CNBC’s Goldman: Apple deal with Verizon for iPhone ‘unlikely’

Today, there’s “a new round of rumors swirling that Apple has entered into negotiations with Verizon to offer a new iPhone and a new tablet device, what BusinessWeek calls a ‘media pad’ that plays music, videos and displays digital photos. The BusinessWeek story follows a similar story in USA Today yesterday that Apple and Verizon had opened up discussions,” Jim Goldman reports for CNBC.

“All of this comes as speculation begins to grow that Apple might be interested in ending its exclusivity arrangement with AT&T, since the partnership’s original contract ends next year,” Goldman reports. “I asked Apple this morning if the exclusivity deal with AT&T and iPhone covers just that one product or all wireless devices that Apple might want to release, such as a new version of iPhone, or that media pad referenced above. Apple won’t comment at all about the terms of its deal with AT&T.”

“Apple won’t comment on these specific rumors, but instead reiterates the powerful partnership it enjoys with AT&T as way to diffuse this story,” Goldman reports. “Officially from Apple this morning: ‘AT&T is a very good partner and we believe that they’re the best wireless provider in the US. They have done a very good job with iPhone, putting the full force and weight of their company behind it. We’re very happy with the relationship that we have and do not have a plan to change it.’ And this: ‘From a technology point of view, Verizon is on CDMA and we chose from the beginning of the iPhone to go with GSM and focus on one phone for the whole of the world. We believe that CDMA doesn’t really have a life to it after a point in time.'”

Goldman writes, “At this point, based on the facts and statements from AT&T, Apple, and even Verizon’s nebulous we’ve-talked-but-we’re-not-saying-what-about comments, I have to believe an iPhone deal with Verizon falls squarely in the camp of ‘unlikely.'”

More in the full article here.

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