Three million CDMA-compatible iPhones are due to be produced in December 2010, ready for an early 2011 release, according to a financial analyst who's checked with production contacts inside Apple's supply chain. Is a Verizon iPhone finally true?
The source for this nth iteration of the iPhone CDMA rumor is Jeffrey Fidacaro of Susquehanna Financial Group, and he's been nattering with sources "overseas." This could be any one of a number of potential companies involved already with Apple's extensive supply chain, though previously we'd heard that Apple may be incorporating a different company (Pegatron) into its manufacturing effort to make this new-tech iPhone.
Three million iPhones for Verizon seems like an astonishingly big number, but that's only until you remember that a million iPhone 4s went over the counter in the U.S. in the first weekend of sales earlier this year. Since CDMA phones could only realistically be targeted at Verizon, and people have been clamoring for them for years (literally), it's highly believable that these millions of units would go inside the first month or so of becoming available—no matter the silly arguments over exactly who'd defect or not from AT&T.
Fidacaro puts total GSM and CDMA iPhone figures for the last quarter of 2010 as a massive 21 to 22 million units, which is a rate "well above" investor expectations. Apple can do this because production chain issues due to slow delivery from LG of LCDs for the phones have now been resolved. There's no word on whether the mythical white iPhone will finally arrive, but the slow-down in iPhone 4 availability is certainly explained by issues with acquiring enough components to meet demand (the phone is almost entirely sold out in Portugal, where I write, for example—and there's no official word on when more will be available).
But there's just one teeny, tiny flaw in all of this: Fidacaro may be completely and utterly wrong. We're not casting aspersions on his sources, or his expertise—both may be equally sound. The only problem is that we've been hearing rumor after rumor for years that Verizon will be getting an iPhone, and the siren song has always been tempting thanks to the fact Verizon's the U.S.'s most popular network, and AT&T's network seems so universally bad. To this date, every rumor has proved false. So Fidacaro's rumor may end up appearing exactly the same. The one glimmer of hope is that other manufacturers, like Samsung with its Galaxy Tab iPad competitor, are making a big thing about their device's availability on "all major carriers" ... this fact may be the last thing Apple needs to make it break its one-carrier policy in the U.S.
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