Verizon iPhone to launch between mid January, early February 2011 [Rumor]

BusinessWeek is joining the Verizon iPhone game with a rumor that the near-mythical device will launch sometime after CES and before Valentine's Day -- in other words between mid January and early February 2011. Attributed to "a person familiar with Apple's plans" (boy he gets around!), BW says:

Apple (AAPL) will likely host one of its splashy product introductions to announce a new version of the iPhone that works on Verizon's (VZ) network. Customers are expected to stampede to the new pairing, leaving AT&T (T), until now the exclusive U.S. distributor of the iPhone, with an enormous problem.

Or just leave AT&T with less network congestion and a happier remaining customer base? While AT&T will no doubt lose some customers to Verizon, and other manufacturers will lose users to the iPhone on Verizon, BW also points out that at least both of them will be in the game, unlike Sprint and T-Mobile US.

Is Verizon enough carrier choice for you, or do you think Apple should do in the US what it does pretty much everywhere else now -- offer iPhone on all major carriers?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Im good with at&t. You guys have fun on another network okay.
  • The only time I ever have problems with the ATT network is in western pennsylvania. It seems to be a Verizon dominated area.
  • Do you all own stock in AT&T or something? Why so defensive about it?
    Is this an AT&T blog or an iPhone blog?
    iPhones being available to more domestic carriers would only be a good thing. Then let the cards fall where they fall, and networks can be compared more objectively - and the better network (whichever it is) will gain more customers, and customers will have more choice.
  • CDMA? Thanks, but no thanks.
  • I'd love CDMA for all. Personally i have great service on Sprint. Of course my town has great Sprint, very poor AT&T and Verizon. I'd have an iPhone the day it came out if Sprint was able to pick it up, a long with half the population of where I live.
  • it is my understanding that all verizon employees who had vacation time scheduled for january and february 2011 have had their time off denied or revoked. Verizon is getting ready for something big. And my 2 cents about att, theyre network is horrible but the iphone is awsome. Verizon has ok phones, but nothing to me compairs to the iphone and i look forward to verizon getting it.
  • iPhone should be available on all carriers. It should be our choice. I will be staying with AT&T regardless. Not too fond of verizons customer service. I just want the verizon iPhone to come so that the rumors can stop
  • If I had been able to get out of bed early enough this morning, I would be the semi-proud owner of a Droid. So glad I slept in! Now I can use my tax return for an iPhone.
  • AT&T is fine in most areas, but it is lacking in San Francisco, which is where most tech blogs are based. That's why they get blasted online so much. In Southern California, AT&T is great, and my Verizon blackberry gets terrible coverage.
    In other countries there are 3 or 4 GSM options, but unfortunately in the US we only have two options. So people like me that want a iphone alternative to AT&T are basically waiting for a TMobile option.
    So we definitely need more than just a Verizon iphone in 2011. CDMA carriers cannot offer GSM features business travelers need, such as simultaneous voice/data and the ability to have your local phone # work in any country.
    Sprint finally got the ability to do simultaneous voice/data when WiMax was launched, but since it only works when you have a 4G signal, the footprint is limited. Only AT&T and Tmobile (ie, GSM carriers) have a big enough footprint for simultaneous voice and data right now.
    It's also a pain when traveling internationally. I have to buy a SIM card with a new # and email it to all my customers and friends so they can reach me in Europe or Asia, and they have to pay international rates to call me. That's bad for business. On AT&T or TMobile, my local phone # works everywhere in the world, so they can call me anytime. (although I do pay roaming rates, but it's worth it for my customers to be able to easily reach me)
    Until Verizon fixes this (LTE?) a iphone on their network is useless to many business travelers. So we're forced to stay on AT&T and hope that either TMobile gets the iphone soon, or AT&T beefs up the network near where we work and live, or that Android, Web OS, or WP7 polish up their OS's enough to make them as attractive as iOS so we can have more choices on GSM carriers.
  • CDMA sucks. Faster speeds with AT&T. I'm stayin.
  • I am still on contract with AT&T with my 3GS, so I plan on keeping it until March 2012 when my contract is up, then look at options. I do HATE the AT&T coverage in the DC area, it's really bad. I do like the benefits of GSM over CDMA, such as world roaming and simultaneous data and voice (use quite often).
  • Yes, I'd like to see Apple do what they've done in many other countries. Open it up to many carriers. For me, T-Mobile U.S. please!
    @ Shane - You're probably right that AT&T is generally better in Southern California than in Northern California, but I live in Los Angeles and have no AT&T service where I live. That's why I (and all my iPhone-carrying neighbors) are on T-Mobile. (And, we can trace it specifically back to when AT&T Wireless divested themselves of an old Cingular cell tower. Literally 4-5 bars down to 0-1 bars.)
