Anyone surprised about the Verizon iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by crazytiger86, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. crazytiger86 macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2010
    Anyone surprised that with the end of exclusivity, Apple chose to bring the iPhone to Verizon instead of unlocking it?

    You would think that instead of restructuring the iPhone that it would make slightly more sense to just "unlock" the damn thing and toss it onto T-Mobile. Same network, same GSM hardware. The overhead in doing so would be minimal if any while still affording some measure of revenue.

    I'm slightly surprised because it seems as if Verizon was so in bed with Android. I remember those iDont commercials. It seems odd that there is such a change in tone for Verizon. Since the iPhone for Verizon has come "out of the bag", I've noticed a significant drop in the amount of "Droid Does" commercials for Verizon and instead more "generic" commercials (Rule The Air, Be Your Own Personal Signal...those commercials never made sense to me).

    It just seems like for Apple, with the end of exclusivity, it would make more sense NOW to just unlock the damn thing for T-Mobile and then reconsider or create a GSM/CDMA iphone concurrently with the release of an iPhone 5 (iPhone 4S).
  2. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I'm just surprised they didn't do it earlier. :)
  3. drummingcraig macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2007
    "Armpit of the South"
    Hardly shocking. We've all known it was coming (even more so if you frequent these forums).

    Except in the US market T-Mobile has a nowhere near the customer base Verizon does. Verizon actually has slightly more subscribers then AT&T, and T-Mobile (US) has roughly a third of that. The overhead of re-tooling the iPhone to work on a CDMA network is a drop in the bucket compared to what Apple stands to gain by deploying the phone on Verizon's network. Not to mention, you're a fool if you don't think Verizon subsidized the process. Do you think Apple paid for the Verizon tower that was erected on the Cupertino campus?

    Its just business. Verizon was doing what it had to do to survive and move on down the road while AT&T was dominating with the exclusivity of the iPhone. I also suspect that many/most of those "attack" commercials were paid for and put together by the device manufacturers and not exclusively Verizon. People talk about AT&T losing customers to Verzion now that they have the iPhone, but don't forget about Motorola, Samsung, RIM, etc who are all going to lose even more traction (and potentially see the worst of this).

    But its not as simple as Apple "unlocking the damn thing". Once you start selling unlocked GSM phones you are hurting the carriers who you've signed agreements with as folks will simply move the phone from network to network as they chose. You lose control. So they would have had to develop a firmware tweak that subsidy locks the device to T-Mobile the same way it is with AT&T.

    There's also the simple fact that Apple is surely aware of the grey market of jailbroken/unlocked iPhones which are operating on T-Mobile already. Who knows how many consumers this segment represents, but those are customers which aren't going to run out, buy a new phone and sign a new agreement if Apple "officially" releases the device on T-Mobile. Its not terribly difficult to get an iPhone to work on T-Mobile (either thru hacking or ebay). NO ONE (except for maybe Steve Jobs and a handful of developers) has had an iPhone running on the Verizon network. A T-Mobile branded iPhone would be a non-news item compared to the Verizon iPhone.

    So here's the question for you:

    You're the CEO of a HUGE multi-national corporation which makes cell phones. You are going to break exclusivity and finally release what is arguably your most successful product ever on a second carrier. You have the choice between spending a small amount of money and releasing it on a carrier that represents roughly 60% less customers than your current situation. OR, you can spend more money but release it on a network that is larger than your current exclusive provider.

    T-Mobile = a third more potential customers
    Verizon = potentially DOUBLE your current customers

    You tell me what you're going to do?
  4. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    T-Mobile uses different frequencies for 3G so Apple would still have to put in a new GSM radio that supported those frequencies, so I doubt it would have been that much cheaper. Plus with Verizon they get many more potential customers.

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