Following lawman's arguments, I still think this has legs...
Did any of you guys follow the GSM technology cycle?
The death of GSM was called in ~2000. Yet, HW and SW sales for a vendor I'm familiar with peaked in 2009, yes a full nine years AFTER the world was supposedly going to tear down the multi-billion dollar networks and migrate to UMTS.
Didn't happen, did it? So why would you expect it to happen in the migration from CDMA to LTE (aka Wideband CDMA). You guys do realize that the current infrastructure will be upgraded (HW/SW) rather than be replaced, right?
So let's look at CDMA. While the technology has certainly crested, sales continue to be very strong. In addition to current operators scrambling to upgrade capacity for SMS growth, they're also increasing their Do RevC footprint to improve (smart phone) data capacity before what will be a multi-year migration to LTE.
In addition to current customers, there are new CDMA bids and contracts being signed every month, and R&D is scrambling to keep up with new feature requests.
Let's also put it out there that Bell/Telus didn't deploy HSPA to replace their respective CDMA networks, they did so primarily to get a share of the Intl. roaming revenues that Rogers was hording. IMHO, the iPhone was a secondary benefit.
Finally, against that backdrop;
1. Verizon is the largest operator (by subscribers) in the USA
2. Adding Sprint into the mix and you're looking at a combined ~70% market share.
3. These vendors have collectively spent many billions of dollars to build CDMA networks.
4. Even if the transition from CDMA to LTE is 2x the rate of GSM-UMTS, you're looking at years for a network-wide migration.
5. Verizon wants the iPhone to compete w/ AT&T, and I suspect that Apple wants to sell phones to another 80+ million US customers.
6. Verizon WILL get an LTE iPhone, but they won't wait that long and will push Apple to provide an interim product that works with their current network.
7. Verizon's CDMA network will have a lifespan approaching 5yrs (maybe more) before full deployment of LTE is completed.