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Apple May Bring a Non-iPhone To Verizon Wireless 194

Posted by kdawson
from the media-pad dept.
The Narrative Fallacy writes "According to BusinessWeek, Verizon Wireless is in talks with Apple to distribute two new iPhone-like devices that are not iPhones. (Apple has created prototypes.) AT&T's contract with Apple, which has not been made public, is believed to cover all models of the iPhone, but only the iPhone. So if Apple builds something that isn't an iPhone — and perhaps doesn't even make cellular calls — they won't be violating their exclusivity contract with AT&T, which runs through at least 2010. One device is a smaller, less expensive calling device described by a person who has seen it as an 'iPhone lite.' The other is a media pad, said to be smaller than a Kindle but with a bigger screen, that would let users listen to music, view photos, watch high-definition videos, and make calls over a Wi-Fi connection. (And read books?) Apple could use the prospect of an iPhone-esque device as leverage to prevent Verizon Wireless from introducing the Palm Pre, or at least to delay its introduction on Verizon's network. 'The media pad category might go to Verizon,' said one person who has seen the device. 'We are talking about a device where people will say, "Damn, why didn't we do this?" Apple is probably going to define the damn category.'" Reader stevegee58 writes with word that Verizon may be playing both ends against the middle. Marketwatch reports that Microsoft and Verizon are in talks to develop a touch-screen mobile phone that would run on Windows Mobile.
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Apple May Bring a Non-iPhone To Verizon Wireless

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  • Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) *

    T&T's contract with Apple, which has not been made public, is believed to cover all models of the iPhone, but only the iPhone.

    I don't mean to be nit-pickey, but somehow, the meaning got lost in the translation.

    • I think they are saying the contract forbids them to sell iPhones to TMobile, but they can create a phone (or maybe just a non-phone device) and sell it to TMobile.
    • THIS makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by goombah99 (560566) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:32PM (#27752429)

      The back story here is that verizon is switching away from CDMA. they are expected however to maintain CDMA for voice and phase in the new network for data. Apple has said they are not eager to develop for CDMA since it has no future.

      So if apple came out with a data device, say a netbook, for verizon it could run on the new network and not bother with CDMA.

      makes total sense.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        You know, those two devices described in the article don't sound half bad. A Kindle that can make Wi-Fi calls?

        I'm in.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by maxume (22995)

        In an attempt to keep things exciting, most 3g technologies use a CDMA (or W-CDMA) carrier.

      • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @02:01AM (#27755929) Journal

        I have a touchscreen phone that uses Windows Mobile. It's the HTC mogul and it's a damned sweet phone when you load it up with SkyFire browser. (IE mobile takes suck to whole new levels)

        I browse and post on slashdot/digg/reddit/etc, watch movies on hulu, play mp3s and all that jazz but unlike the iPhone, it has a real keyboard that doesn't suck to type on. (touch screen keyboards blow HARD)

        It's a pretty awesome phone. But dangit, it's still windows with all its suck. The interface is inconsistent, laggy, it runs out of memory when you run too many progs at a time, and it just crashes about 1x/week without warning. Oh, and there's no spider solitaire.

        It's a great phone except for the windows part.

        It was great irony this morning... using Outlook mobile, Exchange (Zimbra) and Office mobile, it refused to open a word document in an email because it might 'harm my system'. Something ironic about MS' product telling me that another of their products is dangerous to use?

        I opened it w/my Linux laptop, Kmail, and Open Office just fine, thank you!

        PS: I typed this post on said phone. Verizon is developing a touch screen phone? What am I using, then?

      • If they're building a strictly data-only device on Verizon's upcoming LTE rollout, then they can also sell it to AT&T for their LTE rollout. You can probably expect a different type of "exclusivity" agreement with any Verizon LTE device that gives some wiggle room.

        Also, given Verizon's history of lockdown, I'm suspicious of the "voice calls over Wifi" claim. Verizon will want you to also have one of their voice devices and use their network minutes.
  • > Microsoft and Verizon are in talks to develop a
    > touch-screen mobile phone that would run on
    > Windows Mobile.

    Seems to me there used to be a bunch of these options, and they all failed in the market.

  • FTW (Score:2, Funny)

    by lessthanpi (1333061)
    It's amazing how much apple dominates. It's iPod controls 73% of the market share of mp3 players and is the second leading smart phone vendor in the U.S.S.A. There is no stopping them. Antitrust measures should be taken immediately.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by justindarc (1046048)
      Who let Ballmer in here!?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by penguinstorm (575341)

      I'm not sure that's really "funny" as it's been modded. Anti-Trust measures WERE being considered against Apple in some jurisdictions, on the basis of Apple's iTunes DRM.

