Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg has thrown a cold bucket of water on rumors that a Verizon version of the iPhone is about to debut. At a Goldman Sachs conference, Seidenberg reportedly said he hopes Apple will let Verizon sell its phone for a new network it’s building while remaining mum about an iPhone for its current network. The 4G network hasn't yet opened for service and won’t be complete next year.
Competitor AT&T still retains exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in the U.S. Verizon, on the other hand, has been peddling phones form HTC and Motorola that support Google’s Android operating system.
“We don't feel like we have an iPhone deficit. We would love to carry it when we get there, but we have to earn it,” Seidenberg said. “I think 4G will accelerate the process, and any other decisions Apple makes would be fine with us,” he added. “Hopefully, at some point Apple will get with the program.”
In March, Verizon announced plans to launch its Long Term Evolution networks this year in 25 to 30 cities, covering a third of Americans by the end of 2010, and twice that within fifteen months. The carrier’s also claiming that its 4G coverage will be greater than its current 3G map.
By the end of 2011, Verizon is planning to have every major college and university covered with 4G. And by 2012, Verizon aims to have all of the interstates and major highways covered, and all subsequent cities within a 30 mile range of those roads also be covered by 4G. And then finally, by 2013, Verizon expects its current 3G presence to be enhanced by LTE.
The network should deliver higher data speeds, but won’t be available for phone calls. And this year, Verizon plans to sell data modems for the network, with phones arriving next year.
The last time talk of Verizon’s reached a fevered pitch was in August when the Daring Fireball blog pegged a January 2011 launch for a Verizon iPhone, months earlier than previous forecasts by some Wall Street analysts. Now analysts and bloggers alike will have to wait and see.
Edited by Erin Harrison