During yesterday’s Verizon iPhone event, one journalist asked Apple COO Tim Cook whether or not Verizon had an “exclusive” on the CDMA iPhone.
Although the Verizon iPhone seems like a huge deal over in the States, in the grand scheme of things, one carrier’s not particularly important… but there are an additional hundreds of millions of CDMA-subscribers in other countries like China and India who Apple would also like to sell an iPhone.
Needless to say, then, Tim Cook said that Verizon’s deal was a multi-year contract, but not exclusive, meaning that the so-called Verizon iPhone is really the CDMA iPhone, and will creep out to other CDMA networks in the coming months.
Sure enough, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty told investors on Thursday that Apple was likely to strike deals for the CDMA iPhone with China Telecom and Reliance in India in the next few months. Those are the two fastest growing mobile markets on Earth: CDMA subscribers in India account for 20% of the country’s 670 million subscribers as it is.
The CDMA iPhone may be a big deal for Verizon subscribers, and people who want more competition and choice in the American mobile landscape, but let’s not forget the international importance here, which is arguably much, much bigger.