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Of course the Verizon iPhone will be LTE

While everyone feels pretty confident Verizon will announce on Tuesday that they will be getting the iPhone, one point up for contention is whether it will run on the newly launched 4G LTE network. I don’t know why. Verizon’s CEO already practically said it would.

In September, Ivan Seidenberg told investors Verizon had to “earn” the iPhone and that 4G might push Apple to see the light. At the time, I believed he was telling investors not to hold their breath, but the rapid launch of Verizon’s LTE puts the statement in a new light. Verizon just launched LTE and they’re about to announce they have the iPhone. Can’t say that’s a coincidence.

So what’s so special about LTE? Just the faster speed? Sure, that’s a positive, but if I had to guess on the big lure for Apple, it would be that the new network will allow simultaneous voice and data.  Why is that a big deal? Because the iPhone currently allows users access the Internet while on a call, something that 3G CDMA does not allow. I’m sure Apple will have to do something to deal with the inability to do this on CDMA when LTE is unavailable. but it seems pretty pointless to disallow it when LTE is in range.

Add up all these factors and you get a pretty safe bet that the Verizon iPhone will launch with LTE support. I suppose it’s possible Seidenberg misled investors. Perhaps Apple won’t try to make the user experience of the Verizon iPhone as consistent as possible with that of their iPhone on GSM networks worldwide. And maybe the timing of these two announcements is just coincidence. Yep, sure is possible, but it doesn’t sound probable.

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15 Comments

  1. Zachary Schlecht

    01/10/2011 at 1:35 am

    why would they waste a new product launch on the newest technology when they already have people busting down their doors to get whatever iphone they can with verizon service? why not put off lte for at least half a year to a year?

    Reply

    • Ira Childress

      01/10/2011 at 2:39 pm

      Exactly! In traditional Apple fashion, which ensures continues demand for their products, they release devices that are slightly behind the curve as far as features go. Then, over time, they add “new features” that require a completely new handset. I use as my example the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, and iPhone 4. The world today is about shareholder value. And that means ensuring a continued demand for products.

      Reply

  2. Yarndi1

    01/10/2011 at 3:05 am

    I didn’t even know that there was to be a new release! Verizon isn’t here in Australia (to my knowledge) and as I can’t even get a mobile (cell) phone connection where I live, I’m simply hanging out for our new National Broadband Corporation to get here.

    Reply

  3. GoodThings2Life

    01/10/2011 at 11:57 am

    I don’t understand the so-called advantage of being able to talk and use data. I can’t think of a single time in the past 3 years that I’ve had a phone that I’ve needed to do that. It’s a gimmick as far as I’m concerned, and I’m sure there are people who use it, but that doesn’t mean it’s genuinely useful.

    In any case, while I think being LTE capable makes sense, I’m not betting on it. Apple makes a killing on selling “crippled” phones only to include the missing features next year as incentive to upgrade.

    Reply

    • Warner Crocker

      01/10/2011 at 4:49 am

      I use this as a feature quite frequently. Two examples from last week. Dealing with my attorney, twice in one call he asked me to send him an email on the subject we were talking about. I was able to do so while talking to him on the phone. Second example: My wife was out doing some shopping while we were in Chicago. She called and needed directions to get to a friend’s location. I was able to pull up a map and give her the directions while talking with her. Of course that depends on your use case, but I find it handy.

      Reply

    • Sumocat

      01/10/2011 at 2:07 pm

      It’s hard to grasp until you use it. Both my mother and mother-in-law call me for information which sometimes requires pulling something up from the web or looking up on a map. The usefulness first struck me at CES 2010 when I had to check our shared calendar on Google to confirm free time to spend with my brother. I hate to say you have to use it to understand why it’s useful, but that was the case for me.

      Reply

    • Ira Childress

      01/10/2011 at 2:43 pm

      Completely agree with your second paragraph. Apple ensures continued success and demand for their products by selling them with obviously absent features. (Ever see a Mac with Blu-Ray? And SD Card slots are a recent addition, as well.) However, as far as being able to talk and use data at the same time, that is a product killer for business folks who might be on a conference call and need to grab an e-mail with updates to a document while on the phone. Sure, it’s a small segment, but when it comes to the business user, I see a focus shift to that niche in order to oust BlackBerry from being the dominant player in that space.

      Reply

    • PaulyFoShore

      01/21/2011 at 8:51 pm

      Well said. Apple does indeed implement a ruthless selling strategy. I know Verizon is coming out with the iphone in Feb and everything but I’m starting to actually really consider switching to Net10’s unlimited plan for only 50 bucks a month. My wife switched to it from Verizon and she said shes in love with her LG900G smartphone and her calls never get dropped since Net10 runs on both the Verizon AND At&t networks (CDMA and GSM). Yeah Net10 doesn’t carry the iPhone but who needs it? the touch typing is annoying and the data plan is super expensive.

      Reply

      • Mark Jerry Oisín Uhde

        02/26/2011 at 9:10 am

        Net10 uses both Verizon and AT&T but the phones aren’t dual-mode. Any given Net10 phone only works with one or the other. Her LG900G is on AT&T (the G is for GSM)

        Reply

  4. Tim Davies

    01/10/2011 at 1:41 pm

    Your forgetting that the battery life would suffer a great blow with LTE. Apple has moved to a company that maximizes battery life on all their products. LTE use would most likely cut the phones battery life by more then HALF. It’s that bad on the EVO, and I can’t see it being much better on a iPhone with LTE either.

    It make’s more sense for the first iPhone on Verizon to not have LTE, and add it later, then to release it initially.

    Reply

    • Sumocat

      01/10/2011 at 2:39 pm

      Will it? Verizon goes so far as to claim LTE will improve battery performance.

      “Improvement in battery power consumption in end-user devices (UEs) is a side-benefit of the coverage and multipath/power performance advantages offered by LTE”
      http://aboutus.vzw.com/rural/Advantages.html

      I don’t know how true that is, and I certainly don’t take it at face value, but not having LTE on their version of the iPhone undercuts that argument. Also, the EVO uses WiMax, which is different from Verizon’s LTE, so we should not assume identical performance. Despite all that, I agree that battery life should be shorter on 4G than on 3G, but I don’t think it’s drastic enough to be a deterrent.

      Furthermore, I am under the impression that Apple has been pushing AT&T to speed up their network and is displeased with the rate of progress. An LTE iPhone would further pressure AT&T to get their act together.

      Reply

  5. Eddie Yasi

    01/10/2011 at 10:50 pm

    I actually had switched from an iPhone to a Droid Incredible on Verizon because I was sick & tired of dropped calls / poor network coverage. After having switched I grew to really like Android and really didn’t miss the iPhone much at all.

    Having said that, if the new iPhone has LTE then I’ll probably switch over to it because I’d love the boost in speed. If it doesn’t have LTE then I’ll hold out for either the Droid Bionic or HTC Thunderbolt, because that increase in speed will matter more to me than any iOS / Android distinctions.

    Reply

  6. Web Hosting Review

    04/01/2011 at 10:24 am

    Good work by verizon again, they always give first preference to the customers!!..

    Reply

  7. Asdf

    05/17/2011 at 7:14 pm

    oooh…good article…very accurate..

    Reply

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