      When Apple dropped DRM those calling for anti-trust prosecutions basically lost any grounds on which to fight. The iTunes Music Store doesn't lock you into an iPod anymore...you can play what you buy anywhere and your iPod can play tunes purchased from anywhere. iPods are a bit locked to iTunes in terms of loading data onto it, but there's

    • Re:FTW (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @08:36PM (#27753761)
      Apple isn't a monopoly though, the competition just plain sucks. Ok, so there are some pretty nice MP3 players that aren't iPods, but they are few and far between, and even then many don't have the features that an iPod does, and then there's no MP3 player that comes close to the iPod Touch (aside from game/music hybrids like PSPs and the GP2x). For smart phones, Windows Mobile plain sucks (seriously, you shouldn't have random freeze ups and vendors shouldn't be forced to create another OS on top of WinMo in order to make it usable), Android, while nice and usable (and will undoubtedly be better in the long run) just doesn't have the polish of the iPhone OS in April of 2009, Symbian doesn't really excel in anything, and BlackBerry is devoid of innovation (but I can't really fault Blackberries for that, they after all are more an ultra-reliable corporate phone rather then a geek plaything).
      • by db32 (862117)
        You aren't allowed to say things like that here...common sense...who the hell approved that?

        I am a tad surprised you don't already have a horde bitching at you about how horrible iPods are, or how evil Apple is, or whatever.

        Personally, I think MS should have stuck with WinCE over WM. Not for any technical reason...I just think the fact that they let a version of Windows called "wince" out the door is hilarious.

        And as far as Android being better in the long run...I don't know that I entirely doubt th
      • So?
        Wake me up when your iPod Touch can do A2DP.

        Oh, by the way, how low Slashdot has fallen - people here don't know the difference between operating system and GUI anymore and they call themselfs "geeks".

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @05:48PM (#27751847)

    The thinnest, lightest fuck you to ATT on the market!

  • Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

    by d474 (695126) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @05:48PM (#27751851)
    "A Non-iPhone"

    So this an article that isn't about iPhones, but feels the need to define it in terms of an iPhone.

    (Car analogy time) That's like saying Ford is developing a new Non-Mustang vehicle.
    • Except the little one is a small iPhone, and the big one is just a big iTouch; which is an iPhone that you can't call with. But the contract with AT&T won't let them call either one an iPhone...
    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by isaac338 (705434) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:08PM (#27752139)

      You miss the point. All it's saying is Apple can make a device strikingly similar to an iPhone but at long as it's not called "iPhone" it's not required to be on AT&T.

      • Maybe they'll call it the iPod Touch?

        • by mgblst (80109)

          The iPod Touch with phone? Or why the hell do they need verizon? Unless it will let you browse the internet over mobile network, and let you make calls with skype?

      • Hasn't Apple done that with the iTouch already? The iTouch already vastly outsells the number of iPhones in every category (even without the cellular carrier subsidy). It's no wonder Apple is wanting to make more iTouch-like devices to experiment with that market.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chabo (880571)

      It'd be more like if Ford had a contract with a certain steel company to produce all steel for the Mustang until 2015, and Ford one day announces that they're making a new car that has exactly the same components as the Mustang, but isn't officially a Mustang, so they aren't contractually obligated to keep the same steel supplier.

  • So (Score:2, Funny)

    by captnbmoore (911895)
    That would make my Orange an Apple. Sweet.
  • Palm Pre (Score:3, Interesting)

    by get quad (917331) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @05:50PM (#27751891)
    I dont own an iPhone because it doesn't have a tactile keyboard. I believe that when Verizon realizes how much of a gimmick the Blackberry Storm was and finally picks up the Palm Pre, AT&T will lose millions of customers to Verizon/Palm.
    • Re:Palm Pre (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slyn (1111419) <ozzietheowl@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:08PM (#27752131)

      The Palm Pre needs to come out first for that particular plan to work.

      • Re:Palm Pre (Score:4, Insightful)

        by moosesocks (264553) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @08:54PM (#27753895) Homepage

        The Palm Pre needs to come out first for that particular plan to work.

        Palm needs to break their exclusivity agreement with Sprint for that particular plan to work.

        • Palm needs to break their exclusivity agreement with Sprint for that particular plan to work.

          Clearly, Apple has shown them the way. Palm just needs to make a new prototype of different dimensions and different functionality, and call it a Finger Pre, or a Thumb Pre, or a Little Finger Pre.

