updated 11:05 am EDT, Mon August 23, 2010
Device could use SVDO as stop-gap before LTE
The details of a Verizon iPhone are "still being ironed out," according to Kaufman analyst Shaw Wu. Sources allegedly indicate that some important decisions remain unresolved -- not just finances, but also underlying technology. With the latter, the problem is that Apple can either build a CDMA iPhone for 2011 or wait until 2012, when LTE (4G) networks will be more widespread.
At the moment Apple and Verizon are claimed to be leaning towards SVDO as an "interim technology," before migrating completely to LTE over the next few years. SVDO allows for simultaneous data and voice, unlike the current Verizon network configuration, which could limit the functionality of iPhone apps. The carrier is already believed to be working on SVDO in the form of Voice over Revision A (VoRA).
Beyond Verizon, Wu comments that it's "premature" to rule out T-Mobile or Sprint as future US iPhone carriers. The latter has 48 million subscribers, and like Verizon, uses CDMA. T-Mobile has 34 million people and relies on the GSM standard in current iPhones, but would still need a modified receiver due to using different frequencies. In any case Apple is thought to need more US carriers to maintain present growth, as AT&T is approaching saturation levels.