Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Apple already sells the iPhone to Verizon users: iPod touch

Daniel Eran Dilger

Rumors about Apple launching a CDMA version of the iPhone are being bandied about again, but the AT&T deal for the iPad indicates that Apple is happy with one mobile partner in the US, so far. But everyone’s overlooking the fact that Apple already sells the iPod touch to America’s CDMA users.

.Launching a new smartphone platform involves a lot of work, particularly in the US where the big four firms are split between GSM/UMTS and CDMA/EVDO; there’s even frequency differences between AT&T and T-Mobile, which prevent phones from working optimally between those two carriers.

Apple has remained firmly in the AT&T camp in the US, even while it has spread the iPhone around globally by using multiple carriers in several markets. Analysts like to guess how much more money Apple would be making if the iPhone were available from every carrier.

The iPhone isn’t coming to Verizon (2009)

The downside to a Verizon iPhone

Rolling out a CDMA iPhone would ostensibly allow people who need or want Verizon to buy it, rather than the Droid or some other LG phone trying to act as a facsimile. But nobody seems to note that there would also be a variety of downsides:

- CDMA doesn’t support the iPhone’s advertised ability to talk while using data.
- Verizon wouldn’t be likely to ditch its other partners to aggressively promote the iPhone.
- Apple would have to fight Verizon over sales and support ownership and VCast bundling.
- The exclusive value to AT&T would wane, eroding Apple’s biggest partnership.

Additionally, Apple already has an iPhone to sell to Verizon and Sprint subscribers: iPod touch. And now the iPad. Sure, they can’t use it as their phone, but they’re still buying up the device in large numbers. Apple sells nearly as many as it does the iPhone.

iPhone Wars: AT&T, Verizon and the evil of two lessors

The mobile market is not just smartphones

If any market share statistics company wanted to flatter Apple in the way that Gartner and IDG worked tirelessly to flatter Microsoft in terms of PC share, then they would include iPod touch sales into the smartphone mix, giving Apple nearly twice as much market share while diluting everyone else’s in the market for mobile devices.

Neither Android nor the webOS nor WiMo nor Symbian nor BlackBerry has a web browsing MP3 player like the iPod touch. In fact, the only thing even remotely similar is Microsoft’s Zune HD, which doesn’t run the same software as the company’s WiMo platform, nor is it even selling in any meaningful quantity. It hopes to turn this around a year from now when it hopes to have WP7 and the Zune helping each other out, but that’s still a vaporware dream, not anything close to reality.

One might think that creating a smartphone without the complex phone part would be easy, and therefore be puzzled that Google and Palm and RIM aren’t all trying to line up an iPod touch of their own. One only has to look at the last decade of iPod sales to see that competing against Apple isn’t as easy as it might seem. Even consumer electronics heavyweights like Sony and Microsoft were repeatedly left bruised and bleeding by Apple’s first foray into mobile media playback.

From OLED to Tegra: Five Myths of the Zune HD
Apple, Microsoft trade places selling iPod touch and Zune HD

What iPod touch does for the App Store

The iPod touch serves an important role in shoring up support for the App Store. iPod touch users download significantly more apps than iPhone users, according to AdMob; around 12 new apps per month, compared to around 9 per month for the iPhone or Android smartphone users. Those users also download twice as many paid apps on average than smartphone users.

That’s partly why the App Store sees twice as many paid apps downloaded per user compared to Android Market or Palm’s webOS Catalog. Of course, there’s also a lot more available and worth buying in the App Store, but it’s also because there are far more iPhone OS users representing a wider spectrum of interests, something that the iPod touch helps fuel.

AdMob also says that 78% of iPod touch users are under 25 (and 65% were under 17). That’s a demographic that is more open to gaming and exploration of new content. Those young users are also less likely to have an expensive phone than business users, for whom a pricy smartphone plan is less of an issue.