          What could possibly go wrong.

    • Re:Palm Pre (Score:4, Funny)

      by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:19PM (#27752265)

      I dont own an iPhone because it doesn't have a tactile keyboard.

      The iPhone 3.0 software enables the 'Spring Surprise' tactile feedback:
      Two steel bolts that, upon the activation of the keyboard, spring outward and pierce the user's hands and fingers.

      • The iPhone 3.0 software enables the 'Spring Surprise' tactile feedback: Two steel bolts that, upon the activation of the keyboard, spring outward and pierce the user's hands and fingers.

        Alright, an Apple/Monty Python crossed memes thread!

        Apple iPhone 3.0: "If we took the bones out, it wouldn't be snappy."

    • Thats assuming a lot of factors. Primarily the software support on the Pre. If the Pre doesn't have a good, solid, cheap/free official application base, it won't thrive. Much like the Apple commercial says, there really is an app to do almost anything you want on the iPhone* and really, the number of good games and developers on the iPhone is really impressive, Namco, Square-Enix, Konami and a lot of others really have some decent games on there.


      *That is, of course if you don't want to do things that Ap
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Threni (635302)

        > *That is, of course if you don't want to do things that Apple says that you can't do such as emulators, using "undocumented" features, or
        > "obscene" applications, but that is what jailbreaking is for, right?

        That, or just getting a phone which supports Windows Mobile, Symbian or Java apps.

    • by croddy (659025)

      i like the iphone keyboard.

      note: i am someone curses when i have to type on any computer keyboard not equipped with cherry mx blue or alps white keyswitches.

    • by mgblst (80109)

      You want a tactile keyboard. Ok, so do a lot of other people. But many people don't, I definately don't. I don't want the wasted space.

      Have you ever heard of the blackberry, i know it has only been out for years and years, but it has caught on with a couple of people (50 million sold).

      Somehow I still see that there is a market for the iphone?

  • Sounds familiar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tylersoze (789256) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @05:53PM (#27751937)

    This sounds an awful like what Jobs did when he decided to kill off the clone makers after he came back as CEO. They had a license for OS 8, so he just changed the name to OS 9.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:23PM (#27752319)
      My father fought in the clone wars. But he was betrayed by a Sith lord named Steve.
    • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@nosPAm.phroggy.com> on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:43PM (#27752595) Homepage

      This sounds an awful like what Jobs did when he decided to kill off the clone makers after he came back as CEO. They had a license for OS 8, so he just changed the name to OS 9.

      To be fair, it's not like going from 7.5 to 7.6 to 8.0 to 8.1 to 8.5 to 8.6 to 9.0 was a completely shocking progression.

      • by tylersoze (789256)

        Well other than the fact the features in OS 9 really didn't warrant a new version number.

        • by Lars T. (470328)

          Well other than the fact the features in OS 9 really didn't warrant a new version number.

          But the changes between Vista ad Windows 7 do? Anyway, if Apple had skipped 8.6, the changes from 8.5 would have been enough for the new version number.

          • by Lars T. (470328)
            PS: not that this matters in any way, the Version number change that killed the clones was from 7.x to 8.0.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by macshome (818789)
      So close!

      Back then the Mac ran on "System" whatever. System 3, System 6, System 7, you get the idea.

      The clone license covered System 7, so they changed the name to Mac OS and revved the number to 8, just to be sure.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lars T. (470328)

        So close! Back then the Mac ran on "System" whatever. System 3, System 6, System 7, you get the idea. The clone license covered System 7, so they changed the name to Mac OS and revved the number to 8, just to be sure.

        Not quite: The last OS for the clones was MacOS 7.6(.1).

  • I hope the 'Media Pad / TouchBook' end up being true. Because it would be a product that would be useful to me.

    I don't want a laptop. I have an old one, and even if my old iBook is rather small, over the years, I realized that it's not small enough for a lot of uses. Example: we don't use it at the dinner table to refer to Wikipedia and I don't bring it often when going to friends and family unless I know I'm going to use it because it's slightly too big and heavy.

    On the other end, there's the iPod Touch and the like. Doubtlessly useful, and despite not owning one (I really try to buy as little stuff as possible because 'the things you own end up owning you' ;-), I fear the screen is too small to enjoy it as an input device (very small virtual keyboard) and media device (small screen too). On the plus side, smartphones / iPod Touch *are* really portable, and to a level that won't be attained by any "media pad".

