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8/9/2010
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Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Missing From Leaked Verizon Roadmap: The iPhone

Verizon iPhone reports rose from the dead again over the weekend, though the iPhone is conspicuously missing from a leaked Verizon Wireless roadmap that extends into 2012.

On Sunday, TechCrunch reported that recent component purchases strongly indicate a Verizon Wireless iPhone is already in the works. Based on the lead times needed for silicon, component fabrication, manufacture, assembly and so on, things are looking good for a Verizon iPhone to debut in January.

TechCrunch said, "Sources with knowledge of this entire situation have assured me that Apple has submitted orders for millions of units of Qualcomm CDMA chipsets for a Verizon iPhone run due in December. This production run would likely be for a January launch, and I’d bet the phone is nearly 100% consistent with the current iPhone 4." TechCrunch's sources weren't identified.

There's very little reason that Apple would order CDMA chipsets other than to make a CDMA version of the iPhone. Neither Apple nor Qualcomm has said anything about a large order of chips, which TechCrunch believes would fall in the 2 to 3 million range (at a minimum) for opening week sales alone.

TechCrunch could very well be right, however, today's leaked Verizon Wireless product roadmap might indicate otherwise.

The Boy Genius Report claims to have insider information about a host of products, devices, and technologies being launched by Verizon Wireless throughout the rest of 2010 and into 2011 and 2012. Here's what Boy Genius included in the roadmap:

  • In addition to the Motorola Droid and Motorola Droid X, we’re told Motorola will launch a new DROID handset, the Motorola DROID Pro. It is supposed to have a 1.3GHz CPU, 4" screen and global roaming capabilities. Estimated launch of November 2010
  • Motorola is working with Verizon on a "slab form-factor" device that sort of looks like an old Motorola Q but features a full touchscreen and global roaming. It will run Android 2.2. Maybe this will be a lower cost, Motoblur handset?
  • There are a lot more Android invasions happening before the end of the year, we're told. This includes a global Android device from both Samsung and HTC.
  • Samsung is working on a 7" screen Android tablet with front-facing camera. Motorola is also working on a tablet as well, except it will sport a 10" screen, either 1GHz or 1.3GHz CPU, front-facing camera, and Android 3.0. Don't expect the Motorola so soon though, as we’re informed that while the launch was supposed to happen in December, Android 3.0 will probably hold up the release of that device and we should expect it around February 2011.
  • Verizon Wireless is aiming and on track to have at least 75% of the country covered in LTE coverage by April 2012
  • There will be a Novatel LTE MiFi device available in January or February that will apparently support up to 10 simultaneous Wi-Fi users.
  • Lastly, we're told LTE data pricing will stick at $59.99/month, though it's unclear what the data allowance will be. (This is for data cards, not smartphones)
I don't know about you, but I don't see the word "iPhone" anywhere in that roadmap. You'd think that anyone with direct knowledge of Verizon Wireless' plans for the coming two years would include such a detail in a forecast such as this. Why isn't it included here?

The biggest reason is likely that both Apple and Verizon Wireless would keep knowledge of a Verizon Wireless iPhone a carefully guarded secret (until it is leaked all over the place). I've said it before and I'll say it again. Until Steve Jobs, or Verizon executives Lowell McAdam or Ivan Seidenberg announce a Verizon Wireless iPhone, it doesn't exist.

(Oh, and, Seidenberg is keynoting at CES 2011, FYI.)

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