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Are Apple and Verizon working on an iPhone lite and a media tablet?

April 28th, 2009 at 8:07 AM

Some more news today on the Apple/Verizon front as BusinessWeek is reporting both Apple and Verizon have been in talks for over half a year in hopes of the two partnering up to bring two new devices to market, the first as soon as this summer. Described as an “iPhone lite”, the first of the two is a smaller and less expensive iPhone model; a device much like the one that was seriously hyped up just before Christmas. The other device — possibly debuting as early as this summer — is believed to be a touchscreen media tablet that focuses on music, photos and high-definition videos, and has the ability to make phone calls over a Wi-Fi network. Could this rumored device be the touchscreen “netbook” DigiTimes was reporting on back in May? We certainly can’t rule that out, but this whole iPhone lite thing smells a bit fishy considering that pesky AT&T iPhone exclusivity deal. BusinessWeek is pretty sure however, that the iPhone lite will be different enough from the iPhone as we know it to bypass this restriction. Still, there is a lot of doubt that any of this will make it to market. As BusinessWeek puts it:

While talks between Verizon Wireless and Apple have heated up recently, no deal is imminent. It’s possible both sides may disagree over financial terms, such as how big a subsidy Verizon Wireless might pay for each device or whether to share monthly service revenue with Apple. Another deal breaker could be disagreements over distribution of wireless software applications. Apple is the exclusive provider and distributor of apps for the AT&T iPhone. If Apple requests a similar deal on newer devices, Verizon Wireless may balk.

Consider our interest piqued and many doubts raised.

Thanks, Al!

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