There's been a lot of speculation for a long time about when and how Apple would make its ultrasuccessful iPhone available to customers of carriers other than AT&T. The Wall Street Journal says that the time will be this summer, and the method will be through a new phone designed to use the CDMA wireless network. CDMA is used by Verizon, the chief competitor of AT&T, and others. (AT&T and the majority of other carriers worldwide, according to the Journal, use technology called GSM.) The paper suggests that Apple's exclusive three-year USA arrangement with AT&T, which has been incredibly lucrative for the carrier (its growth over the past several quarters has come almost exclusively from the smartphone), will not be extended.
PC World wonders if this is really true, considering the fact that Apple was expected to wait for Verizon to start using the developing LTE network, which will be a worldwide standard, in 2012. But burgeoning discontent with AT&T's shoddy service — especially in big cities like New York — could have sped their timetable for expansion.
Either way, Apple is expected to release an iPhone upgrade of some sort this summer. According to the Journal it'll be thinner and have a faster processor. If Verizon is on the bandwagon when it's released, a whole lot of loyal Verizon customers in the city are going to feel better about having waited — while still maintaining solid service — for a better iPhone.