“Regarding the idea that Apple may be preparing to launch a CDMA iPhone 4 on Verizon in January, DF reader email suggests there are two aspects to the story that lead to skepticism,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “First, the timing. Why launch in January? Second: the network technology. Why CDMA? The answers, I think, are related. What follows is pure speculation on my part.”
“Verizon is on the cusp of rolling out a next-generation 4G LTE network,” Gruber writes. “Wouldn’t it make sense for Apple to wait for LTE and skip CDMA altogether? That depends on the timing, I think. If Apple is willing to wait another year, or, if it simply takes another year to come to terms with Verizon, then sure, maybe the first Verizon iPhone will go straight to LTE. But if they want to start selling an iPhone on Verizon soon — meaning January — then CDMA is the only practical solution.”
“The whole point of expanding to Verizon is to gain market share in the U.S. It’s about high-volume iPhone sales, coast to coast,” Gruber writes. “A big part of the reason there’s so much demand for a Verizon iPhone is that so many people aren’t satisfied with AT&T’s coverage and quality. Even if their LTE rollout goes exactly as planned — a big “if” — LTE is going to be a niche technology in January, available in a few dozen cities. There may well be tens of million of Verizon customers in those cities, but Apple would want a Verizon iPhone to be aimed squarely at all Verizon customers. The message: ‘Everyone waiting for a Verizon iPhone: here it is.'”
“Which leads to the question of why launch a CDMA in January, rather than, say, waiting another six months and expanding to Verizon on the iPhone’s regular new-model-year schedule. In short: six months is a long time in this market,” Gruber writes. “I’m imagining a scenario like this. Release a CDMA iPhone 4 on Verizon in January. Sell it for six months, as a Verizon peer to the $199/299 iPhone 4 models at AT&T. Then, come June, unveil the fifth-generation iPhone during the WWDC keynote.”
There’s much more in the full article – recommended – here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “qka” for the heads up.]