NEWS: Apple looked into switching the iPhone to Verizon as early as 2007

A story in the latest Wired magazine details how Steve Jobs and Apple continuously became frustrated with AT&T. A number of times, switching the iPhone over to Verizon was suggested until it was determined that the cost to change the phone to Big Red's CDMA network was so high that it put the kibosh on the plan. Toward the end of 2007, when the iPhone was only a few months old, AT&T asked Apple if it could reduce the use of bandwidth by making the YouTube client work only on Wi-Fi. Jobs became perturbed at the idea of restrictions being placed on the device and sent Scott Forstall, the chief of the iPhone software team, to meet with Qualcomm who was supplying Verizon with their CDMA chips. The bottom line-switching to a CDMA model was too complex and expensive. It would require a full redesign of the phone and at the time, Verizon was considered an "iffy" proposition-as much as AT&T was. The subject of switching to Big Red came up often, and as one source noted, "Every time the issue of switching came up, it always seemed to cause as many problems as it solved."


Apple has made some mistakes of its own. Apple insiders confirmed that the baseband software running the iPhone's main radio was full of bugs when the device was originally launched, and was a contributing factor to all of the dropped calls. And the selection of Infineon to provide the main radio was-in hindsight-not a good idea because of the tech firm's limited use in the U.S. prior to being used by Apple. Still, the iPhone has been a huge money maker for Apple and remains the smartphone that everyone is still trying to kill all these years later. And yes, while sources say that leaving AT&T for Verizon has been brought up about half a dozen times, there are no plans to switch carriers now. Right now, the public perceives AT&T as the bad parent, putting a cap on data usage, complaining in public about broadband usage and looking to spank customers with a tiered data plan. Apple remains the good parent, the one with the cool hardware and software that seems to have no limits to what you can do with it.


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John Navas
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As Apple continues to face overwhelming demand for the iPhone 4 and iPad, selling every unit it can make, the company remains unsure when its production capacity can find equilibrium.

Both the iPad and iPhone 4 have been consistently sold out since each product launched last quarter. The company announced Tuesday that it has sold 3.27 million iPads thus far, while the launch of the iPhone 4 managed to sell 1.7 million handsets in its first three days of availability.

Apple executives were asked during the company's quarterly earnings conference call on Tuesday when they believe Apple will be able to produce enough hardware to meet consumer demand. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said he simply does not know.


COMMENT: Antennagate seems not to have dampened enthusiasm for the iPhone 4 thus far.

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