Will the iPhone end up at T-Mobile instead of Verizon?

Will the iPhone end up at T-Mobile instead of Verizon?
With every one expecting a Verizon branded version of the iPhone to come to market 3 seconds after AT&T's exclusivity expires, one analyst has a different idea. Doug Reid is a pencil pushing analyst at Thomas Weisel and he says that the growing rift between AT&T and Verizon, as we have seen in the battle of the T,V, ads, has formed a chasm too wide to be repaired. Reid says that the nation's fourth largest carrier would be a more likely home for Apple's touchscreen device. Noting that the iPhone is already sold through the German arm of T-Mobile, Reid adds, "Apple wants to move away from exclusivity; T-Mobile would achieve this for Apple in the U.S."

Shaw Wu, an analyst for Kaufman Brothers, also points out that with Apple pushing customers to its iTunes site. that would compete with Big Red's proprietary VCast music and videos. Wu also notes that Apple gets about $700 for each iPhone from AT&T. Verizon's cost basis on the DROID is $450 paid to Motorola, so that is a $250 gap that Apple and Verizon would have to discuss before striking a deal. The current popularity of the Motorola DROID and its acceptance as the first real iPhone challenger on Verizon may also lessen the carrier's determination to land the iPhone. The analyst says that both T-Mobile and Sprint would be more compatible with Apple's goals. Wu notes that "from a technology perspective, we believe T-Mobile may have an advantage with a similar 3G UMTS/WCDMA network as AT&T."  Both AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM carriers as opposed to Verizon and Sprint with their CDMA technology. That could be another point in favor of T-Mobile. In Verizon's favor is the larger number of potential iPhone users currently using the largest carrier in the U.S. and of course, there is the network. Widely considered to be the best in the country, Big Red was just named Consumer Reports' top carrier as we informed you yesterday. AT&T was last. It might just come down to the current battle between AT&T and Verizon and the bridges burned by the latter during this scorched Earth campaign.

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source: TheStreet

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