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AP viewing iPhone to Verizon as a certainty?

By: 10 January 2011 No Comment

Just the other day, First Arkansas News reported on rumors that Verizon will announce at an 11 a.m. press conference on Tuesday that it will have the Apple iPhone available for customers.

The Associated Press today added to those rumors — or, perhaps, got closer to confirming them — by reporting that Verizon is expected to make that announcement. The AP joins such as heavy hitters as the Wall Street Journal in treating the rumored announcement like a certainty, giving credence to the notion that Verizon will finally have the iPhone available for sale.

Of course, the AP was quick to point out that neither Verizon or Apple will confirm the rumor. Furthermore, AT&T is being mum, too. Given the number of false rumors that we’ve heard over the past few years about the iPhone coming to Verizon, there’s still reason to remain skeptical.

However, the move would make a lot of sense. According to this report, phones using Google’s Android OS moved past the iPhone in terms of market share in November. That fact certainly puts Apple in a position of having to come up with a response.

AT&T has been the sole carrier for iPhones since Apple released the device in 2007. If Apple wants to expand, it makes sense to look at other carriers. That’s particularly true when one considers how much a lot of iPhone users — and potential ones — dislike AT&T. The complaints against AT&T are legion — dropped calls, limited data plans, congestion on the 3G network in some areas or the inability to get 3G speeds at all in some areas (drive across Arkansas some time and notice how often AT&T dumps you in that slow “Edge” service, for example).

That’s not saying that Verizon is perfect or even significantly “better” than AT&T, but it’s hard to argue against the notion that competition is good. Giving iPhone fans a choice is a very good move, indeed, as competition could put pressure on Verizon and AT&T to provide the best service possible to keep subscribers.

And, yes, AT&T would have to compete. The company relies heavily on sales of the iPhone, having activated 11.1 million of them last year. Yes, AT&T has made some forays into the Android world by offering a few Android phones (by the way, ignore the laughably horrible Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 as you will hate it), some Windows phones and remains true to the Blackberry line, but the company is heavily vested in its iPhone sales.

Of course, there are some other factors to consider regarding the sudden availability of the iPhone on Verizon. How many AT&T customers will be able to switch carriers anytime soon. The iPhone  isn’t exactly cheap and AT&T has done a good job of attracting customers to the iPhone by agreeing to subsidize the purchase prize of the device in exchange for the acceptance of a two-year contract. Some of the customers that bit at that offer may not like AT&T, but they’re not leaving the company in the near future, either.

Here in Arkansas, a lot of people are watching the whole issue with anticipation. Verizon, after all, bought out most of Alltel’s wireless properties in 2008 for $28.1 billion. Alltel is an Arkansas company and the purchase means that Verizon has a large presence in this state.

If Verizon does finally get the iPhone, will that mean an expansion of the carrier’s business? Would that expansion mean more jobs for Arkansas? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, we’ll be sure to mention if Verizon’s “expected announcement” goes as planned.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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