Verizon has been a leaky faucet lately, with our first real bit of insight into Apple’s strategy coming in April where CFO Fran Shammo spoke about a global iPhone hitting shelves at the same time as their competitors. The idea of a dual-mode phone was “reiterated” again by Shammo at Reteurs’ technology summits: to be clear, the idea that Verizon would launch a dual-mode, GSM/CDMA capable model alongside AT&T would give it equal footing when customers decide on a carrier. Shammo offered further clarity that the iPhone probably won’t be an LTE device, noting, ”It’s a bigger issue for Apple than it is for us.” Apple is focused on providing an iPhone that works globally at the moment, rather than focusing on LTE technologies. Verizon themselves aren’t concerned about the lack of LTE on the next iPhone, given that they already have a slew of Android devices that offer their functionality if consumers desire it.
Along with iPhone plans, Shammo also said family plans would get shared data plans after the switch to tiered pricing. An end to unlimited on-device data plans was still on track for the summer, but he said it was sure Verizon would have “mega-plans” where a certain number of devices had a larger pool of data.
If you’re planning on getting an unlimited plan under Verizon, your switch from AT&T to the big red may not matter once Verizon adopts tiered pricing. Likely to be competitive with AT&T who’re currently offering 2GB of data for $25 a month, Verizon may also offer customers buying multiple phones a discount, and that mega-plans may offer incentives such as the ability to ‘borrow’ plans from other 3G devices (read: free tethering).
The next iPhone is rumored to be on track for an improved camera, bigger display, and an A5 processor. Apple should currently be in the process of ramping down iPhone 4 shipments (expecting to ship 2 million less in Q2) as the new batch of next generation iPhones are scheduled to begin production in August. The next iPhone will also likely feature an 8 MP Sony camera, as well as sporting a new design with relocated flash. All of us are going to be incredibly anxious as it’s unlikely Apple will launch a new iPhone in June or July, but I’m guessing September is looking like it’ll be bigger than we expected.