Verizon Wireless iPhone? It's been on the wish list of many users for awhile but it's not likely to be announced June 7, when Steve Jobs is expected to unveil the next-generation iPhone.
And, with the new iPhone's cover "blown" — a prototype of the device was exposed and analyzed by tech blog Gizmodo.com last month — there may be little new in the way of major news to share when Jobs speaks at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, says one expert, longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray.
Munster said in a note that with information already out about the new phone, Apple has "little room for surprise" at the June 7 event. Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be a surprise. Jobs is one of the masters of marketing, and nothing should be ruled out. But a Verizon Wireless announcement is likely ... unlikely.
AT&T's exclusive arrangement to sell the iPhone in the United States is due to end this year, although neither Apple or the wireless carrier have commented on whether that agreement is being extended.
"We believe that it is unlikely that the next generation iPhone will be available at Verizon (or Sprint) at launch," he wrote in a report. "Rather, it is more likely that it remains exclusively available at AT&T in the U.S. at launch."
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said a consumer iPhone survey found "substantial pent-up iPhone demand" for the device to be carried by Verizon Wireless, with 16.8 percent of Verizon subscribers saying they would be "very likely" to purchase an iPhone if it were offered by Verizon.
Verizon is working to get its fourth-generation, or 4G, network in place before AT&T, before the end of this year. That network would be more suited to the next-generation iPhone's data capabilities for data and video streaming. AT&T plans to start offering its 4G network in 2011, but in the meantime has done extensive upgrades to its third-generation, or 3G, network.