Apple event spawns 4G iPhone rumors

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 7:05am
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

The rumors continue to grow in the final days before an Apple press event scheduled for next week in San Francisco. While it seems almost a given that the company will unveil a tablet device of sort, many speculate that the event could include a few more surprises –say, for instance, an iPhone 4.0 update and possibly an iPhone 4G for Verizon Wireless.

Apple recently sent out e-mail invites for a high-profile media event to be held Jan. 27 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. The cryptic e-mail invites sent to journalists read: "Come See Our Latest Creation."

According to a research note released by Peter Misek, a Canaccord Adams analyst, Apple will also announce a CDMA version of the iPhone for Verizon at the event, with a launch set for late in the second quarter of 2010. Misek also speculates that a future version of that phone, the 4G S, will offer support for LTE, with an estimated launch of June 2011.

A Verizon spokeswoman said the company would not comment on rumors or speculative comments.

Misek also suspects a new version of the iPhone OS, version 4.0, is on tap for the event. He said the new OS will include system-wide multi-touch, multi-tasking and turn-by-turn navigation, which seems to be emerging as an industry standard since Google launched its free navigation on the Droid.

Speculation about an iPhone for Verizon Wireless is nothing new. Early on, the debate raged about whether it would be worthwhile for Apple to produce a CDMA version of the device, with LTE being promised by AT&T and Verizon Wireless in the next couple of years.

A source close to the matter, who did not wish to be named, said it’s really not that simple. “Right now, Verizon doesn’t have any 3GPP, 3G or 2G network, it’s just CDMA. If that was the case, then I guess the assumption would be Apple would have to support CDMA,” the source said.

Whether or not all of these rumors amount to wishful thinking or the necessary next steps in Apple’s evolution, there’s little doubt that something big is brewing for next week’s event. The question is: How big and who’s involved?

More Broadband Direct 1/22/10:
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•  Cablevision, Scripps reach deal over fee dispute
•  SureWest debuts Mediaroom-driven IPTV
•  West-central Fla. gets more FiOS widgets, iTV apps
•  Google shows renewed vigor with robust Q4
•  Apple event spawns 4G iPhone rumors 
•  Broadband Briefs for 01/22/10 



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