Will Verizon Finally Get The iPhone

Today, 1/11/11, Verizon is announcing “something” at 11:00am Eastern time and it’s most likely the iPhone. AT&T has had an exclusive agreement with Apple since the first iPhone was released and this stranglehold has kept many “Verizon” customers from getting their hands on one. It seems that’s all about to change.

First, here’s what we’re pretty sure of:

It Will Be Announced Tuesday 1/11/2011
It doesn’t get much more solid than this. Verizon’s sent out invites to tech writers, and, though only through the always-nebulous “people familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal confirmed.

It’s the Same Phone
The odds of Apple giving Verizon anything other than a CDMA version of the same iPhone 4 AT&T has are extremely low. If a new Apple product—say, the iPhone 5—were about to be loosed on us, you better believe it’d be Apple doing the unveiling, not Verizon. There’s also a whole host of reasons why a LTE iPhone doesn’t make sense right now – poor coverage, short-lived battery life, Apple’s early adoption anxiety, and existing knowledge of a CDMA model’s development behind closed doors. Engadget’s also dug up photos of an adjusted antenna design, likely made with CDMA optimization in mind.

Finally, if Apple had something shiny, new and exciting to debut, they’d be doing it themselves. So keep your pants on until this summer, when a new version is likely to be announced.

It Might Have an Unlimited Data Option
Now we head into slighty uncertainty territory. A Wall Street Journal report—again, via “a person familiar with the matter”—says Verizon’s planning an unlimited data plan. This makes sense, as it would give Verizon a competitive edge over AT&T, which terminated its own unlimited plan in favor of capped data (except for those subscribers grandfathered in with an unlimited plan that predated the change). In speaking with a Verizon store manager recently, it was hinted at that “data plan changes” were forthcoming.

It’ll Be Out… Soon
The original Wall Street Journal report points to an end of the month release for Verizon’s iPhone, while BGR says sometime between February 3rd and 6th (based on a Verizon employee vacation blockade during that time). Not much of a difference, either way.

Steve Jobs Might Show Up
All Things Digital, citing “sources in a position to know,” says Jobs’ appearance alongside Verizon is “likely,” unless there are “unforeseen circumstances” (a flat tire?). The significance of Jobs’ attendance, and what role he might take, of course prompts a whole other barrel of speculation.

Verizon Might Get the White One
The elusive great white whale of mobile electronics! Could it show up tomorrow? ZD Net’s “educated guess” is that, yes, Verizon will indeed land the oft-delayed white model.

So what does this mean to you? The iPhone as well as every other Apple “i-whatever” device has kicked butt in it’s respective market. Do you see a Verizon iPhone in your smart phone  future? Let me know.

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