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.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng

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.

Watch this: The latest iPhone 5 rumors