Those who think Apple can’t get a Verizon iPhone to market any time it wants to, don’t know as much about Apple as they think they do. Whether the company has any explicit intention of launching an iPhone-model that’s compatible with Verizon and its CDMA network, Apple’s overtly compulsive style is to have all its based covered just in case. One need only look at two factoids, one which goes back a little into Apple’s history and another which is more specifically relevant in 2010.
Apple’s MacOS X operating system was originally designed to run on PowerPC (G3, G4, etc) processors, which all Mac computers used for years. But around the middle part of the decade, about five years into the existence of MacOS X, Apple decided that the PowerPC processors just weren’t keeping up with those from Intel, and so it decided to switch all of its Mac models over to Intel chips. One little problem: MacOS X, as we knew it, didn’t run on Intel chips.
One hidden solution that had been there all along: Apple had been secretly co-developing MacOS X for both PowerPC and Intel processors from day one, a good five years before the decision was made to make the switch. Nevermind how much extra time, money, and resources Apple spent over those five years by keeping its own operating system up to date at all times for two hardware platforms, one of which it wasn’t even using. Such a strategy kept Apple in a position of being able to seamlessly switch to Intel chips at the drop of a hat, any time it theoretically wanted, even though it clearly had no intention of doing so for those first several years before it finally pulled the trigger.
If you still think Apple doesn’t secretly have a Verizon iPhone, Sprint iPhone, and T-Mobile iPhone fully developed and ready to go into production at any time, then you need to go back and re-read the above paragraph.
If you want more evidence that Apple wouldn’t dare allow itself to be caught without a Verizon iPhone ready to go the minute it decides AT&T exclusivity should come to an end, look no further than the fact that a couple months ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs admitted that Apple has a Verizon cell tower on its own campus. Apple is one of those “eat your own dog food” kind of companies such that you can bet every Apple employee on the company’s Cupertino campus is using an iPhone, which means they’re all on AT&T. Of course there’s an AT&T tower on campus; you wouldn’t want ten thousand corporate users in the same building all trying to access the same cellular network. But why would Apple need to have a Verizon cellular tower installed, rather than simply relying on the Verizon signal which naturally exists in the area? It suggests that there’s some serious Verizon iPhone testing going on in Cupertino, and that there has been for awhile.
There’s no way of knowing if, when, why, or why not a Verizon iPhone would come to market. But in the mean time, to expect Apple not to have a current-generation Verizon iPhone assembled and ready to go at all times would be to mistake Apple for some other, conventionally-thinking company.