Apple looked into switching the iPhone to Verizon as early as 2007

This article contains unofficial information.
Apple looked into switching the iPhone to Verizon as early as 2007
A story in the latest Wired magazine details how Steve Jobs and Apple continuously became frustrated with AT&T. A number of times, switching the iPhone over to Verizon was suggested until it was determined that the cost to change the phone to Big Red's CDMA network was so high that it put the kibosh on the plan. Toward the end of 2007, when the iPhone was only a few months old, AT&T asked Apple if it could reduce the use of bandwidth by making the YouTube client work only on Wi-Fi. Jobs became perturbed at the idea of restrictions being placed on the device and sent Scott Forstall, the chief of the  iPhone software team, to meet with Qualcomm who was supplying Verizon with their CDMA chips. The bottom line-switching to a CDMA model was too complex and expensive. It would require a full redesign of the phone and at the time, Verizon was considered an "iffy" proposition-as much as AT&T was. The subject of switching to Big Red came up often, and as one source noted, "Every time the issue of switching came up, it always seemed to cause as many problems as it solved."

Last fall, flush with the success of the Android flavored Motorola DROID, Verizon took to the airwaves with ads that used maps to point out AT&T's smaller 3G footprint in the U.S. AT&T wanted to respond with iPhone ads, but Apple refused even though one specific Verizon ad called the iPhone a toy. An Apple executive who was involved in the discussions says that the Cupertino based firm was dead set against defending AT&T, "The reason the Verizon ads were so effective wasn’t because of the iPhone. It was because of AT&T’s network. We would have been letting them use the iPhone to put lipstick on a pig," said the executive.

One of the reasons for the strained relationship between Apple and AT&T is the difference in corporate culture. Apple shrouded the iPhone with customary secrecy and many AT&T executives did not get to see the handset until it was introduced by Mr. Jobs to the public. Both sides fought over how the iPhone was to appear at AT&T stores. Apple wanted the phone placed on its own stand, away from other models. When a representative from the carrier even went so far as to suggest that Steve Jobs wear a suit for meeting with AT&T's Board of Directors, he was told that at Apple, no one wears a suit and that in fact, no executive at Apple even owns a suit.

Apple has made some mistakes of its own. Apple insiders confirmed that the baseband software running the iPhone's main radio was full of bugs when the device was originally launched, and was a contributing factor to all of the dropped calls. And the selection of Infineon to provide the main radio was-in hindsight-not a good idea because of the tech firm's limited use in the U.S. prior to being used by Apple. Still, the iPhone has been a huge money maker for Apple and remains the smartphone that everyone is still trying to kill all these years later. And yes, while sources say that leaving AT&T for Verizon has been brought up about half a dozen times, there are no plans to switch carriers now. Right now, the public perceives AT&T as the bad parent, putting a cap on data usage, complaining in public about broadband usage and looking to spank customers with a tiered data plan. Apple remains the good parent, the one with the cool hardware and software that seems to have no limits to what you can do with it.

Apple iPhone 4 Specifications | Review

source: Wired



1. Mightymack

Posts: 74; Member since: Jul 16, 2010

i think that it wouldve been a good idea. apple would be smart to add verizon (vice versa).

19. PapaJay224

Posts: 866; Member since: Feb 08, 2009

I like the chatter about the suit, that just earned some respect points for Apple from me.

2. Pr0cl1v1ty

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 26, 2008


5. rwolf1984

Posts: 536; Member since: Jun 06, 2009

no more exclusives??? so u want phones to cost more?

10. jil77

Posts: 24; Member since: Feb 18, 2010

blackberry and HTC offers phones to everyone. As well as Samsung with to Galaxy S series. So don't give me the no exclusives means it will cost more theory.

16. hcbarclay

Posts: 62; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

why would it cost more? based on the basic principles of economics the phone price would go down.

18. PapaJay224

Posts: 866; Member since: Feb 08, 2009

yeah rwolf, dumb comment. Exclusivities make better commercials, not cheaper prices....

37. sprintguy09

Posts: 79; Member since: Apr 17, 2010

Who would give a shit about a commercial

3. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i dont think the chip theory holds water. I think its a poor excuse for whatever the real story is. The phone costs like 150 to make and is sold for 500-600. Changing the chips or adding a second manufacturing plant that does CDMA devices isnt going to mess with their profit ratio that much. Are they really that greedy that if it cost 175 or 200 to make, they wont sell it? Its not worth another 80 million potential customers to buy apps and adds? No, sorry, I dont buy it. I think this is a shoddy cover for whatever the real story is.

4. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

this story is bogus. Many manufactures make CDMA and GSM only versions of their phones and some even make hybrid I think this is just another stupid iphone fuck story

36. ilia1986 unregistered

Well - you can say many things about Apple. What you cannot say about it is that it's like everyone else.

6. M3rkSauce

Posts: 10; Member since: May 19, 2010

The ONLY reason that the iPhone hasn't been switched to cdma is that not only verizon would have it, but Sprint would get their hands on it too!! AND GUESS WHAT, sprints data plan pwns the competition, so needless to say, At&T would go out of business in a hurry!!! Coverage sucks with them, especially data coverage. The iPhone is the ONLY thing they have. No body wants a droid on at&t service. Verizon is killing it right now, and Sprint is blazing trails as well.

11. jil77

Posts: 24; Member since: Feb 18, 2010

Why do people think that at&t will go out of business if someone else gets the Iphone? As and iphone owner its getting old and I looking to go with a different phone. I had a nexus one and got the Iphone 4 and wish I would have kept my nexus one. If the samsung captivate had flash it would be in my hand right now.

14. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

AT&T was already dead in the water. What is now known as AT&T is really Cingular. Cingular bought them out for the name recognition they had. Right now, the iPhone basically is all that's keeping "AT&T" afloat. If iPhones could be had on other networks there would most likely be a mass exodus and the company would implode soon after.


Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

U probably forgot that before the iphone cingular was number one and got much better phones than those 19th century Asian crap offered by you remember.....??? Probably not Fanboy....!!!

28. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

Sure we remember...but now (which is the present) that isn't the case, so how does your comment have any relevancy? If we based everything off the past there would be several horror stories with phones on every carrier...but the past is the past. There's been a powershift and Cingular/AT&T made some decisions that contributed to them losing ground. And this my friend is the current reality. iPhone brand has carried AT&T to where it is today. Even though iPhone sales are doin good there is a small beginnin of an implosion of AT&T. Not only are those with other carriers abandoning the iPhone brand for the momentum that Android is pickin up fast but even customers within AT&T are starting to abandon the iPhone brand. Guess we'll see how it all plays out, but the good thing is that competition is at an all time high which the consumer is the winner.

33. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

lol. all you have to do is look at the numbers. Att adds 3 million customers. 2.8 million of them have iphones. Verizon adds 3 million customers.. none of them have iphones. they get a myriad of different devices. other than "exclusivity".. why? because people that want the iphone have no choice. people that want a cell to work skip ATT. the iphone has been ATT's backbone for 3 years and will go through hell to keep it exclusive. Thats the real story. you take away ATTs iphone activations for the last 3 or so years and give em to.... sprint. Sprint just became the #2 player in the market. Give em to... Tmobile.. Tmobile just smashed out sprint and is on ATTs heels as ATT continues to lose customers because of its shoddy over priced network. Give em to VZW.. ATT drops to 3rd place, VZW has a 20 million lead on everyone, and Tmobile would probably gain on ATT every year. How many Iphones has ATT sold? 20 million? Put that on any other network and do the math. The ONLY reason ATT is still in 2nd place is the iphone. Unless your a complete idiot you dont like over paying for one of the worst networks in america for any other reason. Sprint has way better coverage. Hell even Tmobile is the same or better in many areas, and FASTER. Both are cheaper than ATT. Do you think anyone would really stay with ATT if there was no iphone? LOL

7. MarcMaiden

Posts: 25; Member since: Nov 24, 2009

Everytime I see these posts from engadget or phonearena, people respond saying the same thing. "Verizon should get the Iphone, it's a good move etc" WRONG There is only 1 reason why AT&T has the iphone, and why no other carrier in the US does. Bandwidth, and speed. AT&T KILLS verizon and any other company in terms of bandwidth and 3g speeds. any TV show that uses "text to vote" chooses AT&T because they can handle all those text messages. A single American Idol show gets about 17 million text to votes. In terms of speed, AT&T is notably faster. I own an Iphone and a Droid, and the Iphone always killed the Droid in 3g speeds (but obviously the Droid killed in coverage) the reason for AT&T's shady service is because of the Iphone. All the bandwidth clogged the network, and caused for all the dropped calls ETC. I am more than confident that an Iphone on Verizon would be even worse. That being said, things could change once AT&T and Verizon are both on the same 4g LTE network. I'm not trying to defend AT&T, ALL carriers have their flagship phones, and their paperweight phones. I am one of those guys who uses Android on AT&T and I love it. Iphone and Android do the same things. there is no doubt about it. It's just how they do it is different. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages so its up to the consumer what to buy. Just note apple will usually win just because of the name. on a personal note, I am disappointed with the new Iphone, and thought they would have done a better job