  • AT&T VZW and T-mo
  • Sprint is for old farts
  • The rest of the world moved away from CDMA because it's an ageing, end of life, inferior product to GSM.
  • I think someone will get the iPhone other than AT&T. I just think we would have heard some white noise from people connected to Sprint or T-Mobile if they were in the hunt for iDevices. T-Mobile's people haven't even said a peep about it, and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has said they probably aren't getting it soon.
  • @Frog
    Actually your statement isn't exactly true. Research EVDO Rev. B
  • CDMA (Can't Do Much of Anything) :-P
    I have work issued VZW and I find ATT better overall for me in South Florida, reception and data throughput as well as simultaneous voice and data that I actually use all the time. I say let all carriers get it and see where the chips fall. Hopefully at some point in the future perhaps LTE will make it so all handsets can be used on all carriers, I can dream...
  • I'm with JROD. If Sprint announced Iphone i'd be at the store in the morning.
  • How many times are you gonna run (essentially) the same article Rene? I'll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, stop beating me to death.
  • If true, I am very glad for carrier choices for the iPhone. I live in a small town and most of the city has decent AT&T and Verizon coverage except where I live there is neither. The AT&T MicroCell is my lifesaver in our home so I am staying with AT&T for sure. The MicroCell is a wonderful product that all my neighbors now own as well.
  • The thing about network type (CDMA VS GSM) is that you cannot base everything strictly on speeds. Sure GSM is faster when you have full GSM coverage, but (and im just asking here so don't tear my heart out) how many of you really get full on GSM coverage AND speed? Plus it all depends on where you live. I personally live in Georgia and Verizon coverage here is nothing short of vastly superior to AT&T. Like I said it depends on where you live. However I have done side by side comparisons with my Droid 2 on Verizon and an AT&T iPhone and our web pages load at almost the exactly same rate with my Droid 2 being ahead of the iPhone is some cases. And ive had the same results with most downloads since I have never gone anywhere that I did not get full 3G service on Verizon. I agree with @Lars. Sometimes it sounds like some of you guys own stock or work for AT&T because as soon as anyone says anything remotely negative about them or mentions Verizon you act like someone has backed you into a corner and now you have to fight your way out to prove something to someone. I personally cant wait for the iPhone to come to Verizon. Ill be sporting one as soon as that happens. Granted when AT&T is good they're REALLY GOOD but when they're bad they are R E A L L Y B A D. Verizon, in my opinion and experience, has put together a much more CONSISTENTLY good network. You might not get BLAZING GSM SPEEDS, but your also NEVER going to go without really good network coverage. Theres a reason that AT&T was on the bottom of the totem pole last time the reports came out on customer service and reliability. Just saying.
  • The only reason to switch would be if Verizon did unlimited data. Otherwise, one network will be just as clogged as the other.
  • I think it's a good move for apple to offer a CDMA version. I can't tell you how many Verizon people I meet that say I want an iPhone. As far as me running to them, not gonna happen. I think if people had a choice as to what carrier they wanted for their iPhone, we'd see those android numbers slowly decrease.
  • The day Verizon gets the iPhone, Android will become an afterthought. Business users keep Blackberry alive. When the two biggest networks get the iPhone, the debates will go back to whose got the better OS.
  • Yawn! These Verizon Iphone rumors are redundant and arbitrary. Any reasonable thinking person should know it is inevitable for the Iphone to branch out to Verizon, and other carriers. Honestly, did you think AT&T let everyone upgrade to the Iphone 4 mid contract out of the kindness of their heart? Use your head people.
  • The whole "simultaneous voice and data" benefit is nullified if the data speeds are limited anyway. Half the time I am walking around Manhattan, I have to step into a Starbucks and jump on wi-fi, just to access any data. Fail.
  • Publish a date and time that I can show up and purchase an iPhone for Verizon, and I'll believe you. Otherwise this is nothing more then speculation.
  • Honestly, how many times are you going to print and re-print the same article/rumor about a Verizon iPhone? It's most likely coming, so just tell everyone when it's finally here and save us all the hassle of reading the same mundane headline everyday. Which begs the question, what will all the Apple iPhone websites write about when it finally arrives?
  • Switch to V please. AT&T needs incentive to give me more :P
  • Assrape, Torture & Telephone is outrageously priced, and I don't like even the possibility of downshifting into GSM. I have five lines on my AT&T account, though, and three of them are iPhones, so switching to a carrier with incompatible hardware is not a meaningful option.
