• Verizon: No iPhone "In the Immediate Future"

    The news of a Verizon spokesperson's flat statement that the carrier has "no plans to carry the iPhone in the immediate future" has been met with a mix of disappointment and frustration. Disappointment, because many had been hoping for a CDMA iPhone at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference, a possibility that looks as if it's been definitively quashed. Frustration because there's about a mile of wiggle room in the phrase "immediate future." Horizons are very short in the tech world, and "immediate" could mean anything from a month to a year or more. Bottom line: the Verizon iPhone rumors may never die.

    Reports/rumors in recent months had converged on a fairly consistent set of possibilities. First, that Apple was working on a CDMA2000 phone at all. Daring Fireball's John Gruber, whose Apple sources are top-level and who is usually the first to pour cold water on most rumors, maintains that Apple has had a CDMA "skunkworks" inside the company from the very beginning. Second, that any CDMA iPhone wouldn't make an appearance until the end of this year or even early 2011. Even the Wall Street Journal and Fortune Magazine jumped on the Digitimes report that Apple had placed an order with Pegatron for 10 million CDMA iPhones, with Cupertino money starting to roll in by "August or September." That would put the phone on track for delivery around the holiday season.

    John Johnson, the Verizon spokesman, pivots smoothly in the interview from dismissing the iPhone rumors to loudly singing the praises of Android. The carrier now offers five Android phones, including the highly-regarded HTC Incredible, and plans to add more to its line. Some pundits have attributed Verizon's very public embrace of Android as a sharp stick in the eye of Steve Jobs, as long-rumored negotiations between Apple and the largest wireless carrier in the US continue.

    Jobs himself noted at the D8 conference earlier this week that "there might be" a possibility of additional US carriers for the iPhone. However - in a statement oddly parallel to Verizon's announcement - added that "the future is long. I canít talk about that stuff."

    And the rumor mill churns on.
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