Apple 2.0

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CEO Ivan Seidenberg pours cold water on all those Verizon iPhone rumors

September 23, 2010: 9:55 AM ET

Tells investors he hopes Apple will build one for a 4G network Verizon hasn't yet deployed

If Apple (AAPL) is indeed building a CDMA iPhone, as a series of analysts' notes maintain, it may not be for Verizon (VZ).

On Wednesday, for example, Susquehanna's Jeff Fidacaro issued what may be the most detailed report yet on Apple's plans to build an iPhone that runs on CDMA networks, rather than the GSM protocol supported by existing models. Apple, he wrote, is currently on target to build 3 million CDMA iPhones before the end of December, right on schedule for a launch in early 2011.

This is in line with several other analysts' reports, most of which assume that the new iPhones are headed for Verizon, the U.S.'s largest carrier.

But speaking before an investors conference Thursday, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said nothing about an iPhone for the current 3G network, according to an AP report. Instead, he said he hoped Apple would build one for the 4G network now under construction.

This could be misdirection, intended to put reporters off the scent. Or it could mean that any CDMA iPhones Apple is building might be earmarked for other carriers. Like Sprint (S), for example, the other major U.S.-based carrier that uses the protocol. Or any of more than a dozen CDMA mobile phone services around the world.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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