Again, Why the First iPhone for Verizon Won’t Use LTE

Another stream of emails today, in the wake of that leaked new iPhone enclosure yesterday, asking if maybe the SIM card slot means that the initial iPhone for Verizon will use LTE. I covered this back in August:

The whole point of expanding to Verizon is to gain market share in the U.S. It’s about high-volume iPhone sales, coast to coast. A big part of the reason there’s so much demand for a Verizon iPhone is that so many people aren’t satisfied with AT&T’s coverage and quality. Even if their LTE rollout goes exactly as planned — a big “if” — LTE is going to be a niche technology in January, available in a few dozen cities. There may well be tens of million of Verizon customers in those cities, but Apple would want a Verizon iPhone to be aimed squarely at all Verizon customers. The message: “Everyone waiting for a Verizon iPhone: here it is.


The original EDGE iPhone is also a good example of Apple’s relatively conservative pace of adoption of cell network technology. AT&T (née Cingular) already offered 3G service when the iPhone was announced. But coverage wasn’t widespread, and Apple was concerned about its effect on battery life.

LTE is untested, has spotty coverage, and consumes more power. There will be LTE iPhones eventually, but not soon. Trust me, take it to the bank: the upcoming Verizon iPhone won’t be LTE. I don’t even think the second iPhone to hit Verizon will use it.

Thursday, 6 January 2011