Monday, December 21, 2009

Latest iPhone nonsense

There's a post today on TUAW that breathlessly speculates that Apple's WWDC has booked Moscone from 6/28 through 7/2 (likely - they always book dates anonymously until it's actually announcement time) because that way they can announce an iPhone for Verizon and/or other US carriers (not likely).

Let me repeat myself one more time: Until the move to 4G (which may begin this coming year), Apple is highly unlikely to ever produce a version of the iPhone for CDMA carriers.  And by "highly unlikely" I mean "no chance in hell".  Now, let me remind you all as to why:

- The GSM 3G standard is what is used in virtually all of the world
- CDMA is entering its final run, 4G will replace it
- CDMA data networks cannot handle simultaneous voice and data
- All Apple gets from Verizon or Sprint is a small portion of their market, max
- Right now Apple makes one iPhone (yes, they still produce the older 3G as the entry model, and yes they make one without wifi for China - but it's still the same base phone and the chipsets are GSM-only), not two

In essence, Apple makes an iPhone for almost all of world + dog, excepting two US carriers and part of South Korea.  And they have the largest US GSM carrier in the fold.  The two US carriers they don't support are migrating to newer 4G technologies over the next year, and the largest CDMA carrier (Verizon) is migrating to LTE for 4G - same as AT&T.  CDMA is a dead end.  Why support it now?

Not that folks wouldn't buy a Verizon iPhone, even with the limitations that Verizon's network put on it.  They would.  But the reason I say "no way" is because Apple just is too smart to throw the engineering resources at a product with a very limited shelf life when they can get a lot better return by being on top of 4G.

And that day - Verizon'll be first in line, I bet.