updated 11:15 pm EDT, Fri October 22, 2010
Verizon and Apple said boosting support pre-iPhone
Verizon, and possibly Apple as well, may be beefing up the ranks of its technical support lines ahead of a CDMA iPhone. Both Ryla and Teleperformance are hiring hundreds of support agents for a deliberately anonymous cellular carrier in several states, including California, Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. Both Apple and Verizon have used Teleperformance in the past, and those in Lindon, Utah would also handle computers, MP3 players and smartphones.
The connections between Apple and Verizon weren't explicit, but the secrecy and timing were unusual for technical support. The Fresno Bee labeled hiring by Ryla in Clovis, California as for a Fortune 50 cellular company hoping to "increase its marketing and sales." In turn, the Augusta Chronicle suggested that Teleperformance's hiring was timed and required that everyone necessary be hired for the "end of November." Technical support training in the telecoms industry often takes three to four weeks and, given the holidays, would most likely have the agents starting work in January, when many expect a Verizon iPhone to be ready.
High demand for a CDMA iPhone could justify the move and would be borne out in production numbers, which could involve three to four million in three months if production at Pegatron starts in a predicted November timeframe. AT&T didn't have to swell its own support ranks when the iPhone launched as about 270,000 were sold on its opening weekend in June 2007 where 1.7 million iPhone 4s were ready this year, most of which were in the US. [via CNET]