Why Next Week’s Event Is Hosted by Verizon, Not Apple

So why is next Tuesday’s announcement of the Verizon iPhone a Verizon-hosted event in New York and not an Apple-hosted event in Cupertino? Here’s my theory. Apple is fully aware that when they say “We’re having an event next week”, people expect big news and a new product. If they were hosting this event, speculation would be rampant that it would involve a new iPad and maybe an iPhone 5, in addition to the expected Verizon deal. There is no new Apple product, though. We nerds know that a CDMA iPhone 4 is a different device than the GSM iPhone 4, but from a consumer perspective, it’s the same phone but just works on a different carrier. What would Apple show? What would there be to demo?

This is the sort of thing where Apple needs to play it cool, and act like this is just another carrier. Good news, but not big news. The bottom line from Apple is going to be something like, “We’re delighted to add Verizon as an iPhone carrier”. That’s it.

And if Verizon wants to do some on-stage bragging about the ways that their network is better than AT&T’s, Apple can’t really be a part of that. 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.

So, I’ll be surprised if Jobs is there. I think it’ll be Phil Schiller or Greg Joswiak (or, who knows, maybe even Tim Cook?). But John Paczkowski reports that Jobs will appear:

While the appearance isn’t 100 percent assured, sources in a position to know tell me that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Jobs will likely join McAdam onstage in New York when he announces the addition of the iPhone to its handset lineup.

We’ll see.