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Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 01/13/2011

Grading my Verizon iPhone predictions

By Rob Pegoraro

An e-mail with the subject header "Apology?" arrived 13 minutes before the start of Verizon's iPhone event Tuesday. It asked a a simple question:

Would you like to apologize for telling people they are crazy for waiting for the Verizon iPhone this past summer and fall? :)

That's a perfectly reasonable thing to ask, with or without an emoticon to show there was no crankiness behind it. Let's take a look back at what I've written over the last year.

That record starts with a March 30 blog post, headlined "The iPhone probably isn't coming to Verizon just yet," that addressed a somewhat vague Wall Street Journal report of a new iPhone compatible with Verizon's CDMA technology. I cited the history of failed Verizon-iPhone forecasting, better-sourced reporters' analysis of the situation, and Verizon's upcoming upgrade to 4G LTE technology to suggest that a Verizon iPhone would only arrive when it could support LTE.

I got that last part wrong, as Apple is only supporting Verizon's long-established 3G network in the model that ships Feb. 10.

I returned to the topic in a June 13 Help File, written after getting the Verizon-iPhone question in an e-mail from a reader and a phone call from one of my cousins. Both expected to see such a thing very soon, so I felt obliged to break their hearts in the piece. It began "No, no, a thousand times no," then related the same flawed network-technology argument.

Barely two weeks later, I returned to this topic in a June 29 post about a Bloomberg story that turned out to be shockingly accurate, only missing the Verizon iPhone's retail availability by a couple of weeks. I gave this more specific piece a little more credence:

So maybe this time the stories are for real, and you can think realistically about a possible upgrade to a Verizon iPhone next year. But before you commit to limping along on an aging smartphone you'd otherwise replace before 2011, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do you feel lucky?

A reader asked The Question yet again in a July 16 Web chat, and this time I kept out of trouble by not getting into the finer points of wireless technology:

I see no chance of the iPhone coming to Verizon this year, let alone 'soon.'

Paternity leave kept me from having to think about this for a few weeks (so if you want to say that from June to January counts as "soon," I'd have to reply that June and everything pre-fatherhood feels like a long time ago). Then I returned to the issue in an Oct. 7 blog post. That noted a WSJ piece that repeated the June Bloomberg story's prediction of a Verizon iPhone in January; I found that credible enough to give people permission to play a waiting game:

If you want to hold on to an antique phone in the hope that Verizon will pull an iPhone out of its hat sometime early next year, you might as well go ahead now.

I repeated that advice in Oct. 22 and Nov. 8 Web chats.

One thing to remember is that I had no first-hand sources. The closest I ever got were a couple of readers, each previously unknown to me, who said they'd heard from friends that such a thing was in the works. But neither offered any information to back that up, much less a chance to talk to their sources. That's not something I could go on.

So in retrospect, I wasn't far off in my estimates of the timing--and at least I didn't predict that this thing would arrive in 2008. But I was wrong in analyzing Apple's priorities in supporting wireless-network technologies. Feel free to keep that in mind when I start getting besieged with questions about when Apple will bring the iPhone to Sprint--or, perhaps more likely, queries about when we'll get an LTE Verizon iPhone.

(If you were going to ask about that, here's my quick and quite-possibly-flawed prediction: We'll see an LTE Verizon iPhone in July, when the inevitable next release of the iPhone arrives. Now can you please hold your queries on that subject until then?)

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 13, 2011; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  Apple, Mobile, The business we have chosen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Now that there's a Verizon iPhone, is Sprint next?
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Comments

My son and I, following every rumor over the years, would say that until Steve Jobs or Ivan Seidenberg hold up the Verizon iPhone, everything else was just chatter. It wasn't either of them that made the announcement but skepticism was well warranted.

It certainly seems that Apple and/or Verizon did start with the deliberate leaks to the Wall Street Journal, starting about 6 months ago. All their breaking news alerts from that point on were accurate.

Posted by: dcborn61 | January 13, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

What about a /white/, LTE, Verizon, iPhone?

;-)

Posted by: wiredog | January 13, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@wiredog: Apple couldn't get the white color to work, so they're going to make it in mauve instead.

- RP

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | January 13, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I've got an idea.... Why don't you write an article blabbing on and on about yourself???

Posted by: jdmurray10 | January 13, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

So what color is "mauve", anyway? And when will Apple's Iphone come in 4G LTE, on VZ's network Rob?

But don't worry, Rob. I'm just yanking your chain.

But I do have what I believe is a good question, and one that I've seen none of the press address.

Are there any smart phones currently available, that can synchronize with Outlook running on a standalone (not corporate) PC, WITHOUT going through the cloud? That is to say, the phone uses a direct--wired--connection to the local computer. If so, name names.

Unlike many, I don't trust my valuable data to the "cloud", since I don't know where the cloud is (other than out "there"), who has access to it, and who's going to guarantee that my private data isn't going to fall into the "wrong" hands.

Posted by: henwin | January 13, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Will 4G LTE technology allow non-wifi simultaneous talk+data?

