Verizon Wireless customers holding their breath for a 4G iPhone may want to exhale, as analysts dismissed a recent report that claimed the company would begin selling an LTE-capable device following the holidays.
Alterations to the current iPhone would be too difficult to pull off in such a short amount of time, analysts said. To meet LTE capabilities, Apple would have to include a separate LTE chip and antenna inside the device in addition to a chip and antenna for the 3G CDMA/EV-DO network that Verizon currently supports.
“I don’t believe it. LTE is hard to do because the chipsets aren’t available in bulk and the cost is quite high. I would be shocked if it’s true,” Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, speaking about the initial report from MacDailyNews, told Computerworld.
Other analysts point to differences between Apple and Verizon that have surfaced and the fact that Apple traditionally launches new iPhone models in June. Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group said it wouldn’t be like Apple CEO Steve Jobs to break with tradition.
Enderle said Jobs’ preference to “control the overall customer experience,” leads him to believe the information isn’t true.
On December 13, MacDailyNews reported that information from an anonymous source suggested a 4G iPhone announcement from Verizon would come “after Christmas.” The source also claimed 4G iPhones were already in the hands of Verizon management.
The report made several other claims, such as 4G iPhones were already shipping in bulk to Verizon warehouses and that an LTE-only iPhone 5 was planned to launch this summer.
Though it deemed the source credible, MacDailyNews freely admitted to being unable to corroborate the the claims. The news provider advised readers to treat the information as rumor until it is confirmed by Apple, Verizon or both.
Rumors of a Verizon iPhone have been the talk of the wireless industry for some time. The story picked up steam this fall during the Cellular Telephone Industries Association conference in San Francisco. The Wall Street Journal broke news that a Verizon iPhone was coming some time in 2011.
Similarly, Verizon recently began supporting Apple’s iPad, which only added to rumors.
The Journal reported that Verizon and Apple officials met to discuss a CDMA-capable iPhone and that Verizon was taking steps to test its network to prepare for iPhone users’ heavy data load.
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