This rumor simply has to be taken with a grain of salt, but word has it that Verizon and Apple are testing a version of the iPhone on Verizon’s upcoming 4G LTE network.
For those unfamiliar with the landscape, 4G is essentially the next-generation of cellular networks, designed to carry data and increase the speed and capacity of mobile networks. Although the rumor is unconfirmed, it would make a lot of sense for Apple to hold out for the LTE deployment in order to get more mileage out of the R&D dollars it needs to spend to make a version of the iPhone compatible with Verizon’s network.
The rumor sources note that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has been making bi-monthly trips to Mountain View to visit with Google (), culminating in an announcement of Android phones coming to Verizon. Apple’s headquarters are a mere 8.5 miles away, lending further anecdotal evidence to the idea.
We know that Verizon is steadily making progress on their next-gen LTE (Long Term Evolution) network, having already begun successful testing of data calls. We also know there are many logical reasons to expect that AT&T exclusivity for the iPhone will end, with analysts and pundits alike all placing the timeframe in 2010 for this to happen. Even the Department of Justice is taking an interest in getting the iPhone onto more networks.
What remains unknown are the specific details. It does seem like it fits with Apple’s M.O. to want to make a big splash with a 4G iPhone launch on the U.S. largest carrier, but keep those salt shakers at the ready until we get some official confirmation.
If you’re a current iPhone owner, would you consider ditching AT&T for Verizon if the option were available? If you’re not an iPhone owner, would you consider picking one up if it came to another carrier? Let us know in the comments.