29. YouLostTheGame

Posts: 441; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Where you said this: "All the bandwidth clogged the network, and caused for all the dropped calls ETC. I am more than confident that an Iphone on Verizon would be even worse." Proves that you really don't know a damn thing about CDMA technology and the fact that it pwns GSM in terms of sheer ability to handle more "load" with less equipment. Sure, it's SLIGHTLY slower, but big deal. It's A LOT more reliable. And as far as ATT going LTE, even when they finally do, they own relatively close to nothing in terms of spectrum, compared to VZW. LTE will make ATT become VZWs little bitch.

30. tunda98

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 20, 2009

I dont understand, you said at&t is notably faster beause you own an I phone and a droid.. then you say you have a droid on at&t, so are you comparing at&ts droid with your at&t I phone...or do you have three phones two droids and 1 Iphone, or are you just making all of this up...

34. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

this post is not based in reality. They just did a data study, dillhole. It showed VZW still pulls in way more data usage than ATT. Hell, Sprint has more data usage than ATT. ATT has a shoddy ass network. VZW and sprint have wider and stronger 3g coverage, more bandwith, more use, and more left over bandwith after use than ATT. iphone iphone iphone... great.. exept that VZW and sprint have tons of data devices as well.. but sell about 8x more data cards because of the superior networks. Data cards use waaaaay more data than an iphone. Yea, ATT is faster in SOME areas, but outside of those VERY SMALL areas, VZW and SPRINT are faster. 3mps is faster than 2mps by 50%. learn to do math. BTW, Tmobile runs just slightly less data than ATT, doesnt have the problems of ATT's crap network and runs up to 21mpbs. Thats waaay faster than ATTs 7.2 max... right? Just making sure my math is correct. Sprints Wimaxx runs at 12mpbs.. isnt that faster than 7.2? Oh, and with LTE launching by black friday, thats 100mbs... is that faster than 7.2? im pretty sure it is. iphone fanboys are funny.

39. YouLostTheGame

Posts: 441; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Well your 100 mbs for VZW and 21 mbps for T-Mobile are just "theoretical" speeds. Those actually are nowhere near how fast the networks are/will be in "real-world" use/speeds.

8. mobsniper

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

I'll believe this if an iPhone acutally comes out for Verizon

9. Gawain

Posts: 438; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

I'm calling total BS on this article. Even if it took $1B in development costs to Apple to generate a CDMA device, they would have done it, assuming they had a willing partner carrier. While AT&T's warts are there for all to see, there are clearly reasons why Apple has chosen not to market a CDMA handset yet: 1) Agreement with AT&T; 2) Where is the willing CDMA carrier?; 3) There is a flaw in Apple's business model that hamstrings the carrier (a la VZW rejection years ago, and that there's been no mention of Sprint is another indicator). Apple has likely made about $1.5B on the iPhone 4G in the past 3 weeks alone. Apple is flush with cash and has no debt. This isn't about the money. There are all sorts of companies with arguably more complex architecture in their operation (like RIM) who have multi-mode devices and build devices to spec for multiple carriers. I'm really surprised that Wired would actually publish nonsense like this.

12. phone333

Posts: 331; Member since: Feb 04, 2009

December 21st 2012...VZW gets the iphone according to the Mayas..!!.....maybe...

13. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009


15. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I think I have to call shenanigans here... what executive would go on record calling out a business partner saying their use of your product is like putting lipstick on a pig? An umemployed executive would be the normal answer.

31. RS9568

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 22, 2010

Well said sir.

17. hcbarclay

Posts: 62; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

i bet it comes down to what the carrier's would do for Mr. Steve Jobs... this is how i invisioned it happening...Mr. Steve Jobs went to Verizon and said you have to pay me a ton of money per handset to sell this device exclusively on your network for the next 5 years...Verizon said we are too proud to pay you all that money for a device that is sub-par compared to currently available devices. ...then he went to Sprint and they said that they are going to work on their customer service and the 4G network before we commit to your new device that have no successfull history in even producing a phone at all. for me it comes down to this ATT needed this phone and now it is causing them pains because APPLE is still learning how to make an effective smartphone...once its available on all carriers there will be no more of these endless discussions and i will probably own one if it comes to SPRINT


Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

Dude when that VZW first aproach by Apple is gonna end......???? Did you read what VZW president sais on a interview......???? He said clear Apple never went to VZ period stop that bullcrap fanboy get over with......!!!!

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