iPhone iBattle: Who Wins in Verizon, AT&T War

Carrier could break AT&T exclusivity, according to report

By Caitlin Millat
|  Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010  |  Updated 1:00 PM PDT
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iPhone iBattle:  Who Wins in Verizon, AT&T War

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The Apple iPhone 3G

The iPhone-AT&T marriage could be taking a polygamous turn, according to new reports, which show Apple is flirting with Verizon.

Rumors of a Verizon iPhone are swirling through the tech world, prompting experts to predict who'll benefit most from the potential Verizon third wheel; can the three work in harmony, or does this spell a downward spiral for AT&T?

  • The latest incarnation of a Verizon iPhone hope is nothing but another spin of the iPhone rumor mill, Mark Milian blogs for the Los Angeles Times. These rumors have been floated in the past, and they'll float again, Millian writes: and the existence of a Verizon iPhone is no more true today than it has been before. "It's that time of year again," he argues. "Flowers blooming, birds chirping, kids cheering and rumors about the iPhone finally going over to Verizon Wireless."
     
  • Verizon and Apple will benefit big not only from the potential merge but from the media buzz surrounding it, JR Raphael blogs for PC World. Whether or not the Verizon iPhone is created doesn't matter for the two companies, as their stocks have already begun to boom as rumors swirl, Raphael argues. "I'm not suggesting some kind of massive conspiracy theory here. All I'm saying is that one way or another, there are ample ways investors can benefit from a well placed 'leak,'" Raphael writes.
     
  • Even if Verizon benefits, that doesn't mean AT&T has to suffer, Jeffrey Bartash blogs for Market Watch. AT&T didn't necessarily attract any new customers with iPhone, so they wouldn't be losing many in the Verizon deal, according to Bartash: "Up to 70 percent of iPhone owners had already been AT&T subscribers before they upgraded, indicating most were satisfied with their service. The penalty of breaking their annual contract would also serve as a deterrent," he writes.
     
  • If it happens, Verizon's intrusion into the AT&T-iPhone lovefest would be a minor speed bump but wouldn't bring AT&T any serious heartache, Jon Fortt writes for Fortune's Big Tech blog. Even if the Verizon deal goes through -- which Fortt questions -- AT&T brass know they could save a bundle by allowing Apple access to other carriers, he writes. Execs "know a day's coming when it won't make sense to continue paying Apple a premium to have the iPhone all locked up," Fortt argues.
     
  • AT&T investors might save on exclusivity deals but would suffer catastrophic losses in the stock market, Ron Hogan writes for Popular Fidelity. The merge will be a "crushing blow to AT&T's stock price," Hogan writes, and at the same time be a huge win for Apple because of Verizon's American stronghold. "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," Hogan writes.

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