In a remarkable case of repeat offenses, Verizon Wireless Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told the Reuters Global Technology summit Thursday that the next iPhone will launch on Verizon’s network at the same time as it does on AT&T’s, and that the Verizon model will be usable in as many international markets as its AT&T counterpart.
Shammo originally let it spill that the Verizon iPhone would be a “global device” during the carrier’s quarterly results conference call back in April. Today, he reiterated that the next iPhone will be available at the same time as AT&T, and that it will be a dual-mode device for global use. The current AT&T iPhone is much more usable internationally because it uses a GSM antenna, and most international cellular networks use GSM technology. Support for both CDMA and GSM networks would make the Verizon iPhone just as useable overseas.
While Shammo didn’t say whether or not the next iPhone will support LTE networks, he did say that whether or not LTE is supported by Apple is “a bigger issue for Apple than it is for us.”
Apple is a company known for being incredibly tight-lipped about upcoming product releases, and you can bet that a senior executive at a partner company running around telling everyone who will listen specific details about its next iPhone is not going to go over well at Cupertino. It’s been widely speculated that the next iPhone will be a dual-mode phone, thanks in part to the Verizon iPhone 4’s Qualcomm cellular chip, which is technically capable of working with both GSM and CDMA networks. But even when changes are so widely expected as to be pretty much a given, Apple never comments on or verifies technical details about future products.
I imagine Shammo is the subject of some very irate calls from Apple HQ right now.