A new report surfaced today that Apple is readying its iPhone for other service providers beyond just AT&T. Of course, this is not the first time we've heard such rumors. In fact, it seems like every few weeks another article pops up on some tech blog or Apple fan site about how the iPhone will finally be unlocked from AT&T. So what makes this one different? Maybe nothing, but it's reported by the Wall Street Journal, not some random blog. So let's see what it says.
Is It Real This Time?
The WSJ reports:
Apple Inc. plans to begin producing this year a new iPhone that could allow U.S. phone carriers other than AT&T Inc. to sell the iconic gadget, said people briefed by the company.
The new iPhone would work on a type of wireless network called CDMA, these people said. CDMA is used by Verizon Wireless, AT&T's main competitor, as well as Sprint Nextel Corp. and a handful of cellular operators in countries including South Korea and Japan. The vast majority of carriers world-wide, including AT&T, use another technology called GSM.
I know any Verizon-lovers who have iPhones probably all just fainted, but now that they've regained consciousness, note that the article also says this:
Verizon Wireless, owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, declined to comment. An AT&T spokesman said: "There has been lots of incorrect speculation on CDMA iPhones for a long time. We haven't seen one yet and only Apple knows when that might occur." Apple declined to comment.
These responses are neither surprising nor revealing. If Verizon is in talks, it wouldn't comment, as doing so could anger Apple. If Verizon isn't in talks, it still wouldn't comment, as it has no incentive to preempt investors buying its stock and dumping AT&T's based on a rumor. Of course AT&T similarly has a strong incentive to continue denying it knows anything about such plans on the part of Apple.