    My unrestricted carrier preference would be Sprint, but their coverage sucks where I live.
  • UPDATE Along with Verizon getting iPhone 4, in a surprise announcement both Cricket and Metro PCS will be getting the iPhone 4 and to encourage people to purchase from these two, Apple is cutting the wholesale price so that Cricket and MetroPCS can sell them for $209 with no contract. Now back to your regular rumor programing******
  • Opening iPhone sales to multiple providers in the US isn't like offering iPhones on different providers elsewhere in the world. The US providers are split up by type (GSM, CDMA...) and then each type has unique frequencies. While you can (if not may) move the iPhone from provider to provider by swapping a SIM card moving from provider to provider in the US would require replacing the physical radio (and drivers...).
    Thank the FCC when it decided that standards inhibit innovation. The result is inefficiency and less competition.
    Bottom line - selling the iPhone on multiple vendors in the us is more than a marketing decision. It can be done, but technically it's a different iPhone. As such there may be differences in battery life, reception... From a marketing point of view it's one step away from the monolithic model and a step closer to the multiple hardware offerings of WP7 and Android.
  • This. Isn't. Going. To. Happen.
  • Rumor be true or not, I've completely had it with att... So by Feb I'll either get a Thunderbolt or the fabled vzw iPhone... Either way my days with att are numbered... ETF be damned...
  • @mostlyDigital
    That's not entirely accurate. The difference between T-mobile and AT&T frequencies is only at the 3G speeds. Otherwise they both use EDGE and really most of AT&T's national coverage map is EDGE anyways.
    As for Sprint and Verizon, they both use the same frequencies for CDMA. What keeps a device from switching between each network is the ROM in the device isn't designed to be interchangeable like the SIM cards for GSM devices. That's a design choice though since the standards for CDMA don't require carrier network interchangeability.
  • Can TiPb stop posting these unsubstantiated nonsense rumours please? It's really annoying - especially for those of us who don't live in the US and don't care about its ridiculous carrier situation.
    I'm really tired of reading about things that analysts and speculators make up solely to manipulate stock prices. There is no evidence that Apple has any interest in Verizon. And, every public statement that Verizon has made has come off as desperate, basically begging Apple to give them the iPhone. Does anyone remember that Verizon had an opportunity to have the original iPhone and refused? Do you think Steve Jobs remembers that? Exactly.
    In any event, what I find funny about all of this is that American customers are angry with AT&T. Why, because they offer a proper GSM network? Apple shouldn't have to build a special device to accomodate your country's lack of proper GSM alternatives. Why don't you take it up with your carriers? Even Canada, a country with a MUCH SMALLER population and a MUCH LARGER landmass has multiple GSM carriers that carry the iPhone. What's your excuse, USA?
    And there is one other thing I'd like to point out: if Verizon was the only GSM carrying the iPhone it would have EXACTLY the same network congestion problems that AT&T does. Verizon should count its blessings it hasn't been able to support the iPhone. It can benefit from people's blanked assumption that the grass is greener on the other side (that Verizon is somehow magically better than AT&T, which of course is entirely unsubstantiated).
  • I would not move to Verizon unless they allowed data while being on the phone. I use it all the time. Privately and also for business. I can be on the phone with my customer and use jaadu to remote into my desktop. Additionally CDMA is not a solution for people that want to travel internationally. It would be great to have several phone companies to offer the iphone to get some pressure on pricing.
  • "if" this rumor is true it would be great, but I would still wait for the iPhone 5 to release a few months later
  • Tired of all the moronic comments that this is not happening. No firm dates but any idiot can see that VZ will have it soon. Get over it.
    Oh and what kind of stupid Canadian is saying that the FACT that VZ is better than ATT is unsubstantiated. LoL.
  • Rumor: Verizon Along with the Iphone announcement will announce it has implemented software and hardware upgrades to allow for simultaneous voice and data on there iphone and future and possible current (limited) devices...
    Personally i think this, i hope verizon gets the iphone! (unlimited internet is still on the table there), what would be better is i phone for ALL. I have Sprint and wouldnt mind getting an iphone but i wont hold my breath. and sooner or later the verizon iphone and the at&t iphone will be the same. "june" (4gs or 5) (ios 5.0) will most likly have the dual gsm and cdma chip and lte to follow when it becomes more availble.....
    we shall see people......
  • I would love to see iPhone on all carriers (yes, even Verizon) but Apple does not make CDMA phones unless I am mistaken for a foreign market? So when LTE is out and deployed, then there is a chance that there will be iPhone on Verizon IMO. Plus Jeff Higgins said what I have said many times on these posts, Verizon turned down the first iPhone, and Steve does not forget (or forgive?) easily. Yes, they sell the iPad WiFI only and sell Verizon mifi with it, but no cellular data iPad for Verizon.
