Verizon May Get iPhone In January 2011?

This rumor will not kick the bucket until Verizon actually gets the iPhone or Steve Jobs comes out saying, “Verizon will never get my product!  They’re Google lovers!  By the way, I’m marrying AT&T.”

The latest version of the rumor came yesterday (June 29) when said “two people familiar with the plans” let them know that Apple’s  iPhone will be coming to Verizon in January of 2011, ending AT&T’s hold over the device.  Of course these folks declined to be publicly named and both Apple and Verizon’s spokespeople declined to comment.

The minute the “news” hit the Internet, everyone started buzzing.  What does this mean for current AT&T customers?  How will this impact the AT&T network?  How many units do you expect Verizon would even sell?  Some folks are scared that the introduction of a Verizon iPhone 4 would cause an “Osborne Effect” (when customers cancel their current orders for a product knowing it will become obsolete when the other product arrives) and cause chaos in the smart phone world.  Others (like me) are cynical about the situation, holding steadfast to the “I’ll believe it when I see it” theory.

So what would a Verizon iPhone 4 mean?  Projections are that the company could sell up to 12 million iPhones a year, putting huge amounts of cash in the pocket of Apple.  It would certainly be in Apple’s monetary best interests to expand the iPhone’s market, but are they willing to do that to AT&T?

With AT&T’s reputation of dropped calls and bad reception, the company might find itself in serious trouble should Apple expand.  This thought is mainly what keeps me from believing the hype- do you honestly think AT&T would just let Apple walk out the door?  I’m sure they’re in negotiations to expand their exclusive contract.

So until there’s hard evidence staring me in the face that customers will be able to purchase and use iPhones under the Verizon banner, I’ll not get my hopes up.