MG Siegler has a great essay on the risk that the hoped-for Verizon iPhone might end up being crippled or even ruined by Verizon restrictions. This is a real risk and maybe enough for Apple to refuse a deal with Verizon.
Verizon can no longer laugh at Apple’s ideas, but instead the prospect of the iPhone as it is currently constituted on their network probably scares the hell out of them. Sure, they’d add billions in revenues from new contracts, but they’d essentially be a dumb pipe for this device. As they’ve proven with all of their other devices — including the RAZR and now their Android phones — they don’t want to be that. They want to be in control of not only the network, but at least some of the content on that network.
So now the question in my mind is whether or not Apple is willing to make any concessions to Verizon? Would Apple allow them to include a V CAST app standard on every iPhone, for example? One that couldn’t be deleted? What about apps in the App Store that only work with Verizon iPhones and not AT&T iPhones (just like Skype for Android)? What about interface changes (either software or hardware) that show more prominently that this is a Verizon phone? Or what about a cut of all apps sold and all music/movies/tv show downloaded?