  • To everyone who says "CDMA... fail"
    Just ask any owner of a Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, HTC Incredible, HTC Evo, Samsung Fascinate, etc, if it's as bad as you say it is.
    We can't go back in time 10 years and tell Verizon and Sprint not to choose CDMA for their networks.
    It's here... there are actually more CDMA customers in America than GSM... and phone manufacturers make plenty of CDMA phones for Verizon and Sprint.
    Why shouldn't Apple?
    Ya know... Apple went to Verizon first 5 years ago. If Verizon had said yes... we would already have CDMA iPhones.
    I don't see why now making a CDMA iPhone is suddenly a bad idea...
  • @ scottae316
    When? LTE has been rolled out in major cities and their surrounding suburbs for a month now....
    Just not enough devices for it to be widely talked about really.
    Plus your iPad point is not valid what-so-ever. Must rumors point to a CDMA based iPad 2 that will be sold on Vzw and the only reason they only have WiFi+mifi right now is due to the lack of CDMA chip in the original iPad. Head on over to USA Today and look at yesterdays article written by the founder of Mashable....even he ends it without apology saying that verizon will have the iPhone early next year.
    For those saying it's not gonna happen: Your skepticism may have been valid when we were getting 1 or 2 rumors a month, but we're at the point where we're getting 2 or 3 a day covering various websites and sources. It's time to accept that the writing is on the wall for ATT Exclusivity.
  • My take on VZW getting the iPhone...fine. Yeah, initially it'll be a BIG deal but iPhone is so...Inferior to Android. iPhone is Kindergarten compared to Android. I honestly feel this is just a desprete attempt on Apples part to get those initially excited customers into iPhones before Android takes over completly. Apples just trying to extend its inevitable doom. We ALL know Android is the next step. Stop denying it. iPhone, and hopefully Apple, should be dead within the next 4 years. (Wishful thinking???) iPhone (or should I say Apple) is so limited and restricted on what you can and cant do its rediculous. Im sorry, but this Apple NO FLASH SUPPORT does NOT fly with me. Get with the times or forever be lost in the past. iPhone WAS great. But its time to move on to bigger, better, and well, more promising things. Enter Android.
    As for this CDMA is inferior to GSM...I say whatever. I look at network coverage and reliablity, not the carriers technology choice. I think GSM IS the better choice for customers (in the US) that do alot of international calling and traveling. But a few CDMA phones are now GSM other countries. Plus, GSM phones are definatly more 'steal-able'. All you gotta do is pick up someones iPhone, put your SIM card in it and BAM. That iPhone just became your property. CDMA is a much way of doing things. My Incredible goes missing? I call VZW, have them lock my ESN, and when someone walks into a VZW store to activate it...Oh, would you look at that? Its locked. Says here this phone has been reported stolen or missing...Whered you get this phone again??? I can rest easy knowing MY PHONE that I PAID FOR cannot be put into some theifs hands...and they get a free phone out of it. So...I beg the question, yet again. Who's technologies are inferior here? As for that foreign person slamming America and Americans just because of CDMA, well, ya see, thats the BEAUTY of America. Just cuz the WHOLE WORLD is doing it doesnt mean we will! Socialized medicine...the whole world has that...yet America remains behind the "times" (THANK GOD) Granted, we have some people in office trying to change that, but thats not my point here. My point is that America doesnt HAVE to be up with every stinking technology and bad idea. We, the PEOPLE, are FREE to choose. As well as the companies. VZW was FREE to choose what technology they wanted. Noone but them, told them what to do.
    Haters keep on hating. :) Have a good day!
  • What is all this crap about not being able to use data and voice at the same time on Verizon? I've got a BlackBerry on VZW and I've been browsing the web (if you can call using the horrific, slow browser that) while talking on the phone for a year and a half. My phone doesn't have wifi, so it's all data. I don't know where you guys get your information...
    I've been waiting and waiting for a VZW iPhone. My BlackBerry Tour was my first BB and will be my last... hopefully when my plan's up in April I'll be able to get the iP4!!! My 1st Gen iPod Touch is barely hanging on, and I'd love to have one device for everything. crosses fingers I just hope they don't go to tiered data...
  • Sprint is the best network in the USA
  • Apple will announce the Verizon iPhone on January 11, 2011 (1.11.11 which is a Tuesday) and will be available in February. My source is two under S. Jobs and has traveled to Foxcon twice since summer 2010 to secure CDMA fabrication contracts for the Verizon iPhone.