Amazon Says No Plans to Carry Verizon iPhone
Amazon.com has no plans to carry the Verizon iPhone, a spokesman said late Thursday.
"At this time, we do not have plans to carry the Verizon iPhone," a spokeswoman for the company said. "I will be in touch if that changes."
Although companies sometimes deny plans to launch a product until it launches, the more typical response is to simply refuse to comment, or decline to comment on "rumors and speculation". A Verizon Wireless spokeswoman said Thursday that the company has not announced its plans to offer the iPhone through dealers and resellers.
Amazon typically offers phones at just a fraction of what the carriers offer them, either through the main Amazon.com site, or at a beta site, wireless.amazon.com, where the phones are arranged via carrier and price. Verizon sells the HTC Droid Incredible, with an online discount of $150 and a new two-year contract, for $99.99. Amazon offers it for a penny.
But Amazon does not offer the iPhone directly, either from its site or from wireless.amazon.com.
Verizon will offer a CDMA EVDO version of the iPhone 4 starting February 10. Existing Verizon Wireless customers will be able to start pre-ordering the device on February 3. The 16GB version with a two-year contract will cost $199.99, while the 32GB version will cost $299.99. The device will be available at more than 2,000 Verizon stores, via Verizon's Web site, at Apple Retail stores, and via Apple's Web site.
Meanwhile, Amazon's new wireless store is designed to provide a more comprehensive way of choosing between carriers.
"AmazonWireless is Amazon.com's new cell phone store," the site explains. "We know that choosing a cell phone and service plan can be confusing, so we've worked hard to design a cell phone store that's easy to use. You use your Amazon.com account when shopping on AmazonWireless, and we back all AmazonWireless purchases with Amazon.com's world-class customer service.
During this Beta phase, we'll be testing different features and gathering input from customers to ensure AmazonWireless provides the best-possible shopping experience," the site added. "When our customers tell us the shopping experience meets the bar they've come to expect from Amazon.com, we'll officially launch the store."
The store also appears as Verizon removed one of its discount programs.
"A simpler program is being introduced to replace the 10-year-old New Every Two and Annual Upgrade programs," Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney said in an email on Thursday. Customers under contract prior to January 16, 2011 who meet the qualifications for the New Every Two or Annual Upgrade will be grandfathered in to use the benefit one more time, she added.
The new program will require customers to hang on their devices for 10 months on new one-year contracts, or 20 months for new two-year contracts, the Verizon spokeswoman said. That can translate into a savings of about $400 for the iPhone, said the The Wall Street Journal.