The firm also notes that “19% of smartphone users currently own or are likely to purchase an iPod touch in the next six months.” While it might be understandable that 24% of iPhone users have or plan to get an iPod touch, a full 12% of Android users and a whopping 22% of webOS users also have or plan to buy one. Anecdotally, it often seems to be BlackBerry users who want access to the App Store and iTunes but for whatever reason can’t get an iPhone. AdMob didn’t survey any BlackBerry users.

AdMob Publisher Survey March 2010 – AdMob Metrics

If you can’t sell em iPhones, sell em iPod touches

So while a lot of attention is being fixated upon whether Apple will launch a phone for Verizon, it’s clear the company has been doing the next best thing (if not the better option altogether) for three years now; offering an alternative that a fifth of smartphone users are open to buying in addition to their existing phone.

The popularity of the iPod touch means that even users who can’t or don’t want to buy the iPhone are still buying iPhone apps, and therefore adding value to the App Store ecosystem that draws users to the iPhone. At the recent South by Southwest conference, panelists with no particular reason to shill for Apple were regularly telling film and music people armed with Androids and BlackBerries that if they wanted to avail themselves of the mobile apps that were being talked about, they needed to get an iPhone.

A surprising number of TV ads for everything from insurance companies to music stores are also promoting the iPhone for Apple, as are newscasts and other shows that promote their apps and podcasts in iTunes next to an iPhone logo. This kind of market presence isn’t going to disappear just because Google is floating a new Android model every month.

Verizon is currently working to dump as many Droids and BlackBerries on the market as possible before Apple releases its next fourth generation iPhone, with each new Verizon smartphone now tied to a contract sporting a very expensive new cancelation fee.

As a hardware seller, Apple can’t compete with two-for-one free phones being subsidized by mobile companies desperate for subscribers and Google’s own adware. But it can continue selling those users the iPod touch, which they’ll continue to buy because of strong word of mouth and leading user satisfaction rankings.

37 comments

1 Alan { 03.30.10 at 6:23 pm }

Apple will eventually sell the iPhone to all the big 4 carriers in the U.S., the question is when. Android is gaining a lot of traction by selling on all the carriers and Apple is not blind to this. There are actually more CDMA subscribers in the U.S. than GSM, around 156 million in fact and over 500 million worldwide so this is no small market. Many people thought that Apple was simply waiting for LTE. the problem with that theory is that LTE will take a long time to fully deploy and even then Verizon will still need to include CDMA capability for many more years for voice at least, probably at least until 2016 by most estimates.

My carrier Sprint already has 4G in my city, Atlanta. I am looking forward to getting a new HTC Evo this summer. The next iPhone better kick ass because this Evo has some amazing specs.
http://gizmodo.com/5500343/sprints-htc-evo-the-first-ever-4g-phone-meet-the-new-terrific

Sprint uses Wimax, but unlike the VHS/Betamax or Blu-ray vs HD-DVD, this really won’t be a big deal since they are basically the same and Sprint could easily switch to LTE easily if needed.

I hate Verizon because of their history of nickle and diming every little add on to disabling many features on the phone, at least until recently. As much as I love Apple, I will not give up my $30 unlimited text/data/voice plan for one from AT&T for about $100 more a month for worse coverage just to get an iPhone.

I would love to see Apple release a 4th generation iPhone for every carrier except Verizon. Sprint has a far better 3G map than AT&T or T-Mobile. The 150+ million U.S. customers are just too big a market for Apple to ignore. I have a feeling they are just waiting on a decent hybrid GSM/CDMA radio chip that meets their standards.

2 addicted44 { 03.30.10 at 6:24 pm }

This is one of the few points I vehemently disagree with you (and have in the past).

Being available to Verizon, Sprint and TMobile users is a VERY GOOD thing for Apple/iPhone.

If this was the case a year ago (and I am not blaming Apple for this. They needed a partner, which they got in AT&T, otherwise they would have a Nexus One style response), Android would have been dead even before it was launched.

Can you honestly believe anyone buying a pre-Droid android phone when the 3GS was released? Can you imagine anyone buying the Droid if they could buy the iPhone 3GS at the same price? Can you imagine Verizon pouring millions of dollars to promote a device (Droid) which was based on an OS by a company (Google) which backstabbed them only a few weeks later by releasing the Nexus One?

