Regarding LTE Verizon iPhone 4G coming after Christmas

Fatty iPhone 4 for Verizon iPhone rumors

'Tis the season for silly rumors and while it's always unpossible (Google it) to rule out everything, the latest "Verizon is getting an LTE iPhone 4G right after Christmas" round seems a lot more naughty than nice.

The reasonable parts are reasonable enough: Verizon has been training for the iPhone launch, there'll be an announcement after Christmas so as not to ruin AT&T's last big holiday season hurrah, the Verizon iPhone is "100% cooked", and... that's where it seems to fall off the rails.

According a single "source familiar with the matter" (not Phil Schiller's Twitter account, obviously), MacDailyNews reports:

  • The Verizon iPhone will be LTE and exclusively so
  • Verizon management already has it in their hands
  • It'll also be CDMA compatible, since LTE is limited
  • iPhone 5 this summer is supposed to be LTE for everyone
  • Steve Jobs is "pissed" carriers can't "get their LTE $#1t together
  • Apple is helping carriers build out their LTE more quickly by giving them cash

Apple spending money on carrier networks strikes me as a special kind of funny, but the thing all these rumors keep coming back to for me is technology. LTE is just starting to go live in only a few major markets. Apple waited an extra year before going to 3G. LTE is by no means international. First generation LTE radios are going to be big and power hungry, and currently the hand off between LTE and CDMA is anything but elegant (you want to wait 2 minutes to get your fast signal back on the road?). There aren't even any Android LTE phones on Verizon yet, and they're typically riding the bleeding edge on WiMax and HSPA+.

Apple is all about user experience. I could well be wrong, but nothing in the LTE parts of this rumor sound like they'll help user experience in any way.

There's simply no compelling reason for Apple to launch an LTE iPhone 4G on Verizon -- or anywhere -- right now. And that's usually the first sign Apple won't do it.

[MacDailyNews, thanks Glenn!]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Regarding LTE Verizon iPhone 4G coming after Christmas


That last part is best and reliable of this article and is true... Apple doesnt show up last on the game because they want to, just because they want to be the best at it!... Multitasking, 3g, wallpapers, flash, hd video, etc... U name it... Apple is very smart they learn from other's mistake to make it perfect!! So LTE iPhone???... Dnt think so

It's not about being the best at a technology. It's marketing driven. And Apple is the best tech company at marketing.
A verizon 3G iphone would be huge. It's the iphone after that they worry about selling and an LTE iphone would do the trick then.

The only reason I can see with Apple coming out with an LTE phone this early is to try and beat out Android to it. I don't really see Apple caring that much. Especially for something that's only going to be in limited markets for the first year, plus dealing with the pains of being on the bleeding edge.

@DrDoom it should be dead but people keep beating it, and people want to hear about it. believe me, we just wish VZW and other carriers in the US would just have the iPhone already

The other week I saw Sasquatch talking on a white Verizon LTE/CDMA iPhone 4 while riding on the back of a unicorn being chased by a chupicabra. It was the 31st or 32nd of November I think.

@ Rene - "currently the hand off between LTE and CDMA is anything but elegant (you want to wait 2 minutes to get your fast signal back on the road?)"
Ouch. This is the kind of beta-quality technology Apple likes to avoid. Apple has been burned in the past by being too far ahead of the market. (Newton, Apple Bandai Pippin, Macintosh TV, etc.) Now, they seem to be happy to wait for new technology to become popular first, then for competitors to cluelessly botch their business and product plans for the new technology.
So I'd expect the first VZ iPhone (whenever the hell it actually is released) to be CDMA only at first. And I wouldn't be surprised if Steve hates the idea of LTE being marketed as "4G" by VZ. LTE doesn't use a single internet protocol-based packet-switched data format for voice and data. "LTE Advanced" does, and it will likely be chosen as the 4G standard. And the 4G guidelines also require far shorter latency and far higher transmission speeds than basic LTE. Look up "4G" on Wikipedia.
So what will VZ call the real 4G when it's rolled out in 2 or 3 years? "Extra Super Duper 4G"?

Im still hoping that verizon one day does get the iphone.
Not that I would switch. I happily switched from verizon to att and couldnt be happier. Not that verizon was bad , but my speeds are faster and call quality just as good.
Im hoping that if verizon does in fact get it , perhaps some competition would be good to drive down plan cost / and network saturation (for those having issue , not me)
one can only hope.

