Verizon and Apple in ‘high level’ talks over iPhone

“Verizon and Apple are discussing the possible development of an iPhone for Verizon, with the goal of introducing it next year, people familiar with the situation say.
It would mark the first time Apple has produced a version of the iPhone for a CDMA wireless network, which is different from AT&T’s GSM technology. Vodafone, co-owner of Verizon Wireless, already sells the iPhone in Europe,” Leslie Cauley reports for USA Today.

“The New York-based telecom entered into ‘high-level’ discussions with Apple management a few months ago, when CEO Steve Jobs was overseeing day-to-day business, these sources say. They declined to be named because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly,” Cauley reports. “Jobs is on medical leave until June, but the conversations are continuing, they say. Apple declined to comment.”

“AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights to the iPhone into 2010, though specifics aren’t known. The deal was struck in 2006, when the iPhone was still on the drawing board. Many telecom analysts expect AT&T to try to persuade Apple to extend the contract for another year, at least,” Cauley reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing like putting the fear of Jobs into your carrier partner just before it’s time to ink a new deal. Or, perhaps, maybe Apple really is ready to finally blow this iPhone thing wide open. If Apple were to offer iPhone on both AT&T and Verizon, the slim hopes and weak dreams of many of the second-tier players (Palm, Sprint, etc.), not to mention the companies themselves, would be eviscerated.

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