Apr 1st, 2010

A year ago, Verizon was still considered one of those uptight carriers who gimped their devices. Now America’s largest carrier is helping LEAD the way to innovation, aggressively adopting Android and integrating Skype. But the fact that the Motorola Droid landed on Verizon as the first 2.0 phone with Google Navigation while practically every other device got stuck on 1.x – coincidence? Absolutely not.

verizon-iphoneVerizon has bargaining power and they are some real tough mamma jammas. They turned down Apple to exclusively carry the iPhone and haven’t looked back. While rumors about a Verizon iPhone have cropped up every year for the past three, nothing has happened. You know why? Because Apple isn’t providing enough for Verizon Wireless. They want something special.

Just look at what Verizon did with the Palm Pre. They played “wait and see” with the device, and when they finally launched it, demanded they get “Plus” versions of the phone. For those waiting for the Verizon iPhone… Verizon has been waiting too – for Apple to give them that special “Plus” on top. And now they will… reluctantly.

According to an anonymous tipster, Verizon has agreed to terms with Apple on the iPhone 4GA, a device that will not only utilize the carrier’s brand new 4G LTE connectivity, but also dual boot Android. Yup… an Apple iPhone will dual boot Android.

With Android market share rapidly growing, Apple has been on the defensive and felt a partnership with Verizon would help them go on the offensive. Steve Jobs was reportedly “fuming and furious” at Verizon’s request/demand to dual boot Android, calling the concept ludicrous but leaving the door open for negotiation. So that’s what happened.

According to the tipster, Apple will ship up to 1 million iPhones in October, to an unidentified 3rd party software engineering firm in the United States. The contracted company will re-engineer the devices to dual boot Android before shipping them to Verizon stores in November, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Why the added step and 3rd party contractor? Steve Jobs REFUSED to ship anything but pure, holy iPhones although Apple IS altering their OS security and APIs so the 3rd party can integrate Android easier. These concessions weren’t achieved easily, which is exactly why the previous couple years of “Verizon iPhone” rumors have fallen flat. The Steve Jobs’ ego got in the way of allowing Verizon to do anything “extra” and once Android was mentioned? Look out.

I’m eager to see what Apple and Steve Jobs will have to say about the Verizon iPhone when it is announced – they will supposedly claim they have nothing to do with the Android portion of the phone and that Verizon licensed the iPhone OS to purchase the ability to do what they want. Android is what they chose to do, but I assume Jobs will provide some snark comments about the iPhone alone being more than enough.

Now that impromptu cafe meeting between Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt seems to make a  bit more sense… and Jobs’ temper regarding Google and Android seems a little more normal, too. Imagine having the Verizon CEO approaching Steve Jobs and saying, “We want to partner with Apple, but the iPhone isn’t good enough. We want Android on it, too.”

Yeah, that would piss anyone off. But forget about it, because the awesome outcome is that Verizon will be getting an iPhone that dual boots Android. Or not ;)