    NetBooks. Almost, but I don't think they're for me yet. Waiting for the next wave. Why? It's not really a laptop but it's not really that portable either. (that's obviously subjective)

    And last but not least, Apple products integration. I don't consider myself a fanboy, but I want to be productive [me.com]. Despite using Debian at work everyday, Linux is still not up to my expectations yet (yet!). Is there some lock-in with Apple? Yes. Is this a problem with me? Not that much, as long at it doesn't get in my way too often. I'm ready to pay to have more pleasure using a computer. I don't want crap, even if it's free. (this is a general statement, not specifically related to software)

    Now, I guess I did not need to write all this other than to have feedback from you: what do you think? Where am I wrong?

    • by AnyoneEB (574727)

      Your requirements sound similar to the ones that led me to buy a Nokia n810 [wikipedia.org]: I wanted something I could carry everywhere without really thinking about it that I could use for PDA-type applications and internet access (it replaced a Sony Clie Palm OS-based PDA [wikipedia.org] (yeah, yeah, Sony sucks, but they sure knew how to make a Palm OS 4 device: I would still be using it if I could have gotten Wi-Fi easily)). I did consider the iPod Touch, but between the on-screen keyboard and lack of external memory slot, I wasn't in

    • by Annorax (242484)

      I'm ready to pay to have more pleasure using a computer. I don't want crap, even if it's free.

      And the sad thing is that for the longest time I was paying for crap that would mysteriously stop working and force me to blow an entire evening trying to tweak drivers and the OS to start working properly again. I finally got fed up with tinkering. Sure, tinkering was fun for quite a while, but when it started to get in the way of creative work done on a computer then that's where I had to draw a line.

      I bought my cast aluminum sliver of a machine a year ago March and have been very happy not having to wo

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      I hope the 'Media Pad / TouchBook' end up being true. Because it would be a product that would be useful to me.

      I have an iPod Touch and its great as a quick way of checking email and browsing the web around the house - the screen size and lack of keyboard being the major limitations.

      Before that, my solution was an EEEPC 701 - and despite the touch's screen being smaller (physically, and half as many pixels) the slick, multi-touch zooming and panning make it far more usable.

      even a 50% bigger iPod Touch would be a killer for me (it wouldn't cure the keyboard issue - although bigger/more keys would help).

      ...and if

  • The other is a media pad, said to be smaller than a Kindle but with a bigger screen, that would let users listen to music, view photos, watch high-definition videos, and make calls over a Wi-Fi connection.

    This is almost exactly what I've been waiting for, although I'd prefer it if I could get this thing without Verizon's taint. The netbook market is growing, and it was only a matter of time until Apple got around to putting in their entry.

    Also, here's a thought: if you've already got one of those bluetooth

  • A tablet that combines a low-end MacBook and the iPhone. That means that instead of widgets, I want a setup which calls up the iPhone interface for rapid application selection.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:12PM (#27752173)
    "Say yes to the new Apple ayePhone! Now available on Verizon Wireless!"
  • Marketwatch reports that Microsoft and Verizon are in talks to develop a touch-screen mobile phone that would run on Windows Mobile.

    I mean seriously. They got the market clout AND a touch/non-touch version of WinCE on tap. For as bad as eveyone thinks the Zune is, at the very least, it shows THEY CAN DO IT.

    Is it THAT hard to slap an iPhone interface to WinCE? God damn, "One Foot in the Grave(tm)", Palm is doing it and its a completely diffrent os [engadget.com] than the old Palm. In the same timeframe, we get CE
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      I mean seriously. They got the market clout AND a touch/non-touch version of WinCE on tap. For as bad as eveyone thinks the Zune is, at the very least, it shows THEY CAN DO IT.

      I don't know about that track record. So far Microsoft efforts on consumer electronics have been successful when MS is willing to take heavy losses (Xbox: -$7 billion over the lifetime of the Xbox and Xbox 360) or not as successful (Zune: small profit for a year then losses). No I am not counting keyboards and mice which are not q

      • by tyrione (134248)
        Microsoft should stick to innovating Mice. Perhaps they might even get risky and design a tablet and go after Wacom?
    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      PSS - Yes, I want the G1 but till its CDMA I am not giving up my 20% off Sprint from work:P

      Check with your HR department. I get 19% off at Verizon through work, but they also have deals with 2-3 other carriers for similar discounts (heck our work phones have always been Alltel, and these arrangements were in place long before the Verizon/Alltel merger).

    • by dangitman (862676)

      Is it THAT hard to slap an iPhone interface to WinCE?

