Shares of iPhone maker Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) were up Monday afternoon, a day before the expected (and long-anticipated) announcement by Verizon Wireless that it will begin selling Apple's popular smartphone. Apple's stock was up 5.55, or 1.65 percent, to 341.67 in mid-afternoon trading after hitting an all-time high of 342.07 earlier in the day. (Also see: Verizon may be unveiling iPhone next Tuesday)
Verizon last week announced it would hold an event in New York City on Tuesday to make a special announcement, which most of the world thinks is going to be the official unveiling of the iPhone 4 as the latest smartphone to be offered by the top wireless carrier in the U.S. Interestingly, shares of Verizon (NYSE: VZ) were relatively flat on the eve of the company's big event. Verizon was up just 5 cents, or 0.14 percent, to 35.98, though it hit 36.58 in earlier trading. Rumors that Verizon was getting the iPhone began in early October. They were stoked further in late December when Taiwanese tech publication DigiTimes reported that Apple had upped its order of iPhone 4 shipments from manufacturers, adding 5 million to 6 million smartphones with CDMA technology, which Verizon Wireless uses in its wireless network. Meanwhile, shares of two companies that could be hurt by the Verizon-iPhone deal were flat Monday. AT&T (NYSE: ATT) was up 1 cent, or 0.04 percent, to 26.56 midday. AT&T, the second-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., until (presumably) tomorrow has had an exclusive contract to sell the iPhone. That appears about to end. And Google, whose Android phones have been flying out of Verizon stores for the past year, was down 2.41, or 0.39 percent, to 614.03. Now that Verizon is almost sure to be offering another popular alternative, sales of the Droid phones in Verizon stores could take a hit if enough customers prefer the iPhone.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.