Verizon iPhone Release Confirmed, Fortune Reports: Inside The Verizon-Apple Deal

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In a piece on Verizon's "dream phone," Fortune's Sarah Ellison writes that Fortune has "confirmed that a Verizon iPhone will be released in early 2011."

Fortune describes why Verizon initially declined to carry the iPhone, then later reconsidered:

Verizon executives say they passed on an opportunity to be the exclusive network for the phone back in 2005 largely because they felt that Apple and CEO Steve Jobs wanted too much control over how and where the devices would be sold -- and too big a cut of the monthly service fees. Verizon didn't want to give up maintenance of its devices or its relationship with its customers, and it sought to distribute the phone through multiple retail partners. So Apple went with AT&T, of course, and conversations between Apple and Verizon about a phone essentially ceased for two years.

Yet Apple also had concerns. The company "was wary of building a device for Verizon's CDMA network because it didn't use technology that allowed a phone to seamlessly operate around the world, as AT&T's network does," Ellison writes.

Fortune reports that Verizon President and CEO Lowell McAdam told Steve Jobs in December 2007 that despite being unable to reach an agreement before, it was worth reconsidering their arrangement. McAdam told Fortune that Jobs answered, "Yeah, you're probably right. We have missed something."

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Apple has plans to produce a version of the iPhone that will be compatible with the Verizon network later this year. This would enable Verizon to sell the smartphone in early 2011.

Jobs noted during a press conference held earlier this year in response to the "antennagate" uproar that Apple had Verizon cell sites on its campus, hinting that the company may be testing the iPhone on Verizon's network.

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