With a number of sources now reporting that the iPhone will, in fact, hit Verizon customers sometime in early 2011, it remains to be seen just how that roll out will operate. Early reports indicate that Verizon will get the iPhone 4 while AT&T will get the new iPhone 5 a few months later. In other words, the iPhone on Verizon may be one full release cycle behind AT&T’s.
Not only is Verizon believed to have the most robust network in the US, but they’re also planning to aggressively roll out their 4G LTE network in 2011. And while that certainly sounds enticing to anyone frustrated with AT&T’s 3G service, don’t expect Apple to hop on the 4G LTE bandwagon next year.
TechCrunch reports that upcoming iPhones will come with dual mode chips capable of operating on both GSM and CDMA networks, a worldphone model of sorts. Even so, support for the LTE standard won’t be on Apple’s agenda until 2012 at the earliest.
Apple doesn’t want to mess with the first generation of LTE chipsets, since they will be bulky and power hungry. Instead, Apple will make a unified model that works across 3G networks on all carriers, and innovate with incredible new features like NFC which mirror what they accomplished with FaceTime on iPhone 4.
Apple simply doesn’t want to be the guinea pig on new LTE networks that aren’t ready for primetime, and Steve Jobs knows not to trust the hype that’s spewed by the carriers on 4G. The truth is that 3G networks have many more years of life, and the transition to LTE will be much slower than the carriers want you to believe (LTE doesn’t even have its voice standard fleshed out yet).