In a story that was originally broken by The Wall Street Journal on Friday before the blogosphere blew up with more details over the weekend, Verizon Wireless will reportedly announce that it will start carrying its the iPhone in a media event tomorrow.
Everyone's been speculating about this taking place for months, but it finally appears to be happening.
Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon
Verizon's iPhone will naturally be a big seller in New York City and San Francisco, two cities where AT&T's iPhone coverage is notoriously flawed. However, investors can't assume that there will be a massive wave of defections.
For starters, many of AT&T's iPhone customers are still locked into two-year contracts. They may not want to fork over hefty termination fees. Jaded AT&T customers may also want to see how the Verizon Wireless network holds up under the weight of data-slurping iPhone users.
There are also some advantages to AT&T over Verizon Wireless. AT&T's latest ads claim that it's the "nation's fastest" network. It's a debatable point -- especially as Sprint Nextel
We'll soon find out.
Verizon Wireless is reportedly offering unlimited data plans, something that AT&T abandoned for new customers seven months ago. In an ideal world for AT&T, Verizon will inherit the heavy users overtaxing its network. More than likely, though, the powerful marketing suggestion of "unlimited" data will also attract light data sippers that just don't appreciate being on the clock.
The upside potential for Apple and Verizon is huge. There's not much of a silver lining here for AT&T, unless the end of iPhone exclusivity results in lighter subsidization.
The next few quarters will reveal all. It's going to be an interesting year.
Will the iPhone be a game changer for Verizon Wireless? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Vodafone Group is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool has written puts on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is sadly not on Verizon. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.
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