Dissecting the Latest 4G Verizon iPhone Rumors

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The long-rumored Verizon iPhone got another shot in the arm recently, with MacDailyNews reporting that not only would the most anticipated phone that doesn’t even exist yet be here right after Christmas, but it would run on Verizon’s new 4G network that was just lit up a couple weeks ago.

Like all the Verizon iPhone rumors before it, this latest round of information comes from “a source we believe to be familiar with the matter,” according to MacDailyNews. Let’s take a look at some of the information from this supposed source and see if it makes any sense.

The Verizon iPhone is to be announced right after Christmas, available immediately, and only directly from Verizon stores

This seems like an odd time to announce something, assuming “right after Christmas” means the week between Christmas and the New Year. Apparently this timing is an olive branch to AT&T so it can enjoy one last big push in iPhone sales. This is also weird, if true.

Such a grace period certainly wouldn’t come from Verizon. What does Verizon care? It wants to sell phones. It’s possible that Apple has something to do with it, but why would Apple care all that much either? It wants to sell phones too. What’s AT&T going to do? Drop the iPhone from its lineup? AT&T has a 30-day return policy anyway, so it’s likely that most AT&T iPhones given as gifts could be returned pretty easily.

The notion that the phones would be available immediately is interesting but not really a huge deal. The idea that Verizon is controlling the sales channels internally is more interesting since it’d apparently be done to control leaks. No matter if or when a Verizon iPhone ever makes it to market, the company would be wise to control the initial sales channels itself just in case. (More on Techland: What Are the Top-Selling Apple Apps of 2010?)

If, on the other hand, “after Christmas” means something like “early January,” that would make a lot more sense since the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is coming up in the first week of January. A Verizon iPhone announcement at CES would steal the thunder from just about any other announcement at a show that’s gotten so big and bloated that almost zero noteworthy surprise announcements happen any more for fear that nobody will hear them. This would easily trump every other announcement there and inject some much-needed life back into CES.

A Verizon iPhone announcement the week after Christmas would generate buzz, for sure, but Apple and Verizon aren’t going to be able to get nearly as many reporters to go to an announcement during that week. Why not just announce it at a venue that’s swarming with tech reporters to begin with?

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