Verizon iPhone: How Did We Get Here?

It has been four years and two days since Apple introduced the world to the iPhone. AT&T was honored as its only carrier, and many people wondered why Verizon wasn’t going to carry the iPhone. Well, as it happens, Verizon was approached by Apple not two years prior, but they didn’t care for Apple’s terms.

Among other things, Apple wanted a percentage of the monthly cellphone fees, say over how and where iPhones could be sold and control of the relationship with iPhone customers, said Jim Gerace, a Verizon Wireless vice president. “We said no. We have nothing bad to say about the Apple iPhone. We just couldn’t reach a deal that was mutually beneficial.”

In fact, former Verizon COO Denny Strigl said in 2007, “The iPhone product is something we are happy we aren’t the first to market with,” and a CEO from Vodafone (Verizon’s parent company) said that “iPhone sales can’t even get close to hurting Verizon’s numbers, criticizing Apple for making a 2G phone.”

Later that year, Verizon announced the LG Voyager, which they endlessly promoted as an “iPhone killer.” Their marketing team pushed that slogan for months on end, bragging that the Voyager would overtake the iPhone,  destroy its market share, and have sex with its mother.

Yet tech analysts for the next few years predicted Verizon would eventually cave and embrace the iPhone. In 2007, some believed the Verizon iPhone would come out in 2008.

Yea, right. But given the state of the “arms race” so far, I think that in a year from now there will be a history of enough iPhone unlocks impervious to demon code contained in subsequent iPhone firmware upgrades that it will tire both Apple and AT&T out

My prediction is that in light of these events, within a year from now money will be exchanged to end the five-year Apple-AT&T agreement before it meets the end of its natural life in June, 2013.

And then you’ll see Verizon and Apple work on a CDMA iPhone. I’m convinced of it.

In 2008, some predicted the Verizon iPhone would come out in 2009.

A leading Apple blog posted a rumor Sunday that the iPhone — which is currently available in the United States only through AT&T Wireless — could be coming to Verizon, perhaps as early as January 2009.

Cleve Nettles, writing in 9 to 5 Mac, says “negotiations between Apple and Verizon are ongoing but they expect to hammer out agreements by the end of the year.”

And in 2009, there was a lot of buzz Verizon would get the iPhone in 2010.

Verizon (VZ) and Apple (AAPL) are discussing the possible development of an iPhone for Verizon, with the goal of introducing it next year, people familiar with the situation say.

Yet year after year after year, millions of people had their dreams crushed.

Well, as you all know, the official announcement was made earlier today by Verizon. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The iPhone will officially come out February 10. Current Verizon customers can pre-order new iPhones starting February 3.
  • The 16 GB model will cost $199. The 32 GB model will cost $299.
  • No 4G. Yet.
  • Since multitasking is an issue with CDMA phones, you won’t be able to switch between a phone call and your web browser.
  • You can connect up to five mobile devices to it.

Verdict: it’s a good start, but some of you might want to wait until Verizon upgrades to 4G. Either way, it’s a pretty big development in the tech world, so congrats to Apple for doing the right thing.