Verizon Wireless, No iPhone for You This Year

Now that hoopla surrounding the Apple iPad has died down a bit, we can get back to talking about the issue that truly makes the world go ‘round – how soon it will be before Verizon gets its hands on the iPhone.

Just a little more than a week ago, speculation was rampant that the two companies would announce a partnership at Apple’s press event on Jan. 27; that turned out to be the iPad’s day. But now comes word that Verizon Wireless – and any other carrier for that matter – won’t be able to break AT&T’s stranglehold on the iPhone this year, and maybe beyond.

That’s the latest in a note issued by Jonathan Chaplin of Credit Suisse. He doesn’t believe the exclusive deal between AT&T and Apple will end this year, and even thinks it could last well into 2011. That, he writes, will give AT&T time to overcome its image as a company with a troubled wireless network – so much so, that customers will forget all about it. And if that happens, there’s even less reason for the partnership to break up.

“We believe there is a 75 percent probability that AT&T keeps exclusivity in 2010,” Chaplin writes.”

Most have considered Verizon’s CDMA network to be one of the biggest hurdles to forming a partnership for the iPhone, but that speculation recently has waned. Earlier this week, an anonymous source inside the Verizon camp said the two were discussing plans for the iPad as early as this summer. It’s AT&T, once again, that will enjoy the spoils of the iPad’s debut in a few weeks.

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