Dec. 6, 2010 at 12:29 PM ET
Many of us are excited that the iPhone may be coming to Verizon Wireless early next year, but the nation's largest carrier may be working a deal to pay Apple more money to make sure the iPhone does not go to T-Mobile or Sprint.
"Analyst Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. said in a note to investors on Monday that he has heard from sources that Verizon is now more willing to accept Apple's terms in order to have access to the iPhone. In fact, Verizon may pay Apple even more to ensure that the iPhone remains exclusive to it and AT&T," said reports by AppleInsider and Cult of Mac.
"We are hearing that (Verizon) does not want iPhone, the hottest selling smart phone, available on T-Mobile USA and/or Sprint and may be willing to pay for exclusivity to itself and AT&T," Wu wrote in his note, according to AppleInsider. "For these reasons, (Verizon) could be more willing to give in to Apple's terms."
"We don't have any comment," Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey T. Nelson told msnbc.com Monday. Apple also does not comment on negotiations.
Wu wrote that "Apple's record-setting iPhone sales, which reached 14.1 millionlast quarter, have placed Apple in the 'driver's seat' when it comes to negotiations," AppleInsider said. "Wu also asserted that Google's Android operating system has begun to 'lose some of its luster' at Verizon."
AT&T has been the exclusive carrier of the iPhone since 2007, when it came out. That exclusive arrangement is ending, and many have been waiting for the popular phone to be available on Verizon Wireless' network. Some even might argue it's already too late for the iPhone to make it over to Verizon, as in the past year, Android phones have soared in popularity.
While Verizon Wireless and AT&T are the "bigs" in the U.S., at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, it would seem to be a mistake to shut out Sprint and T-Mobile.
Android phones now are offered by all four major carriers, and proof that widespread availability and consumer choice is good is evident in recent numbers: The number of smart phone owners who use Google's Android OS in the U.S. is almost as great as those who use Apple's iPhone, according to a recent report from tracking firm comScore.