Verizon Adds iPhone
The year could not have begun on a happier note for Verizon and potential iPhone users after the president and the chief executive of Verizon Wireless, Lowell McAdam, made the announcement yesterday. Verizon Wireless, the largest US mobile network operator is set to launch Apple’s iPhone on February 10, which would be the first exclusive appearance of iPhone on the Verizon network with a few other carriers.
The broader and more robust reach of Verizon over its rival AT&T is the major reason for this step as hinted by Mr. McAdam. “This is something customers have been waiting for for years,” Mr McAdam said. Pricing plans will soon be announced.
After the success of several smartphones, the most important being the Google’s Android based systems in the US market, Apple has constantly been trying to expand its current iPhone customer base. The latest November report by Comscore suggests that Apple despite growing its share to 25 percent, is behind Google. Google’s increase is attributed to the growth over the previous three months with 6.4 percent ranking it at the second spot in the list with 26 percent of subscribers. RIM (Research in Motion), the Blackberry family, is still at the top with 33.5% despite a negative change of 4.1 percent.
The joint Venture between Britain’s Vodafone and Verizon, Verizon Wireless is believed to sell around 5m to 13m iPhones to maintain their status as the largest network operator in the US. Verizon Wireless’ 93m customer base would help Apple earn $6bn additional revenue.
The heavy data usage by iPhone users made AT&T struggle quite a few times. Learning from this, the new iPhone will have a CDMA installed chip inside and a redesigned antenna. The Code Division Multiple Access technology will help the new iPhone to operate on the Verizon Wireless 3G network.
There had been a few speculations that the latest iPhone would operate on the 4G mobile network based on LTE (Long Term Evolution) that makes data transfer 10 times speedier than 3G. Citing design challenges for the needed chips, Apple Executives were unwilling to wait for a full LTE roll out as they want Verizon wireless customers to have the iPhone sooner. Yes, apparently we can hardly wait!
AT&T’s iPhone customers faced persistent dropped calls and other network problems due to lack of preparation for the huge data surge brought on by the iPhone users.
It has still not been revealed whether Verizon is yet to pay Apple a subsidy; however, if John Hodulik, an analyst at UBS is correct, with the $400 subsidy this year Apple’s 2011 revenues could be boosted considerably So like its worst enemy AT&T, Verizon too will need to convince people to sign long-term contracts.
Apple analyst, Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray wrote on Monday that Verizon could sell the same number of iPhones as its rival AT&T mostly to existing AT&T customers with around a couple of million untapped customers (bored teenagers) as other subscribers. Apple could get 2.5m new users with additional revenue of $5.9bn.
Last week’s show at Vegas’ Consumer Electronic Show, Verizon unveiled 10 new devices, namely 10 more reasons to continue being an Internet addict, designed to run on its LTE network including four new Android based smartphones to be available around June this year.
On the other hand, AT&T is self medicating itself to boost its LTE network to prevent the clinical depression that may progress during the year.
"For iPhone users who want the fastest speeds, the ability to talk and use apps at the same time, and unsurpassed global coverage, the only choice is AT&T," an AT&T spokesman said following the Verizon announcement. However, the combined torturous experiences of several AT&T iPhone users object!
Not only AT&T, but Motorola Mobility is also facing the heat of this new deal after its comeback as the flagship phone vendor in 2010. That’s because Motorola runs on Google’s Android , Apple’s most dreaded nightmare.
All in all, everything seems pretty even though it may not be Pink for Verizon Wireless just yet!