In my recent iPhone series, I touched a lot of nerves when I said that Apple might drive the industry towards a global standard, and that standard might be GSM.
USA Today reports: “AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years — an eternity in the go-go cellphone world. And Apple is barred for that time from developing a version of the iPhone for CDMA wireless networks.
That ban is no small thing. AT&T rivals Verizon Wireless and Sprint are both CDMA shops. AT&T uses GSM, a global standard incompatible with CDMA.
Bottom line: If you want an iPhone anytime soon, you’ll have to take your business to AT&T.”
Wow! I was thinking that Apple would go for market share, and also develop a CDMA phone to work with Verizon … but no, looks like they’re locked in the arms of AT&T for a while!
Of course, Verizon will work with a different vendor for its own “laptop replacement device“, but AT&T surely looks like the sole beneficiary of Apple’s magnificent PR machine at work. No wonder, they’re using the iPhone launch as their rebranding campaign from Cingular to AT&T!
It also means that Qualcomm will not benefit from the iPhone anytime soon.