Now things are getting interesting.
With Verizon's announcement last week that it's new 4G network would be deployed by year's end in nearly 40 markets, including Charlotte -- and media reports that the company would be getting an iPhone in January -- many assumed the iPhone would be Verizon's first 4G device.
To quote ESPN's Lee Courso, "Not so fast my friend."
Techcrunch, a popular and reputable blog, is reporting that Apple will not support 4G in 2011, much like it didn't initially support 3G when the original iPhone debuted on AT&T's Edge Network.
Techcrunch says the Verizon iPhone (or Veriphone as folks have begun to call it) will not support the 4G standard, and when a mid-2011 refresh is out, the iPhone 5, that the new model won't support it, either.
According to the blog, Apple will make a dual-mode phone that supports GSM (AT&T) and CDMA (Verizon) standards, but only on 3G. Apple won't support the 4G network until sometime in 2012.
Consider this Steve Jobs saying he doesn't want to have his users testing out a brand new service that may have some bugs. This, of course, will give Android momentum, even as Veriphone finally arrives, by saying it Droid Does 4G and iPhone won't.
Android actually supports 4G on Sprint's WiMAX networks right now and I've been able to use it around Charlotte with pretty good results. But 4G is spotty and I'd imagine that AT&T and Verizon will suffer some 4G growing pains next year, not to mention that the chips needed to power the 4G devices are a little power hungry. Anyone who has tried Sprint's otherwise cool 4G phone, the HTC Evo, knows you have to basically keep a charge cable in your pocket.
So it seems that you'll be able to get iPhone 5 for AT&T or Verizon (and I'm assuming Sprint and T-Mobile, too, if the multi-standard thing is true). AT&T is lighting up its new 3G mode, called HSPA+, which some feel can deliver speeds close to what we're seeing in early 4G devices.
Be interesting to see what happens moving forward when we get some official announcements, but considering there will likely be a premium charge for 4G, something like Sprint's $10 per month, I'm not sure how many folks will sign up for it anyway. At least initially.