The saga continues. Seemingly unwilling to let the year end without at least one more rumor about Apple’s iPhone heading to Verizon, a reliable source has told Bloomberg that Apple is planning to wait for the roar of CES to die down before finally, finally putting to bed the years of rumors, and officially unveiling the Verizon iPhone. The source did not know an exact date on when that announcement would come, nor was it clear on when the phone might actually be heading to Verizon, but the long, long, long road might finally and mercifully be coming to an end.
The source did say that the announcement is coming very soon, and Apple was simply waiting for CES to have its day first. Within a few weeks after CES, which runs from January 4-9, Apple should announce that it will be hosting an event, at which time the worst kept secret in the tech industry could be unveiled.
The real question then becomes what kind of effect will the iPhone on Verizon actually have? Verizon already offers a wide selection of comparable phones, and it is set to unveil its first 4G phone—possibly the HTC Thunderbolt—next week at CES. So far this year, Android sales have accounted for 75-80-percent of all Verizon smartphone sales, making the operating system the current darling of Verizon’s smartphone lineup, something that is unlikely to change with the introduction of the iPhone.
So while the idea of a Verizon iPhone has continued to dominate the rumor mills for months, analysts are suggesting that the actual sales will be relatively small, and Apple may only sell around 2.5 million new phones. To put that in perspective, 5.2 million iPhones were sold by AT&T last quarter alone. The greatest impact of the Verizon iPhone may actually be felt by AT&T, who stand to lose a significant number of customers to Verizon. AT&T is currently the lowest rated U.S. carrier in terms of customer satisfaction, and more than 50-percent of AT&T’s smartphone customers own some form of iPhone.
So for now the Verizon iPhone drama continues, but the end may finally be in sight.
[Updated to correct a typo]