Any carrier switching that was to happen because of the phone has already happened for the benefit of AT&T. No one is going to switch carriers because of the phone anymore, since every carrier has decent smartphones now, and the trouble of switching phones is greater than the marginal difference in phones.

Being on Verizon, on the other hand, will essentially kill any momentum Android has (outside the “in my mom’s basement professional Apple hater category”). This is a good thing for Apple.

3 qka { 03.30.10 at 6:45 pm }

Verizon wouldn’t be likely to ditch its other partners to aggressively promote the iPhone

I don’t know what it’s like there in SF, but in my part of the world, ATT ads feature ANYTHING BUT iPhones. And it changes every week or so. This week it’s Pantech (who?), last week it was LG, the week before that I think it was Samsung. The only iPhone ads I see are Apple’s.

4 Alan { 03.30.10 at 6:53 pm }

One other point I forgot to make is that once I got my HTC Touch Pro 2, my iPod touch started collecting dust. I finally sold it to a friend. It is just too inconvenient to carry around 2 devices. I also really like to use Pandora and Sprint radio, in addition to the mp3′s I can play so there was really little reason to use an iPod touch anymore. For people with dumb phones on Sprint/Verizon/T-Mo I can see the benefit, but not for people with decent smart phones. Not including GPS or a camera on the touch also seems to limit the usefulness. Since the iPad will have a 3G version, I wonder if that is also in the works for the next iPod Touch? I personally make and receive many international calls on my phone over Sprint 3G using a combination of Gizmo/Google Voice (VoiP) and also Skype and the call quality is excellent. Why couldn’t you do that on an iPod Touch with 3G enabled? Well, besides really pissing off AT&T.

5 daGUY { 03.30.10 at 8:10 pm }

Although you make a good point, I don’t see the existence of the iPod Touch negating the need for a Verizon/CDMA iPhone, necessarily.

The iPhone is famous for being one of the first phones that actually got people to *switch* networks in order to buy it (as opposed to the norm – pick your network first, then see what phones are available). So, people buying the iPod Touch today instead of an iPhone are likely doing so because they don’t want a cellular contract at all – not because the iPhone isn’t available on their network.

6 uberVU - social comments { 03.30.10 at 8:30 pm }

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by DanielEran: New: Apple already sells the iPhone to Verizon users: iPod touch – http://tinyurl.com/yhgrxjn

7 scotty321 { 03.30.10 at 8:47 pm }

Thank you, Daniel, for being the ONLY PERSON who is speaking the TRUTH about this topic! And, by the way, for those people who are dumb enough to consider the Droid a worthy contender for the iPhone, I refer you to my comparison chart:

iPhone vs. Droid Comparison Chart

8 stefn { 03.30.10 at 9:01 pm }

Right on. Apple would be wise to give the Touch a camera, mic, and gps before someone else figures out what a great shopping device the Touch could be. And is not, crippled as it is.

9 stormj { 03.30.10 at 9:19 pm }

Daniel:

I think you have been right on this in the past, but I think this may have become a self-fulfilling rumor. Let me address your points:

(1) It’s not hard for them to say you can’t talk while using the line on Verizon. They could use two lines. Either way, it’s a minor feature. It’s the interface that matters.

(2) Verizon doesn’t have to abandon its partners. Verizon doesn’t have to be dependent on Apple or vice versa.

(3) Verizon either will or will not strike a deal on vcast. Verizon didn’t accomodate Apple in the past and they have been criticized for that mistake ever since. Also, again, they don’t have to be in bed with each other. Either the iPhone will work on CDMA or not.

(4) Apple is not dependent on AT&T just as Apple would not be dependent or Verizon. In many other countries the iPhone works on many carriers. (Admittedly all GSM.) But the US market is huge.

