People who desperately want an iPhone, but refuse to sign up with AT&T, have long waited for official word that a new version of the iPhone is forthcoming: one that will support other carriers like Verizon Wireless. Speculation and rumors have been growing into a frenzy recently that the option was fast approaching.
Looks like they may be waiting a bit longer than they thought.
According to Business Insider, it now appears that the Verizon-Wireless-friendly version of the iPhone won’t be available until Q1 of next year, rather than sometime in the summer of 2010 as was expected. What’s behind the change, you ask?
Allegedly, it’s the unexpectedly low pricing plan for the iPad, exclusively sold on the AT&T Wireless network. Because the unlimited plan is only $29.99 per month, and there is no contract required for wireless usage, travelers can add and drop wireless 3G coverage as their schedules require.
When you consider that 24 hours of Internet access in a hotel room tends to cost $10 a pop, someone who will be traveling for 3 nights throughout a given month can grab a full month of 3G service for the same price, then cancel when traveling subsides. The combination of a relatively low cost, and no long-term commitment, is a great value proposition.
So did AT&T’s concession on iPad pricing buy it several more months of iPhone exclusivity? BusinessInsider.com said so in their May 6th article linked up above, but then contradicted itself around on May 9th and referenced another article saying a Verizon-friendly iPhone might be coming this summer. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
For the record, I’m perfectly happy with my AT&T service. But then, I don’t live in New York City, San Francisco, and other major metropolitan areas with a overwhelming iPhone-carrying population. As long as AT&T improves their network capacity before I eventually move to NYC, I’m a happy customer.