Marco Arment said this morning:
Every month without a Verizon iPhone costs Apple dearly in marketshare and mindshare. The longer they wait, the lower their chances to reclaim the difference. I’m guessing a CDMA Verizon iPhone will be available within 6 months.
While I don’t 100% disagree with the thought that Apple will release a Verizon iPhone (6-months seems too soon to me though) – I 100% disagree with Arment’s notion that Apple needs Verizon in order to maintain market and mind share. All Apple needs to increase their market/mind share in the U.S. is to not be AT&T exclusive.
I would think that as soon as Apple legally can we will see the iPhone on T-Mobile. The network is relatively the same as AT&T’s and iPhones have been working on T-Mobile for quite some time now. ((Source)) Just getting the iPhone on T-Mobile is going to win over a ton more people – those that just hate AT&T.
It would be at this point when Apple will be in hard negotiations I would guess with both Sprint and Verizon. Apple most likely wants the iPhone on all major U.S. carriers – I think Verizon is putting up a little bit of a stink, wanting control of the product. This is where Sprint comes in, should Verizon not be willing to capitulate to Apple at this point I would look for Apple to take the iPhone to Sprint. Sprint and T-Mobile need the iPhone more than Apple needs them.
T-Mobile has not had a ‘must have’ phone since the Google G-1, and Sprint has the HTC EVO, but it is getting hammered in the reviews. ((Mainly for poor battery life, the rest of the phone seems to be great by most peoples accounts.)) All this means is that it would be easy for Apple to get either carrier to do their bidding, or at least easier than it is to get Verizon to do so. ((Based off the success of the DROID line of phones.))
Either way, I think T-Mobile is the next carrier not Verizon.