I’m surprised that you think there won’t be a CDMA iPhone. I was expecting you to write about the “multitasking” rumors. I have seen no explanation how future “multitasking” (a bunch of supposedly smart tech people not understanding that the iPhone (a) using a multitasking kernel and (b) “multitasks” in their n00b sense as well with Apple core apps is hilarious) will break or change Apple’s security model and interface, how it will be kept from draining the battery and stealing performance.

Maybe there will be strict requirements on them and you can only have a limited number, like the dock at the bottom where you can only have 4 apps…

10 gplawhorn { 03.30.10 at 10:47 pm }

Great point. Umm . . . I’m having trouble actually placing a call on my iPod Touch, though. So if it’s all the same, let’s either AT&T to provide service to the United States in general (and northeast Nebraska specifically), or multiply sales by adding a CDMA version of the iPhone.

Yes, I know, there are some things that CDMA can’t do. But then again, there are things that the AT&T iPhone can’t do, like run Photoshop – I have to use my MacBook Pro for that. I’d be happy to give up a couple of features in order to have an iPhone. Droid sucks.

11 John E { 03.30.10 at 11:33 pm }

CDMA is nearing end of life. no way Apple is going to chase that dead end just for several million sales. Apple thinks strategically. the iPhone will come to Verizon when their next gen 4G net (or whatever they call it) is being activated – next year? pretty soon. Apple was to be on the cutting edge, not the tail end.

12 gctwnl { 03.31.10 at 3:46 am }

A couple of very astute observations, I would say. The cancellation fees of Verizon in combination of a 2-for-1 style giveaway is indeed telling with respect to Verizon trying to buy market share as fast as they can. And the young demographics for iPod Touch users (who cannot afford expensive data plans)which add substantially to the App Store’s success.

But I do feel that staying with AT&T exclusively in the US (or exclusively to other operators in other countries) is nearing the end of its life as a good strategy. I would like to see the NeXT iPhone be multiple-carrier (but not necessarily CMDA)

@Alan: yes, great technical specs on the EVO, but in the end it is about user experience, and not about technical specs, however nifty something like being a hotspot for up to 8 devices is.

13 tundraboy { 03.31.10 at 7:31 am }

MiFi + VOIP + iPod Touch vs iPhone. Or better yet, Sprint’s 4G MiFi.

Seems like it would be a viable alternative for some users.

14 chefmitch { 03.31.10 at 9:31 am }

Apple bringing the iPhone to Verizon would be a big win.

I can’t think of a more ridiculous premise than the one you present – iPod Touch is a good enough solution for those customers who don’t want to come to AT&T.

The only reason to stay away from Verizon is if Apple is contractually obligated to or if the amount of money AT&T is paying Apple per iPhone is so ridiculously high that it would be a net loss bringing the iPhone to Verizon.

15 Andy Baird { 03.31.10 at 9:45 am }

Tundraboy nailed it: the answer is MiFi. With it, iPod Touch users have the same internet connectivity as iPhone users do, but WITH VERIZON!

Now, while you can make phone calls using apps such as Skype or Line2, a real cell phone it ain’t. And you don’t have the iPhone’s GPS, compass, camera, and built-in mike. But having go-anywhere internet connectivity on Verizon’s network is a huge boost to the iPod Touch’s usefulness.

For those who haven’t seen MiFi, it’s unbelievably small–the same thickness and width as an iPod, but 3/4 of an inch shorter. If you sign up for a two-year data contract, it’s free after rebates. I recently traded my USB-720 cell modem (“aircard”) for one when my contract came up for renewal, and I couldn’t be happier. With MiFi in my pocket, I’m on the internet with my iPod Touch no matter where I am.

16 Alan { 03.31.10 at 11:21 am }

I remember many years ago when I sometimes had to carry a phone, an ipod, a camera, a camcorder, and even a laptop. Smartphones have changed all that, largely thanks to the iPhone. I can’t see why anyone on Verizon or Sprint or T-Mo would buy an iPod touch out of iPhone envy. I personally think the upcoming HTC Evo with Android 2.1 with Sense looks to be as good if not better than the iPhone OS and the hardware specs are far superior. Your argument might make more sense with an iPad due to the big screen, but not with the Touch. Add a mic and ear speaker like the iPhone for VoIP calls, GPS, front and rear camera/camcorder, HDMI out like the EVO and then you might sound a little more convincing.

