In what will be a crushing blow to AT&T’s stock price (and a boon to Verizon’s already), rumors are swirling that the Apple iPhone might finally be breaking free from its AT&T exclusivity in the United States and fleeing to leading cell provider Verizon (and possibly Sprint as well). The rumors spring from announcements that Apple is working on a version of the iPhone compatible with CDMA cell phone technology. Right now, the iPhone works with GSM only.
However, the announcement might be nothing. After all, while most of the world’s cell phone companies use GSM, there are still some holdout countries. Namely, Japan and South Korea also use a lot of CDMA, so it may just be an iPhone for some service in those countries, but probably not. If I was Apple, I’d definitely make the iPhone available on Verizon, if only because it has the biggest market share in the States. The exclusivity deal has lasted long enough; now it’s time to grab some cash, break RIM’s back, and stave off Google for a few more months.