Verizon drops a hint on a possible Q4 iPhone 5 launch

Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo gives a potential time frame for the launch of the next version of Apple's smash-hit phone.

CNET

Apple's next iteration of the iPhone could drop in the fourth quarter.

That's according to Verizon CFO Fran Shammo, who hinted at the possible timing during the company's quarterly conference call today with a vague reference to a major phone the carrier expects to launch in the fourth quarter.

The next iPhone is widely believed to feature a new design, bigger display, and the ability to tap into the faster 4G LTE network. It's also expected to launch in the fall, although the timing remains unclear. A fourth-quarter launch suggests Apple may move in October, similar to its launch of the iPhone 4S last year.

The iPhone continues to be the biggest smartphone seller at the carriers, often topping the bestseller list. Verizon said it sold 2.7 million iPhones in the period, Shammo said. While the iPhone sales are primarily made up of iPhone 4S and, to a lesser extent, the discounted iPhone 4, several phones use the Droid name, including Motorola's Droid Razr and Droid Razr Maxx, and HTC's Droid Incredible. Verizon sold 2.9 million Droid phones, Shammo said.

In total, it sold 5.9 million smartphones.

Apple has been mum on the timing of the launch of the next iPhone. CNET has contacted Apple for a response to Verizon's comments. We'll update the story when the company responds.

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