On the radio I’ve said it repeatedly… there’s always something to be gained by not being the first on your block to own some new, hyped piece of gear. Whether it’s a product that’s brand new and thus genre defining, such as the iPad… or simply a generational upgrade to an already popular product such as the iPhone 4, something will always happen that causes you to say to yourself, ‘Damn, I should have waited’.
Such is the case with the latest iPhone apparently as nary a week after Apple set sales records with the release of the new 4th generation version of their wildly popular smartphone, reports littered the internet that Apple iPhones would add Verizon Wireless to its list of approved carriers breaking the 3+ year exclusivity that AT&T has enjoyed (reports here and here).
Will this happen? No way to tell for sure although there are hardware issues. iPhone in its current incarnation is based on GSM, a global standard where as Verizon and Sprints networks are based on CDMA, much more domestic and considered a weak architecture on the international stage… but in the end it comes down to how many units you can move and if Apple has determined that opening things up to Verizon would add significantly to those numbers, you can expect to see it happen. Apple had an Intel-based version of Mac OSX in production for years before Intel-based Macs were introduced… you can bet the same holds true for iPhone hardware that’s Verizon-ready.
If Verizon does get the nod though in January as has been reported… how do you feel if you had stood in that long-ass line at your local Apple Store, which concluded with your being locked in to AT&T for the next two years, just to hear this news now? I suppose the Verizon vs. AT&T debate might never have been an issue for you, especially if you’re satisfied with the service you’re getting from AT&T… but on the advent of the launch of Verizon’s well reviewed 4G network, early adopters of the iPhone 4 might find themselves in the lurch… at least for 18 months or so.