Verizon iPhone rumors churning again

Verizon iPhone rumors surfaced again Monday as the blogosphere gossiped about an Apple Qualcomm order for CDMA chipsets. Think Stock photo.

People love their iPhones. But they hate the Apple/AT&T union. Rumors of a Verizon iPhone have been swirling for years. The latest rumor has “unnamed sources” saying that the Verizon iPhone will be available to consumers in January 2011. The big clue people mention when spreading the iPhone Verizon rumor is another rumor: a big Apple Qualcomm order for chipsets that work on Verizon’s network. Ever since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 with AT&T as its exclusive wireless carrier, industry insiders have said the Verizon iPhone is not a question of if, but when.

Verizon iPhone rumors based on rumors

Rumors about the Verizon iPhone have become so commonplace that no one really believes them anymore. But Steve Cheney at Tech Crunch, who launched the latest Verizon iPhone rumor, says this time it’s different. Cheney said he was confident that the rumors will finally become fact because of the DNA of smartphone components that are traced through the supply chain. This is a geeky way to say that a huge order by Apple for CDMA chipsets from Qualcomm for a December Verizon iPhone run means the Verizon iPhone is due next January — never mind that the scoop about the Apple/Qualcomm order comes from “sources with knowledge of the entire situation.”

Apple Qualcomm iPhone will be huge

Verizon’s network runs with chipsets tuned to the wireless standard called CDMA, which is incompatible with the Apple/AT&T’ GSM network. Even though Apple’s CDMA order from Qualcomm is still a rumor, Bloomberg joined Tech Crunch in saying that Apple’s suppliers have been ramping up production of components for a phone on Verizon’s CDMA network. Apple has sold more than 50 million iPhones since the phone’s introduction in 2007. The iPhone, which has been the sole domain of AT&T in the U.S., will give Verizon a boost in its competition for smartphone customers, UBS AG analyst John Hodulik told Bloomberg. Verizon customers, who numbered 92.8 million at the end of the first quarter, may buy 3 million iPhones a quarter, he estimates.

Bloggers cry wolf on cue

The latest Verizon iPhone rumor joins a long list of false alarms for iPhone users who regard AT&T service as the only flaw in their ultimate device. PC World offered a history of Verizon iPhone rumors that began in Sept. 2008 when bloggers citing a tipster who had Verizon insider credentials said the rumor would come true in early 2009. Since then, Verizon iPhone release dates emerged in April 2009 (Early 2010), Oct. 2009 (70 percent chance in 2010), Oct. 2009 (late 2010), Jan 2010, (Jan. 2010!), March 2010, (late 2010) and May 2010 (early 2011).