The latest round of Verizon iPhone rumors comes yet again from the Wall Street Journal, a publication that hasn’t been short on Verizon iPhone rumors in the past. The fact that Verizon’s actually holding a press event tomorrow in New York is pretty helpful, though, so we may very well mark January 11th, 2011 as the day the Verizon iPhone was finally announced.
Most tech writers will mark the date as the day we can finally stop writing the same basic article about the same basic rumor over and over again. So what should we expect from this Verizon iPhone, assuming (fingers crossed, please, please, please) it’s being announced tomorrow?
The iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4G?
Most outlets seem to agree that the actual handset may be a carbon copy of AT&T’s iPhone 4, albeit compatible with Verizon. I’d actually be somewhat surprised to find out that the Verizon iPhone wasn’t compatible on Verizon’s new superfast 4G LTE network. The company’s 4G press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show last week had explosions—explosions!—and you couldn’t go anywhere in Las Vegas without seeing 4G ads.
That being said, Apple’s no stranger to rolling out products with tried-and-true (read: older) technology. The first iPhone was 2G while everyone else had moved to 3G, so there’s no guarantee that the Verizon iPhone will be 4G compatible. It’d be a shame, though, because Verizon’s 4G network is insanely fast. A 3G Verizon iPhone would conceivably have access to an unlimited data plan at $30 per month, though, since Verizon still offers unlimited smartphone data. For comparison, AT&T’s top-tier, $25 per month data plan maxes out at two gigabytes.
Boy Genius Report claims that Apple has blocked out vacation days between February 3rd and 6th which, if true, is a pretty good indication that something big is going down at Apple’s retail stores.
The bigger issue is what’ll happen in or around June when Apple normally rolls out a new version of the iPhone. Will there be a special upgrade price for those who buy the February Verizon iPhone? That would actually be an opportune time (for the carriers, that is) to roll out a 4G iPhone on both AT&T and Verizon. It’d be significant enough of an enhancement to compel some people to upgrade and would kind of create two distinct iPhone categories.
Will he be at the announcement? You’d think so, but John Gruber makes a compelling argument against it.
For starters, the event is held on Verizon’s turf in New York, not Apple’s in Cupertino, California.
And if it’s truly just the same iPhone 4 that’s been out since last year, but on Verizon—don’t kill me, Apple/Verizon nuts—it’s not really that huge of a deal. Phone models span multiple carriers all the time.
And finally, if Verizon uses the get-together on Tuesday to tout its network’s superiority over AT&T’s, “Apple can’t really be a part of that,” says Gruber. “Apple is not leaving AT&T for Verizon. They’re adding Verizon as a peer to AT&T. Verizon can disparage AT&T at a Verizon event. Apple couldn’t let them do that at an Apple event.”
Verizon has apparently been “beefing up its network” in anticipation of the iPhone, according to the Journal. What are the odds that millions of Verizon iPhones could overload Verizon’s network like the millions of iPhones that have overloaded AT&T’s network?
It could happen, but Verizon’s had plenty of time to monitor the growing pains that AT&T’s had to go through and, if anything, perhaps enough AT&T iPhone owners will jump ship for Verizon. In a perfect world, the two networks would balance each other out as far as iPhone congestion is concerned.
No. Let’s all keep calm and wait for Tuesday.
More on TIME.com: