Apple’s iPhone may come to T-Mobile before it gets to Verizon, two analysts predicted this week.
Sure, that’s logical. Apple should be distributing the iPhone via as many carriers as possible. And since Apple already works with T-Mobile in Europe, there may be less friction.
But it shouldn’t stop Apple from doing a deal with Verizon, which is the largest carrier in the U.S.
Why would it? One argument is that getting on Verizon may be delayed by clashes between the two companies, says analyst Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. Via AppleInsider:
“Apple runs its own App Store and VZ has aspirations to do so,” Wu said. “Apple controls the media experience with iTunes and VZ with its V CAST service. Moreover, Apple gets very favourable economics with an overall iPhone (average selling price) of $611 and at AT&T, we estimate it is higher at roughly $700. RIM, who is by far VZ’s largest smart phone supplier, only has an ASP of $340. Palm’s ASP is $436 and we estimate Motorola’s Droid ASP is roughly $450.”
Because it could take a while to iron out the kinks, Wu thinks a Verizon deal is unlikely in 2010.
While it’s possible that Wu is right, that doesn’t gel with what Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said in October:
“This is a decision that is exclusively in Apple’s court,” he said during Verizon’s third-quarter earnings call. “We obviously would be interested at any point in the future they thought it would make sense for them to have us as a partner. And so we will leave it with them on that score.”
Meanwhile, each deal would require a technical tweak: Apple will have to sell a slightly modified iPhone that can handle the unique 3G frequency that T-Mobile USA runs on. It would alos have to make a modified iPhone for Verizon’s network, which uses a different wireless technology called CDMA.