Verizon casts doubt on iPhone for the 'immediate future'

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is not likely to get Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone in the "immediate future," according to a company spokesman. The comments by Verizon come days ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, where Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to unveil the latest incarnation of the popular smartphone, which is currently sold exclusively through Verizon's rival AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T).

Speaking to Beet.TV at the AllThingsD D8 conference, Verizon spokesman John Johnson said the carrier has "no plans to carry the iPhone in the immediate future," and instead sought to draw attention to the carrier's support of Google's Android platform via devices like the HTC Droid Incredible. His comments dampened speculation that Jobs could unveil a version of the iPhone for Verizon next week.

Earlier this week at the D8 conference, Jobs himself tried to dance around the question of when AT&T might lose its exclusive hold on the iPhone. When asked whether there will soon be an iPhone running on a network other than AT&T's, he responded, "There might be."

"The future is long," he said, when pressed. "I can't talk about that stuff."

AT&T has been downplaying the impact of a potential loss of its iPhone exclusivity. Last month, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said 80 percent of the company's subscribers are either on family plans or business-discount plans, which he described as "sticky."

For more:
- see this rumor wrapup of the next-generation iPhone
- see this VentureBeat article
- see this Electronista post
- see this NYT article
- see this San Jose Business Journal article

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