17 luisd { 03.31.10 at 1:53 pm }

Alan, I think you make very good points. Unfortunately for all Verizon costumers apple does not seem to agree with them. You are forgetting that Apple is catering for the a large section of the whole world, not only the US. In a worldwide context, market Verizon costumers are a minority, and as such will be left behind. If Verizon catches up with the rest of the world (at least that section that Apple targets), then and only then Verizon costumers will benefit.

18 luisd { 03.31.10 at 2:34 pm }

worldwide context, market Verizon = worldwide context, Verizon

Sorry for the poor editing

19 gplawhorn { 03.31.10 at 4:51 pm }

Here’s an interesting article:

http://www.macworld.com/article/150187/2010/03/att_verizon_iphone.html

In essence, some AT&T iPhone users would switch to Verizon if they had the option. Choice – it’s a beautiful thing!

20 rabber { 03.31.10 at 6:16 pm }

Daniel -

While I like many of your posts, this one seems a little off. While I can’t dispute the number of iPod Touches that Apple sells, I do not believe that they are primarily sold to users who have iPhone envy.

That being said, I am not sure when Apple will bring an iPhone to Verizon, but bring it they will. I think the hardware is relatively trivial and it will likely get done for CDMA markets outside the US. Since GSM is the market leader by a wide margin, it made sense for Apple’s first phone to follow that protocol. However, there is a large enough CDMA market, particularly in China, for Apple to eventually bring a CDMA version to market. I believe that the control that both companies, Apple and Verizon, want to exert over the end user is a much stronger sticky point than the hardware. Verizon wants all transactions for music, apps, ringtones, etc. to run through them and Apple feels the same way. I think both companies will have a hard time ceding control to the other.

21 shadash { 03.31.10 at 10:47 pm }

“CDMA doesn’t support the iPhone’s advertised ability to talk while using data.”

How big of a deal is that to most people? Would they trade it for having more than one bar and constant dropped calls?

“The exclusive value to AT&T would wane, eroding Apple’s biggest partnership.”

This hasn’t happened in other countries where the iPhone has gone multi-carrier.

“offering an alternative that a fifth of smartphone users are open to buying in addition to their existing phone.”

Are you really arguing that it is a good idea for Apple to ignore 80% of the market? If 20% want to carry around 2 devices just to have one of them made by Apple, how many iPhones could Apple have sold to those people?

Most importantly – and what you leave out – is what is the profit margin on an iPhone versus an iPod Touch? Apple gets over $600 for an iPhone and half that for an iPod Touch. It seems to me Apple should be falling over themselves to release the iPhone as widely as possible.

22 macpeter { 04.01.10 at 3:38 am }

Hi Dan,

in this case a disagree with you, because Apple can only grow further with additional providers and the most attractive will be the market leader Verizon. With Verizon Apple could jump to 40% market share in the USA, without Verizon they probably stay around 30%.

Your arguments against the Verizon Deal are all questionable, because
1. Apple would never develop a CDMA only version, when LTE is around the corner. So a Verizon iPhone would provide for sure a twin baseband receiver for voice and data separately. Voice connections looks always for the most reliable and even slowest connection, while data only connect on demand to the fastest network available. This strategy is far more efficient and offers huge advantages for the mobile provider so they should even allow to connect twice to the same network -and so you have the perfect work around for talk while using data.
2. If Apple could bring a LTE capable mobile phone earlier then the competition, Verizon would ditch their other partners.
3. Apple could offer Verizon a second phase exclusiveness and take the iphone rollout to Sprint and TMobile on hold for another 6 to 12 months. This should give Apple enough power to enforce their conditions.
4. Fierce competition between AT&T and Verizon would offer the same positive effect for iphone promotion on two companies with 2/3 of the market as the exclusive deal with AT&T now.

