‘iPhone Lite’, ‘Media Pad’ Mentioned in Talks Between Verizon & Apple
Despite Apple’s statement during their recent quarterly earnings call that they have no intentions of changing their exclusivity agreement with AT&T for the iPhone, USA Today is bringing back rumors that they may be in talks with Verizon to bring the iPhone to their network. Sources described as “people familiar with the matter,” claim that high-level discussions started a few months ago between the companies and are continuing to take place.
While the iPhone isn’t currently compatible with the Verizon network, Verizon’s CEO, Ivan Seidenberg, told the Wall Street Journal last week that they might have a better chance of getting the iPhone on their network once they implement 4G network technology.
Not surprisingly, AT&T is trying to maintain their exclusivity, and with good reason (for them, at least). According to the New York Times, each iPhone customer is responsible for roughly $1,080 in revenue, meaning those 2.5 million new customers a year that they’re pulling in from from their deal with Apple is bringing them around $700 million a year in operating profits.
Good luck, Verizon.
Update: BusinessWeek reports that two new devices were mentioned during the Verizon talks: the first was described as an “iPhone lite” by someone claiming to have seen the device. The second was a sort of media pad that allows users to listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos on the go. Both of these devices have come up in rumors in some form or another, but none have gained any traction, with Apple even stating outright that they have no intention of making a low-end iPhone. One theory mentioned by BusinessWeek is that Apple may have no intention of making a deal with Verizon, but may only be using the talks to get AT&T to agree to a better deal.