updated 01:55 pm EDT, Thu May 19, 2011
Verizon CFO slips more iPhone 5 details
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo spilled more details of the next iPhone in comments at the most recent leg of Reuters' technology summits. The executive reiterated earlier claims that the new model would use dual-mode CDMA and GSM but also that it would be available in step with the AT&T (GSM) version. Buyers would not only get the phone at the same time as AT&T but will use it in the same countries, he said.
The executive wouldn't say whether or not the new iPhone would use LTE, although both supplier leaks and Apple's own repeated comments about design sacrifices have largely ruled it out. Its presence or absence wasn't worrying to Shammo since the company already had its 4G-aware Android phones.
"It's a bigger issue for Apple than it is for us," he said.
The comments are uncharacteristically direct for a carrier partner of Apple's. It normally insists that companies stay silent on any features of future devices that haven't been revealed by Apple beforehand. During the run-up to the CDMA iPhone launch in February, Verizon was conspicuously evasive when asked about the iPhone even though it had been preparing for several months. Both Apple's demands and Verizon's desire to avoid cannibalizing Android sales prematurely kept it silent.
Along with iPhone plans, Shammo also said family plans would get shared data plans after the switch to tiered pricing. An end to unlimited on-device data plans was still on track for the summer, but he said it was sure Verizon would have "mega-plans" where a certain number of devices had a larger pool of data. The strategy would potentially lower the price for multiple smartphones and would make it possible for a tablet or another non-phone device to 'borrow' a plan instead of having to get a separate plan of its own.
Carrier officials have so far declined to narrow down the timing or to say what pricing would be when tiered pricing ends. AT&T's strategy currently gives 250MB of data for $15 per month and 2GB for $25 per month.