@REDSHIRT Android has nothing to do with LTE. Its an OS. Not an OEM. So NO they aren't trying to compete with Android in that regards.

Is it true that even Verizon's own modem can't handle 3G/4G handoff properly? Yeah sure, Apple's gonna jump on that. :P

You've got to be kidding me. This rumor is so full of crap it isn't even funny. I'd bet big money we will not see an LTE iPhone for at least another couple years. The chipsets need time to mature. We will see EVDO only in '11.

@Rene: Did you add the above graphic yourself? I know each blog entry looks better with a picture, but talk about adding grist to the (rumour) mill ...

Apple and Verizon will announce and launch the current Iphone 4 in early 2011. Apple will also announce the next Iphone which will launch on AT&T in June/July and Verizon will get that version 6 months later being a 4G LTE model but whatever the plan is Verizon will have the Iphone in their lineup.

that mockup is missing what we all know the eventual verizon iphone will have, the big red verizon logo all over it!!!

Yup, I'd call BS on this "rumor set". Apple ceded secrecy controls to Verizon? Verizon management has it in their hands? Apple is funding LTE buildout? Jobs pissed at the carriers for not building out LTE quicker? You have got to be kidding me.

Interesting little tidbit is that this coincides with a timeline for AT&T turning off their 2G network to make room for their LTE. My wife got a text message from AT&T last week informing her she needed to replace her phone by January 14th or she would lose connectivity. When I questioned an AT&T rep as to why, he said it was because they were turning off their 2G network and going to LTE. Hmmm???

The one and only reason this may be true is because the sooner lte arrives the more quickly apple can have a wide spread adoption of streaming services be it 1080p, 3d or whatever they have cooked up. Technology is currently being limited not bynwhat they can achieve but by bandwidth limitations and data caps. If apple wants to provide tv to everyone and take down cable companies they need the pipes to do it and wireless towers are easier than laying cable

I finally figured out what I want for Christmas, the end of all these stupid Verizon is getting the iPhone in the next 1-3 months. Since 2009 or even earlier, so Santa if you're readin' this please put an end to these rumors.

Guys I'm an engineer here at AT&T for the past 17 years. If you think the iphone is going to Verizon you must be smoking something. AT&T has exclusive rights to the iphone within the US and Apple will not release this phone on Verizon anytime soon. I promise you that

@John exclusive Iphone to AT&T is ending and Apple would be stupid to have it available to 1 carrier in the U.S forever.If you've seen the current Iphone commercials it doesn't say only at AT&T anymore.

Apple giving carriers money isn't so crazy. I read something about european carriers planning to charge apple some fees to help with the cost of building out networks.

First of all, the LTE chipsets out by Qualcomm are no bigger than their WiMax or HSPA+ counterparts. The Verizon LTE devices I've seen (the Pantech UML290 which now has Mac support thanks to the hacking of a few of my fellow HoFo'ers) are not much bigger than their CDMA/EVDO counterparts. The first CONFIRMED LTE device on Verizon, the new Droid Incredible HD, will likely be using the same chipset as the Pantech UML290, which has support for UMTS/GSM/CDMA built in as well. Those frequencies are all there, they just aren't turned on by Verizon yet. So, with this global/LTE/light as a feather (words from those who have seen the device), Apple would not jump on the same bandwagon?
I haven't seen the teardown of the Pantech, but I have the technical breakdown of technical information about the Pantech... you could use the MDM9600 with an iPhone 4 or 5 and fit it in the current form factor if you can fit it inside the Pantech.
I can't speak to anything Apple is doing but there would be no significant change in size, and battery life will probably be similar to current consumption over WiFi.

it's all bs.. As it's being offered currently, LTE does not comply with the IMT ADVANCED (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced) requirements for 4G. These include peak data rates of up to about 100 Mbps for high mobility such as mobile access and up to 1Gbps for low mobility such as nomadic or local wireless access.
None of the wireless carriers in the United States offers transmission at anywhere near these speeds.
Verizon's LTE network, for example, peaked out at 32.8Mbps for downloads and 11.99Mbps for uploads tests by Gizmodo showed.
T-Mobile says its service offers theoretical speeds of up to 21Mbps; it has seen peak speeds of nearly 12Mbps in some cities.