      Maybe, Maybe not. Lots of UI engineering went into the iPhone interface. But you hint at the problem when you use the verb "slap." That's the whole problem with Microsoft products. They just tend to slap something on top of a creaking old architecture, to make it look "fresh," rather than building a solid system from the ground up. It never really works, as UIs are pretty complicated and fundamental to a system's operation. Not something you use cosmetically to hide usability issues.

  • by magsol (1406749) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:36PM (#27752493) Journal
    ...if you want to market it to another company under a different name, there's even an app for that.
  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:46PM (#27752641)

    Firstly, let's hang up the old rumor mill and improve the S/N ratio.
    Secondly, roughlydrafted.com has a pretty insight into why this is probably not going to happen.

    • by prockcore (543967)

      roughly drafted wouldn't know insight if it came in a box with an apple logo on the outside.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:51PM (#27752717)
    The other is a media pad, said to be smaller than a Kindle but with a bigger screen, that would let users listen to music, view photos, watch high-definition videos... Just what we need! The current iPhone is way too small for watching pr0n while driving! Why not just build in a projector and project the picture on the windshield instead?
  • by qazwart (261667) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:57PM (#27752797) Homepage
    Two things: Apple doesn't do cheap, so a iPhone Lite is out of the question. Same with the "media pad". Nor, does Verizon allow third parties to do whatever they want. Verizon isn't going to have a WiFi only device that's not going to get people to sign up for Verizon. Nor, do I think Apple wants to work with CDMA which is now officially an obsolete technology. Apple will stick with AT&T which allows Apple to do whatever they want on Apple's terms. Verizon doesn't need Apple. AT&T does. I do predict that Apple will come out with a "Netbook" like device based upon the iPhone OS. It will probably have a keyboard, but no mouse.
    • Apple will do cheap if it doesn't cut into their more expensive offerings. Look at the iMac Mini and the iPod Nano. If they determine that breaking into the sub-$100 phone market won't hurt their current iPhone market but rather build more customers, they'll do it. Instead of an iPod Touch, you'd be looking at ta version of an iPod Nano that's a phone. Phone, iPod, a few more apps, and maybe email but no video or browsing perhaps.
  • I call BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by forgoil (104808) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @07:13PM (#27752947) Homepage

    This whole things reeks of making-stuff-up!

  • The other is a media pad, said to be smaller than a Kindle but with a bigger screen, that would let users listen to music, view photos, watch high-definition videos, and make calls over a Wi-Fi connection. (And read books?)

    How can this gadget be compared to Kindle? The most important feature Kindle sports is its e-paper display, while the Apple gizmo uses an ordinary LCD screen with touch function.

    IOW, Kindle is a document reader, while this thing is another hyped i-something - we're talking about oranges and apple(s) here.

  • by jav1231 (539129)
    There is no way Apple is making another phone. That just isn't happening. I think talking with Verizon is smart but frankly would like them to make a phone that any carrier could use. The single biggest limiting factor to the iPhone's widespread adoption (as great as sales are now)is AT&T. I'm sure Apple knows this.
  • That's what I'm using. Lets me do all sorts of things Verizon won't let me do with their phones, like listen to Pandora or other audio streams, watch YouTube videos, buy songs and videos from iTMS.

    Verizon just won't let me use my 3G Chocolate 3 phone for anything interesting. Tried Rhapsody, it's total Chrapsody. Popular artists aren't available by subscription, but only purchase (and lots of older artists: you can't get Eagles by subscription! The almost-40-year old band Eagles are too precious for subs

  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @09:22PM (#27754075) Homepage Journal

    or the Mac Phone.

    It would be interesting if the phone was based on the old Apple Newton device. Apple could claim IP back to the Newton before a lot of these "Smart Phones" got invented.

    It only makes sense as Microsoft used Windows CE in their smart phones, that Apple recycles the Newton into a Newton phone. You got that IP there, and it can be modified to run on ARM processors, and it pre-dates the iPhone.

  • WiFi is the long pole in the tent. WiFi is free will == freedom.

    Apple abstracts function over infrastructure. Infrastructure fade to black.

    Apple disintermediates networks ala iTunes disintermediates Music

    Its eyeballs, who has'em and can deliver everything that follows

  • This smacks of Verizon using vaporware to kill the hype around iPhone OS 3.0 (as suggested by Roughly Drafted [roughlydrafted.com]), someone trying to give Verizon's stock a bump with an Apple rumpr (a tactic that previously hasn't been very well hidden [macworld.com]) or perhaps Apple trying to gain some leverage in its negotiations with ATT.

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