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Rumor: Apple to release Verizon 4G LTE iPhone after Christmas?

As holiday shopping days shrink, Verizon iPhone rumors are growing. The latest from MacDailyNews pegs the Verizon iPhone for a post-Christmas release on the sparsely available 4G LTE networks.

Will you hear an iPhone on Verizon's 4G LTE network now? Apple

As holiday shopping days shrink, Verizon iPhone rumors are growing. The latest from MacDailyNews pegs the Verizon iPhone for a post-Christmas release on Verizon's sparsely available 4G LTE networks.

These details are from a MacDailyNews source that they "believe to be familiar with the matter":

  • Verizon managers are being trained to handle the iPhone and have functional units running on Verizon's 4G LTE networks.

  • AT&T has worked out an agreement to postpone the announcement of Verizon's iPhone until "right after Christmas" in an effort to maximize its holiday sales.

  • The Verizon iPhone has been completed for some time and will be available immediately when announced.

  • Verizon is handling all the iPhone units and will be in charge of security and distribution.

  • The iPhone will be equipped with a multi-band chip that will work on Verizon's large CDMA 3G network as well as the 4G LTE. All marketing for the Verizon iPhone will be for the 4G compatibility.

  • Apple (read: Steve Jobs) is unhappy at the adoption rate of 4G data networks across all carriers and will be "helping" to get them up to speed. No word on whether that means a financial investment is coming from Apple.

While some of these rumors carry a little more weight than others, I would caution anyone getting their hopes up about an iPhone that is 4G capable any time in 2011. Much like when Apple released the original iPhone in 2007 and 3G was just not ready enough or available widely, 4G is still in its infancy.

There's not a news source out there reporting on iPhones that doesn't seem to believe a Verizon iPhone is imminent, most likely available in January, so that part of this report only echoes earlier reports.

It is also likely that if the iPhone is to be available in just a couple weeks, managers high up in Verizon would be receiving necessary training--common sense from a business standpoint.

If AT&T did ask for a gag on the announcement until after Christmas, that would make sense, though I would seriously doubt verifiable information on that would ever surface.

The most unlikely part of this report is that Verizon will be handling the security and distribution of the iPhone. Apple is notoriously secretive and protective of its product and distribution chains. There is no way Steve Jobs would give up any control in his supply line to Verizon.

With the Verizon iPhone unlikely to support 4G LTE networks, it would stand to reason that marketing would not focus on 4G as suggested. Instead, look for marketing to focus on the fact that "everyone" can now get an iPhone. With the breadth of Verizon's network behind it, Apple will continue to push iPhone as the best smartphone for anyone.

Finally, it is doubtful anything has come directly from Steve Jobs about his displeasure regarding 4G network adoption. We all know he had plenty to say about 3G performance over the last few years, but 4G won't be on Apple's radar until 2012. Remember, Apple's modus operandi is not "first to market" but rather "best to market".

Will Apple jump on Verizon's 4G LTE train in January or wait it out? Let me know what you think in the comments!