With all the rumors swirling around a potential Verizon iPhone, a new report claims that 16.8 percent of all Verizon customers are waiting feverishly for their chance to pocket Steve Jobs' favorite device.
But the most interesting rumor is that Sprint may be getting iPhone, too.
Most people will tell you that Verizon has better call quality and reliability than AT&T. I don't doubt that. Having used iPhone for 18 months now, I have had dropped calls with AT&T, but haven't experienced the issues that I read about online from some AT&T customers or former customers. I had the original GSM phone from AT&T several years back and never had an issue except in a few known dead spots (and what is it about that area around Highway 51 and Sardis Road that is like a cell phone purgatory?). So maybe it is iPhone load that is causing AT&T network issues, and maybe if iPhone users spread to more networks, it might relieve the strain on AT&T.
Although AT&T wouldn't want to lose all those customers paying higher iPhone monthly bills.
What I do know is that AT&T and Verizon offer virtually the same prices. Sprint is several steps below them, and Sprint offers plans that have unlimited calling to any mobile phone, and Sprint has launched its new high speed 4G network in several markets, including Charlotte.
Sprint's service locally has improved, I'm told, as has their customer service, which used to be a major problem.
Last week, AT&T announced it was increasing its early termination fees to $325 from $175 for all new contracts after June 1. This led to wild speculation that iPhone is indeed going to more carriers. The thinking goes that if Verizon or Sprint or T-Mobile got the iPhone in the fall, consumers who signed up for the new iPhone next month would be loathe to leave AT&T a few months later and pay the new bigger fee.
But if I'm one of the new carriers, assuming there are some, I would be mad if Apple didn't announce our availability at launch of the new phone next month. That hurts potential sales and gives AT&T a huge advantage.
I think Apple would be smart to move iPhone to multiple carriers as it does in other countries. The Android phones are quite good and are available across brands. From a competition standpoint, that hurts Apple.
So all eyes will be on Steve Jobs' keynote address June 7 at 1 p.m. at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. We know he's going to debut a new iPhone with the new operating system. But will he also say the magic words that many potential customers have been waiting to hear?
"And one more thing. Starting today, you can get iPhone from more carriers."