Ringing in a new smartphone year (week in review)

A Verizon iPhone is widely expected to be announced after CES, while Amazon and Barnes & Noble tout their e-reader sales. Also: Groupon goes for nearly $1 billion in funding.

Steven Musil
Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
2 min read

The new year is expected to bring a bumper crop of new smartphones, and Apple may reap the greatest harvest.

Perhaps the most long-awaited wireless announcement, Apple will introduce an iPhone for the Verizon network "sometime after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January," according to a Bloomberg report that cited "a person familiar with Apple's plans."

Although we've heard countless similar reports and rumors in the past, there's mounting evidence that 2011 will be the year iPhone customers finally get a carrier option other than AT&T. For starters, the Businessweek story comes on the heels of a DigiTimes report indicating Apple plans to ship 5 million to 6 million CDMA iPhones in the first quarter of 2011. Verizon's network runs on CDMA; AT&T's doesn't.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile and Motorola are expected to unveil the successor to their 2009 handset, the Cliq. A handful of images of the Cliq 2 made their way onto Cell Phone Signal's site, and they show a device that looks nearly identical to its predecessor outside of a redesigned keyboard and a shinier bezel around the screen.
•  CES: HTC Evo Shift 4G could get Jan. 9 release
•  Mobile security firm warns of new Android Trojan
•  McAfee: Smartphones, Apple top '11 crime targets

More headlines

Skype for iPhone adds two-way video calling

While Skype is nowhere near first to wave the video-calling banner, waiting may not have been a bad move. For a player this major, quality and timing are everything.
•  Skype blames recent outage on buggy software

Paul Allen revises patent suit against 11 tech firms

Microsoft's co-founder amends his patent infringement suit against Apple, Google, Facebook, and other tech giants, alleging that they're using technology owned by his firm, Interval Licensing.

Amazon: Many iPad owners also buying Kindles

As Amazon touts the Kindle 3 becoming the best-selling product of all time on Amazon worldwide, CEO Jeff Bezos says many people who are buying the new Kindle also own an LCD tablet.
•  Amazon: Third-gen Kindle is all-time bestseller
•  Kindle book lending now available

B&N: Nook line 'biggest best seller ever'

First, Amazon said the Kindle was its best-selling product of all time. Now it's Barnes & Noble's turn to tout the holiday success of its e-reader line.
•  Barnes & Noble's Nook server woes rectified
•  Hack turns Nook Color into Kindle

ISP won't reveal names of alleged porn pirates

Time Warner Cable once again refuses to give up names of customers accused of copyright violations, according to the attorney overseeing Larry Flynt Publishing's copyright case.

Most don't want the FCC to regulate the Internet

Only 21 percent of U.S. adults polled by Rasmussen Reports said they'd want the FCC to regulate the Internet, with 54 percent opposed to such action and 25 percent undecided.

Study: So people do pay for online content

Almost two-thirds of Internet users polled by Pew Internet have paid for music, software, or other intangible online content, with the typical person shelling out around $10 a month.
•  Amazon 2010 tops: Stieg Larsson, giraffe baby toys
•  Facebook dominates Hitwise list of top searches

Rumor: Apple prepping three iPad 2 versions

Apple is reportedly working on three versions of the iPad 2, claims a report in DigiTimes. Apple may also be trying to reduce smudging on the screen.
•  Apple sued over privacy in iPhone, iPad apps

Also of note
•  Sears, Kmart launching movie download service
•  Korean schools welcome more robot teachers
•  Rumor says Groupon raising $950 million