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Summary:

Does “iPhone 3,1″ mean anything to you? If not, let me give you a hint. In the fall of 2008, handsets with an “iPhone 2,1″ attribute were hitting web sites, presumably to test the future iPhone 3GS. It’s a year later and the identifying string has […]

Iphone3gs

Does “iPhone 3,1″ mean anything to you? If not, let me give you a hint. In the fall of 2008, handsets with an “iPhone 2,1″ attribute were hitting web sites, presumably to test the future iPhone 3GS. It’s a year later and the identifying string has increased, so it’s a safe bet that a new handset is under testing. While it could well be new software, and not new hardware, odds are pretty solid that some new iPhone hardware is getting some hands-on time internally at Apple.

The timing of this sounds normal, as Apple is generally on a yearly cycle with its handsets — another good reason that U.S. cellular contracts shouldn’t be two years, but that’s another matter. But the timing of something else might be a factor here as well. At least one analyst is on record saying that AT&T will lose its iPhone exclusivity here in the middle of 2010. That’s when the next iPhone refresh is due out, so to only expect a GSM version in the U.S. might not be a reasonable expectation. Talk of the potential Verizon iPhone is starting to get louder.

Over the weekend, I read Colin Gibbs’s piece on GigaOM Pro (subscription required) because he thinks Apple could or should go with Sprint for an iPhone. That approach surprised me, but it has some merit if you believe in the WiMAX model and Sprint craves more hot handset launches since the Palm Pre and recent Google handsets. I’m more inclined to think Apple will go with Verizon over Sprint, however. A handset with WiMAX capabilities will be far more limited in terms of coverage for starters. And Verizon is already progressing with a transition to LTE for its next-generation network, which just happens to be the same technology that AT&T will use. Having an iPhone that’s compatible with the two largest U.S. carriers opens up iPhone ownership opportunities that Apple just can’t pass up.

From what I read at Fone Frenzy, it sounds like this is exactly what’s happening. The site claims a source with this quote:

“My sources have confirmed that Apple and Verizon have been testing a iPhone on Verizon’s 4G LTE network.”

We already know that Verizon plans to have 25 to 30 markets covered with LTE service by the end of 2010, so preliminary network testing could already be in play. While I don’t know who the sources are at Fone Frenzy, it’s plausible that an iPhone with LTE service could be in early test stages. And with a huge opportunity to build a 4G phone that could work on the two biggest carriers in the country, it just makes sense.

  1. I really want an iPhone for Verizon! I’m sure I’m not the only one!

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    1. Couldnt agree with you more. I’ve been craving for an iphone but refuse to leave Verizon. Been with them for 14 years. Theyre the best network by far!

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    2. I left Verizon for AT&T so that I could get an iPhone. Love the phone, not so happy about the network which has just gone downhill since I’ve joined. Mid 2010 would coincide with my 2-year renewal, so that would be perfect if I could jump back to Verizon!

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  2. Let it be! I have been waiting for the Iphone ever since I joined with Verizon and was disappointed with the Blackberry Storm.. Verizon has the superior network and we need the superior phone!

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  3. This is all speculation. Good speculation, but speculation just the same.

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  4. Everything I’ve read of late indicates LTE handsets are probably a 2012 thing, if there is a Verizon iPhone next year I expect it’ll be a GSM/CDMA hybrid.

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  5. I hope not we need Change not another iphone.

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  6. i am a verizon customer and i would love it if they got the iphone. i have wanted an iphone so badly & have been waiting for the day it comes to verizon! APPLE PLEASE BRING THE IPHONE TO VERIZON!

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  7. cobaltblue1975 Monday, November 30, 2009

    Well one thing we can be certain of, Apple will definitely be partnering with companies besides AT&T next year. AT&T has spent more time crying about certain apps taking up bandwidth than they have beefing up their infrastructure. As a result iphone users have gotten a ridiculously powerful phone on a ridiculously inadequate network. Apple knows this. Unless they are completely retarded or clueless to what’s going on they will be jumping ship at the first opportunity. Thats not to say they will ditch AT&T all together, but they are certainly going to diversify. So who is there to go to in the US? T-mobile while huge in europe has a much smaller foot print here in the states and has also done a good job of snubbing Apple with their choices in frequencies as well as advertisement. Sprint is a big gamble because while they have 3g their future plans for 4g are somewhat of a gamble because of the unorthodoxed choice of wimax. So that leaves only one viable carrier of sufficient size in the states who 1. Has a stable and fast network worthy of the hungry apps on the iphone, and 2. Has future plans to adopt a globally recognized 4g standard in the near future.

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  8. Geez.. I hope they will produce enough iPhone for Verizon customers.. cuz unlike AT&T, verizon carries 80MM + client across the nation. Now I know a lot of my friends are Verizon user(include myself) and they all love to have an iPhone but didn’t because of the carrier. Now they are going to release the iPhone to verizon.. I bet it will be a huge wave in 3Q 2010.. I can’t wait..

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  9. It sounds like none of you have ever had the new Att service. A lot of good speculation but have failed to pay attention to verizons constant bashing of the iPhone. Not to mention Apple first presented the iPhone to verizon a few years back and they laughed them out of there office. I really think that if Apple was to grant verizon a contract it be a couple more years with “last years garbage” meaning they would be a generation behind giving AT&T exclusive rights to the best iPhone out. Just look how long it took them to get the Razor and it couldnt compete with atts version. While verizons network is vast its also garbage(my good friend builds verizon cell towers). Verizon would need to figure out how to beable to make a phone call and surf the web at the same time because if u couldn’t do that then what’s the point of having an iPhone. And Btw AT&T has a larger customer and client base then verizon. Much greater then their 80MM. So don’t hold your breath cuz they still have a two year contract with apple and is negotiating for another 5 on top of it ha ha.

    Posted from my iPhone!

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