Posted by: CafeBeouf | January 13, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: fakedude1 | January 13, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@henwin. Unless I'm not understanding something about the cloud, my BlackBerry syncs perfectly with Outlook using a USB connection. I'm not on a corporate network.

Posted by: maxinea | January 13, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

All HTC Android phones will sync to Outlook via USB cable and a free app HTCSync downloadable from HTC site.

Posted by: TheBallCoach | January 13, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@CafeBeouf - No, you can surf with Wifi while on a call, but not via 3G.

The reason the iPhone is not LTE is simply. The first generation chips (according to Tim Cook on Tuesday, and from what they've said several times before) are not up to Apple's standards. Battery life has been dismal on such phones so far, and no doubt the iPhone being the prodigious electron mill that it is would not fare that well.

Nobody knows when the LTE iPhone will arrive. But for the fist time in a decade, we can certainly state with some assurance it won't be until after the release of Duke Nukem Forever. :)

Posted by: leicaman | January 13, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@CafeBeouf - No, you can surf with Wifi while on a call, but not via 3G.

The reason the iPhone is not LTE is simple. The first generation chips (according to Tim Cook on Tuesday, and from what they've said several times before) are not up to Apple's standards. Battery life has been dismal on such phones so far, and no doubt the iPhone being the prodigious electron mill that it is would not fare that well.

Nobody knows when the LTE iPhone will arrive. But for the fist time in a decade, we can certainly state with some assurance it won't be until after the release of Duke Nukem Forever. :)

Posted by: leicaman | January 13, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm so thankful I managed to survive these months without an iphone or even a smart phone. Maybe I can survive another 50 years without one.

Posted by: vmax02rider | January 13, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I’m waiting for a Chinese hack smartphone that runs iOS, Android, webOS, and BlackBerry OS, and has both GSM and CDMA antennas (as well as WiFi, of course) so I can use any software on any network. Oh, and it will be the size of a wristwatch. And have a projector. And accept voice commands for all functions.

Posted by: 54Stratocaster | January 13, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

The iPhone can sync with outlook on my windows PC and I also created another email account to sync with my iMac.

So this means all my calendars and emails and contacts from my PC's sync with my iPhone via USB cable.

I use a Windows PC/Laptop given to my by my company for work... And I use my iMac for school (finishing my BS)

Lets just face reality...
Despite doens of decent Android phones and even a few and very few really good Android phones...

iPhone remains, has been and will continue to be the Diamond of mobile phones!
This anology is used to represent how the Diamond is the most beautiful, valuable, strongest and usefull rock on the planet!

Posted by: BayAreaCAMale1 | January 13, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

The iPhone can sync with outlook on my windows PC and I also created another email account to sync with my iMac.

So this means all my calendars and emails and contacts from my PC's sync with my iPhone via USB cable.

I use a Windows PC/Laptop given to my by my company for work... And I use my iMac for school (finishing my BS)

Lets just face reality...
Despite doens of decent Android phones and even a few and very few really good Android phones...

iPhone remains, has been and will continue to be the Diamond of mobile phones!
This anology is used to represent how the Diamond is the most beautiful, valuable, strongest and usefull rock on the planet!

Posted by: BayAreaCAMale1 | January 13, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

There will not be an LTE iPhone in June. The 4G networks are not rolled out sufficiently fast for that.

I believed from 2007 through most of 2010 that were would not be a CDMA iPhone. It did seem Apple would wait for Verizon to roll out LTE broadly. But, apparently, Verizon has been much slower than Apple anticipated. That explains why the CDMA iPhone, which may have an LTE sibling in 2012 or 2013, is seeing the light of day.

Posted by: query0 | January 13, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn‘t bet on LTE this year, maybe the next when the coverage area is bigger, remember that the first iPhone wasn‘t even a 3G

Posted by: humb1962 | January 13, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn‘t bet on LTE this year, maybe the next when the area covered is bigger, remember that the first iPhone wasn‘t even a 3G

Posted by: humb1962 | January 13, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone ask you any question? You admit you have no sources and you apparently don't do direct investigative reporting.

Posted by: joe-ca | January 14, 2011 2:03 AM | Report abuse

We've seen Verizon iPhone rumors every few months since Apple introduced the phone. It became irritating. In hindsight one can only conclude that every one of those rumors were pure speculation. I got tired of waiting and left Verizon for AT&T 3 years ago. I'm glad I didn't wait. Quality-wise, AT&T wasn't much different from Verizon for me.

Posted by: JBinVA1 | January 14, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I'd been using the same Blackberry for over 4 years when the Droid X came out. I really wanted an iPhone but was thinking it would be a long time before it came to Verizon. Sorry iPhone but I'm keeping the Droid X.

Posted by: donsta | January 15, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I would like to second joe-ca's question.
I was coming here looking for coverage of Steve Jobs going on medical leave again, but... maybe that's a story that I can find elsewhere.
Congrats on paternity. I hope Bloomberg didn't scoop you on that.

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | January 17, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

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