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Verizon: Our next iPhone will work overseas

Verizon said a global iPhone was forthcoming. Meanwhile, Verizon shares slipped this week.

By Matthew Shaer / April 22, 2011

Verizon will release an iPhone which works overseas, a Verizon exec said this week. Here, a user handles the Verizon iPhone 4.

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Verizon Wireless will soon release a Verizon iPhone that works overseas, Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said in a conference call with analysts this week, according to the Associated Press. The current Verizon iPhone works only in North America, while the AT&T iPhone can run on overseas GSM networks. A rejiggered Verizon iPhone would put the handset on level with the rival AT&T edition.

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In related news, Verizon recently announced that 906,000 subscribers had signed contracts with the network in the first quarter of 2011, which far outstrips the 62,000 contract subscribers added by AT&T during the same period. Still, as Reuters notes, Verizon's performance wasn't quite enough for investors –– Verizon shares tumbled this week.

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Part of the problem may be that although Verizon has snagged more contract subscribers, the network sold fewer iPhone handsets than AT&T in Q1 of 2011. (Verizon claims to have unloaded 2.2 million iPhones during the first quarter of this year, compared to the 3.6 million over at AT&T.) "[The iPhone] was a stronger new customer driver for AT&T," Pacific Crest analyst Steve Clement told Reuters.

The Verizon iPhone, which was released back in February, after months of gossip and speculation, received high marks from reviewers, who praised the crystal-clear reception on the Apple handset. "Switching from an AT&T iPhone to a Verizon iPhone is like finally being able to breathe clearly after years of battling allergies," one reviewer wrote. "People can hear you better, and you can hear them better. It’s that simple."

Verizon iPhone user? Is overseas service important to you? Drop us a line in the comments section below. In the meantime, for more tech news, sign up for the free Innovation newsletter, which is emailed out every Wednesday morning.

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