23 Alan { 04.01.10 at 8:22 am }

@macpeter
Verizon would not ditch any partners for an iPhone anymore than AT&T has not ditched theirs. They will still sell their full range. The key point that seems to keep being forgotten, is that even with LTE, CDMA will still hang around for a long. long time. So any LTE iPhone would still need to include a CDMA radio as well. Do you think all those 90 million Verizon customers are going to instantly switch to an LTE phone overnight? For the fist year it will be data only in any case, mostly for mifi type devices.

And one comment to people from other countries posting that keep saying how GSM is a world standard. Yes, we all know that. But Apple gets around 50% of their sales in the USA and 156 million North American CDMA customers is probably about as big as the U.K., France, Spain, and Italy combined. By not selling a CDMA version here is the equivalent of not selling to any of those countries. Apple will probably start off slowly with a T-Mobile version first since it is GSM, and then offer a Sprint/Verizon version soon after.

24 4phun { 04.01.10 at 8:52 am }

Face slap!

I just visualized a business using an Android logo instead of an iPhone logo. Did you realize the Android stylized logo looks like a common domed trash can?
Pity the poor businessman who pays to put an Android Trash Can Logo on TV or in a magazine ad. His business would go straight to the dumpster!

25 macpeter { 04.01.10 at 9:23 am }

@Alan
Of cource will a Verzion iPhone support CDMA for reliable voice connection but if Apple come to Verizon this time, they will also be ready for LTE for a blazing fast data connection. Till LTE is ready for Voice sometimes 2012 or later each LTE Phone have to support dual receiver/baseband technology. And maybe Apple with his top secret inhouse chipdesign can do LTE already in 2010 – this would be a huge deal for both companies, for Apple as well as for Verizon.
If a CDMA + LTE iPhone is not possible this year, you wont see a Verizon iPhone in 2010 at all.

26 luisd { 04.01.10 at 2:59 pm }

Alan,

Population of UK – 61M
Population of France – 62M
Population of Spain – 45M
Population of Italy – 60 M

Actually if you look at the population of Europe you have 731M (2.5 times the US population!)

Throw in other iPhone target markets

Japan 130M
Canada 33M

To be on the safe side 5% 0f the population of china and India combined ~120M

5% of the population of Brazil and Mexico – 15M

The population of the USA – 300M

So, the iPhone is being expose to over 1.3billion people. 150M of those are with Verizon. So that’s about 11%.

As far as I understand Verizon is upgrading its network to 4G (Am I correct?). AT & T is actually expanding (aggressively they claim) their network. Apple is well known for being in focus and on target. Why would they invest resources to make a CDMA phone while even Verizon is leaving it, and it is only 11% of its potential market. Apple will rather focus in expanding and capturing that other huge international market before Android does. Can’t you see that?

If you fail to see why apple is not pursuing the CDMA strategy, I can only suggest to don’t start your own business.

27 shadash { 04.01.10 at 3:51 pm }

luisd,

You said: “Why would they invest resources to make a CDMA phone while even Verizon is leaving it, and it is only 11% of its potential market. Apple will rather focus in expanding and capturing that other huge international market before Android does. Can’t you see that?”

Here is the answer from Alan’s post:
“Till LTE is ready for Voice sometimes 2012 or later each LTE Phone have to support dual receiver/baseband technology.”

LTE by itself won’t be rolled out enough for a number of years. CDMA will serve as voice and then backup.

28 Alan { 04.01.10 at 5:35 pm }

@Luis, I am well aware of the populations of those countries. What I meant by the 156 million CDMA customers in the U.S. being as large as those countries I listed was not in country population, but mobile phone subscribers in those countries. Unless you would like to argue that every single person in those countries including infants has a cell phone contract.

29 luisd { 04.02.10 at 2:47 am }

Shadash, I fail to see how that answers my question, sorry. If anything it makes it even worse. Verizon will never get the iPhone if a different phone needs to be made. It is an investment Apple will not commit to. Why? Because other carriers are investing in moving to the network Apple uses. It is economics 101.

