.
Verizon has set a goal of 2010 for the roll out of its LTE network; such a rollout would limit the potential lifetime of a CDMA version of the iPhone to a couple of years. Many speculate that Apple will wait until LTE is more widely available before making a break from AT&T.
None of the companies involved – Apple, AT&T or Verizon – would comment on the rumors.
Apple’s flagship device is seen as keeping AT&T profitable in hard economic times. AT&T reported 1.6 million iPhones activated in the first quarter of 2009, with wireless data revenue growth up 38.6 percent from the same quarter of 2008.
Verizon Wireless today reported better-than-expected numbers, including subscriber gains that topped AT&T's 1.2 million net subscribers.