When Will iPhone Leave AT&T?

Apple iPod touch 8 GB (2nd Generation--with iPhone OS 3.1 Software Installed) [NEWEST MODEL]I had a request last week for this blog post–that’s right, folks. If you want my opinion about something, you have but to ask. As most people know, the iPhone has been exclusive to AT&T ever since it came on the scene. This has been great news for AT&T–awful news for everyone else. AT&T’s coverage for the phone has been notoriously awful, and with exclusivity comes bad contracts, as well. Despite many rumors to the contrary, this pairing has endured. Apple says it’s because AT&T gave them a chance to get their foot in the door. AT&T says it’s because the iPhone is the only thing keeping their wireless network relevant at this point.

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that’s all set to change in January, when Verizon will get in on the game.

Big news, right? Well, maybe. For one thing, this is a rumor that’s surfaced before. Over the past two years, there have been blips when everyone’s convinced Apple’s about to break free from AT&T’s shackles. Hasn’t happened yet. One of the reasons for this is that the wireless technology AT&T (and T-Mobile) uses is different than that of Verizon (and Sprint): GSM vs. CDMA. So phones for AT&T wireless plans won’t work with Verizon wireless plans. (There’s a big long technical explanation here, but you don’t really need to know why they don’t place nice together–you just need to know they don’t.) So Apple would have to make a different version of the iPhone before it could make the switch to Verizon. Frankly, when Apple can sell 1.7 million iPhone 4s in only three days, there’s not a huge motivation to make the switch just yet.

But I’m confident that will change. (Mainly because I really want an iPhone–those things are sweet!) It might not be in January, but I’d give that window a 75% shot of being accurate. In the end, it all boils down to money: by opening up their phone to the rest of the country, Apple can basically sit back and watch the money come gushing in (more than it’s gushing in now, that is–it’s all about the gush rate). Since Apple’s a company, it loves the gushes. That much gush just waiting to be tapped . . . sooner or later, it has to happen. And of course, when it does, look to see new versions of the iPad coming out to take advantage of the new networks, as well.

For that–this post from The Oatmeal sums up what it’s like to be an Apple aficionado these days. Happy Wednesday, all!

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