The rumor mill around a CDMA-friendly model of the iPhone device has jumped up a notch. Verizon Wireless customers have long clamored for an iPhone of their very own, one that does not require them to switch to arch-nemesis AT&T Wireless… Allegedly, they’ll have their wish this holiday season.
According to an article published last week on TheStreet.com, Apple told iPhone manufacturing partner Asustek to start get ready for full-scale production of an iPhone that will support CDMA technology, which is what Verizon Wireless devices use. And the supposed release date would be as early as November of this year, according to the report.
If this is true, this will be consistent with the approach that Apple is said to be moving towards in its international markets — start with a single exclusive provider, then gradually expand to others in an effort to continue building market share.
The good news for AT&T? All of the existing iPhone users who choose to upgrade to the new model — expected to be announced next week — will have to get a new two-year service contract through AT&T Wireless. And that, of course, means AT&T will have locked them in through 2012, in theory preventing many of them from jumping ship to competitors like Verizon Wireless.
Including me. You may safely assume I will be getting the next-gen version as soon as possible, and signing my cellphone soul to AT&T Wireless for the next two years. You win this round, AT&T!