“… [the AT&T exclusivity deal with iPhone] has been rumored to be expiring in mid 2010 with indications that Apple has been working on a Verizon-compatible iPhone.”
If this is true, I hope it breaks down Verizon’s death grip on the user experience on handsets it carries. The interaction model they apparently force handset makers to use is the most outdated, frustrating and ridiculous set of “rules” on a touch screen device that exists. I played around with my mom’s new LG phone last night it was the most confusing thing I’ve ever seen. I design this stuff, and I couldn’t even figure out how to reply to an email. And neither could my mom. It’s like Verizon took the spec for their old flip phones and said, “ok, now you can tap on the screen, but we’re not going to tell you when, where, or why.” Need more proof? Just go into a Verizon store and you’ll know what I mean. These phones are just ugly and cumbersome to use.
There’s no way Verizon is going to be able to tell Apple how to craft an experience on the iPhone, or get in the way the Apple brand, why not other handset makers? Verizon, please don’t try to own a “Verizon brand experience” on touchscreen phones. You’re a service provider, remember? Get your brand out of the way!