Apple did it before, they can do it again

I am not too proud to admit that I have iPhone envy. From the moment it was first announced more than 2.5 years ago, my geek genes began to drool. All those features, all that OS integration, and later: all those apps in one sleek, sexy package.

Then Apple dropped the other shoe: available only through AT&T. Oh crap. That’s a definite deal breaker. AT&T is notoriously crappy. Slow service, spotty service, and atrocious customer service. Thus my stance was formed: no iPhone until it’s available outside of AT&T.

Recently there have been strong and credible rumors about Apple being in serious talks with Verizon–my current provider–about bringing the iPhone there next year when the exclusivity deal with AT&T ends. Suddenly the drool factory was put on standby, waiting for some official word.

But there’s a catch–and it’s a significant one. The current iPhone is built for AT&T’s infrastructure. Verizon’s is entirely different. They use the CDMA standard. It’s almost like Beta versus VHS: same idea, but completely incompatible technologies. Because of this, the scuttlebutt now is that Apple won’t move include Verizon because it would necessitate their designing and building a vastly different (internally) iPhone.

While that is significant, I think that people are forgetting their Apple history. Specifically, what they did just a few years ago with their Macintosh computers. (A reminder: in addition to iPods and iPhones, Apple also makes computers.) For a long time people wanted Apple to switch from PowerPC chips to Intel chips, just like their Windows cousins. Apple consistently and ardently refused, citing among other things that to rewrite their operating system for the Intel chips would take too long and not be worthwhile. Then what did they do? They announced that they would move to Intel chips because from Day One they had been developing a parallel operating system for Intel chips. Think about that for a sec. From the minute they decided to build their new OS back in 1998, they made sure to build it for both PowerPC and Intel chips, but kept the latter secret. For years. When it was time to switch chips, they were ready.

Doesn’t that sound more than just a little familiar? “Apple won’t go to Verizon because they don’t want to build a second iPhone.” Bullshit. I’d bet a significant amount of money that they already built that iPhone, have been refining that iPhone, and will indeed announce and release it next year with/for/on Verizon. And when that happens, I’ll still have about six months left on my latest Verizon contract. I’ve been waiting this long already. I can handle it.