Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is developing two new iPhones that will debut this year, and one of them is reportedly slated for the Verizon Wireless network, reports the WSJ.
If the rumors are to be trusted this time around (because a lot of them have been way off the mark), it could mean the iPhone would be for sale for the first time in the U.S. outside of AT&T’s network in a matter of months. The timing falls in line with an Apple tradition of unveiling a new iPhone every June or July since launching the first in 2007. The WSJ notes that the CDMA version for the Verizon network may not be produced until September.
In most countries, the iPhone has become available on multiple carriers. Perhaps part of the delay has been because of the complexities of the U.S. market. The phone’s hardware would have to be tweaked to run on Verizon or Sprint’s network. It would have to be tweaked once again to work on T-Mobile’s 3G network. For the iPhone to work on Verizon Wireless’ network, it has to come with a CDMA chipset. AT&T (NYSE: T) uses the predominant global standard, GSM, but T-Mobile uses a different radio frequency in the U.S. that makes it incompatible.
Many speculated that the Verizon version would come soon after AT&T announced a slew of other smartphone devices for its network at CES in January. AT&T announced it would carry multiple Dell, Android and Palm (NSDQ: PALM) phones — all due out later this year. However, others surmised that AT&T and Apple’s partnership was rock solid after Apple said the iPad would be available exclusively for the AT&T network when it launches with 3G sometime in May.
Engadget was able to track down some additional information, and hesitantly reported that the next iPhone would be announced on June 22, and will be called the iPhone HD, which would imply higher resolution capabilities. They won’t believe it until they see it.