The Verizon iPhone: What Could Go Wrong

Aliens listening in to the tidbits of the internet we broadcast through space everyday inadvertently probably think that an iPhone on Verizon’s cellular network will bring world peace, the proverbial messiah, or similar grand things. The truth is though, everyone just wants a Verizon iPhone to text, surf and FaceTime their friends. The rumors claiming a coming Verizon iPhone have been around since 2007 when the first iPhone came out. AT&T’s exclusivity contract with Apple for the iPhone has to run out eventually, but that alone is no guarantee of Verizon and Apple settling on a deal that makes them both happy.

The new Verizon branded, Samsung Galaxy S series smartphone—the Fascinate—does not come with Google’s search engine built into the browser even though it is running on Google’s Android OS platform. Pretty surprising. Verizon forced Samsung to make Microsoft’s Bing search engine the default, and only search engine available without going to Google’s web page directly. Verizon also forced BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM), to set Bing as the default search engine in its Verizon branded devices last year. Will Apple ever give up that level of control to a cellular carrier? I don’t think so.

Verizon has its own app stores, its own music stores, and is increasingly trying to use its leverage to make smartphone manufacturers to comply to its lucrative demands. AT&T exerts little control over the iPhone, and Apple has only been in the cell phone business for three years now. It is not used to taking orders from anyone, so why would it want to start now? Refusing to kowtow to AT&T (Verizon declined to carry the iPhone after Apple approached them first) is what has made the iPhone such an excellent device. With the T-Mobile iPhone rumors growing stronger and more frequent, those who want the iPhone on Verizon in the next 6 months might be totally out of luck.

Tell me if you think Verizon and Apple can make this work, or if the talks are doomed to fail. Remember, Facebook got kicked out of Ping in iTunes 10 already for demanding too much. Is an iPhone on T-Mobile the only AT&T relief that is going to be available soon? Leave a comment and let me know.

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