Mar 29, 2010 7:05 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple may be working on an iPhone designed for Verizon Wireless.
Currently AT&T is the only U.S. phone company that carries the iPhone.
Citing unnamed sources, The Journal said Monday that Apple is planning to debut a new iPhone this summer, and on top of that appears to be working on a model for Verizon. The report says it is unclear when the Verizon model would be available.
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris says the company does not comment on rumors or speculation. Verizon Wireless also has no comment.
The new model would have CDMA capability, The Journal said. CDMA is the cellular technology used by both Verizon Wireless and Sprint, but not by AT&T or T-Mobile, which use the more widespread GSM technology.
Both AT&T and Verizon Wireless are moving to fourth-generation, or 4G, networks in the next few years, and both will use the same technology for that faster standard, known as LTE, or Long Term Evolution. Verizon Wireless plans to start rolling out its 4G network in some markets later this year; AT&T, in early 2011.
Right now, Verizon Wirless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, with 91.2 million subscribers at the end of 2009, compared to AT&T, with 85.1 million subscribers.
Apple, The Journal said, "is developing a new iPhone to debut this summer and also appears to be working on a model for U.S. mobile phone operator Verizon Wireless, say people briefed on the matter.
"The people briefed on the matter said one of the new iPhones is being manufactured by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which produced Apple's previous iPhones," The Journal said. "The model that has CDMA capability, used by Verizon Wireless, is being manufactured by Pegatron Technology Corp., the contract manufacturing subsidiary of Taiwan's ASUSTeK Computer Inc., said these people.
"One person familiar with the situation said Pegatron is scheduled to start mass producing the CDMA iPhones in September, but it was unclear when Apple might make the model available."
Last week, Apple said it is making some of its iPhone models available at full price without a contract from AT&T. However, the new phones are still "locked" to AT&T and will not work with any other cellular carrier unless they're modified.