Alan, Agreed. Still my argument stays, I used the whole USA population as well in my number 300 million. Perhaps instead f 11% goest to 15% if assume all of the USA was going to stay on Verizon. But even then, my argument holds strong. Yours doesn’t. In the great scheme of things Verizon is a minority, and Apple will not address it. Whether you chaps accept that the world is larger than the US or not, that is irrelevant for Apple and its strategy. ;-)

30 macpeter { 04.02.10 at 3:25 am }

@ lusid

Maybe you should consider a fully programmable baseband chip based on Tensilicia´s ConnX architecture, which can support every standard from GSM over CDMA to LTE.

31 shadash { 04.02.10 at 11:27 am }

luisd,

You are right that Verizon is “moving to” LTE, which is where AT&T is going too. My point is that we are years away from the point that a phone on Verizon’s LTE network won’t have to use CDMA as a backup. Maybe Apple can find a chip that does both CDMA and GSM/LTE. If not, given the profit margins on the iPhone and the competititon from Android and Windows Mobile, I argue that it would still make economic and strategic sense for Apple to release a separate device to work on Verizon’s network (as well as other CDMA networks in China, Japan, and parts of South America).

32 luisd { 04.02.10 at 11:44 am }

shadash,

I think it would make sense if it was a deal breaker in Japan and China for most consumers. But it appears to only be a deal breaker in the USA. Perhaps you are right, and a less aggressive and less focused company would do it. But Apple is and always has been focused in the next thing, not what is on the way out. If their target is global domination, they will force the globe to upgrade their technology, not the other way round. See what’s happening to Adobe Flash.

macpeter,
Same as above, it would require and investment into a technology that is being phased out. Another company will do it, I’m sure, and trumpet it up. Not Apple. I just don’t see it happening.

(Comment appart: I found it very funny how you wrote that “I” should consider another chip… as if I had my own iPhone making business LOL)

33 shadash { 04.02.10 at 5:14 pm }

Anyone see Colbert’s segment on the iPad last night? Before he used it to dice up ingredients for salsa he said something to the effect that “just like the iPhone, you can’t make calls on it.” I think SNL did a similar joke a few months ago. How can having the network your phone is on serve as a punchline be good for Apple? They have made a functional, user friendly, gorgeous device and tied it to a craptastic network. Very un-Apple.

34 shadash { 04.05.10 at 2:16 pm }
35 addicted44 { 04.05.10 at 2:40 pm }

@lusid:

Well, GSM is dying as fast in favor of LTE as CDMA. Why did Apple pick GSM then?

Also, its not that hard for Apple to create a new CDMA phone. Their greatest investments lay in the software. For the CDMA phone, they just have to replace their current 3rd party plug and play chip with another, possibly from the same provider, and make a few changes interacting with it.

The ability to double their accessible marketshare in the US (And countries like Japan, and South Korea) with that small investment makes a lot of sense to me. It won’t hurt Apple’s focus any more than creating a special iPhone without WiFi hurt their focus.

The only reason Android has any momentum at all is because its the only decent smartphone available to users from non-ATT networks, from a non-dying provider (Palm). If Apple releases the iPhone on Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, it will pretty much doom Android to Zune like numbers.

Besides, Apple also has to worry about WM7 gaining momentum, since thats a more direct attack against their business model.

36 gslusher { 04.18.10 at 9:20 pm }

“One only has to look at the last decade of iPod sales …”

Rather difficult to do that. The iPod was introduced in October 2001, so it’s had only 8-1/2 years of sales. (It’s easy to remember the month, given that it was right after 9/11.)

37 gslusher { 04.18.10 at 9:29 pm }

addicted44:
“Well, GSM is dying as fast in favor of LTE as CDMA. Why did Apple pick GSM then?”

Because something like 80-90% of the world uses GSM. If Apple wanted to sell the iPhone in Europe, South America, Australia, and most of Asia, it would have to support GSM. The same would be true for US users who traveled abroad.

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