Will 2011 Finally Bring the Verizon LTE iPhone?

by Matt Klassen on December 16, 2010

Being on the cusp of a New Year brings with it certain obligations. For one, we’re obliged to make New Year’s resolutions, promises made to ourselves in an effort to change or improve our lives. Sure most of us never keep those resolutions, but the good thing is, we can usually offset the guilt associated with failure till early next year at least.

For tech and telecom bloggers the impending advent of a New Year brings with it it’s own certain set of duties as well; duties to cover the latest gadgets for the holidays, duties to report the hottest rumours about next year’s most impressive new tech, and the ever-present duty of predicting the coming arrival of the long awaited Verizon iPhone. The good thing for us, however, is that if we’re wrong its unlikely anyone will remember.

So while I resolutely promise to not write about the Verizon iPhone again until I’m holding one in my hands—or looking at a reasonably rendered leaked image on the Internet—news of talks between Apple and Verizon has set the rumour mill ablaze with speculation that 2011 will finally see the much anticipated arrival of the country’s most popular phone on the country’s biggest wireless network.

While speculation surrounding the release of a Verizon iPhone is certainly nothing new, with Verizon recently switching on its next generation so called 4G LTE network, many are convinced that Apple is ready to unveil a LTE ready version of the iPhone early in 2011.

Verizon, for its part, has already admitted that the first wave of LTE-ready smartphones will hit shelves in the first quarter of 2011, and what better phone to lead the LTE charge than Apple’s best selling iPhone. While I would guess Apple wouldn’t actually release the iPhone 5, relabeling the device as the iPhone 4 LTE would certainly attract both new and existing AT&T customers to Verizon’s network.

It is this last point, however, that is bound to worry AT&T. Analysts speculate that while adding a Verizon iPhone to the market would sell an additional 2.5 – 3 million units, most of Verizon’s iPhone customers will be frustrated AT&T customers, as the latter has recently been named the nation’s worst carrier by Consumer Reports.

But what evidence do we have that could actually lend credence to this frequent and always unsubstantiated rumour? According to a report issued by MacDailyNews, a source close to the matter stated the following:

  • Verizon recently held a management training sessions for iPhone sales, wherein managers had functioning LTE-capable iPhones to use.
  • The announcement will come right after the holidays to allow AT&T to capitalize on Christmas sales.
  • The Verizon iPhone will be available immediately upon formal unveiling.
  • Verizon has signed an exclusivity deal of its own with Apple , meaning that we won’t see the iPhone on T-Mobile or Sprint any time soon.

All of this remains unsubstantiated of course, but if any of it is true, customers could have their hands on the Verizon iPhone while still recovering from that New Years hangover. For me, as always, I’ll believe it when I see it, and until then I’ll resolve to not mention the Verizon iPhone again, although I don’t like my chances for success.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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