It was one of the longest-running tech rumors in recent years, but it finally came true: Verizon Wireless today unveiled a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 for its customers.
The one twist: the new device will not run on Verizon’s latest and greatest 4G network built on long term evolution (LTE) technology, but rather on its current 3G network. The trade-off is that the Verizon iPhone will be available today, rather than months from now when the first LTE phones become available. And it will also work across more of the Verizon territory.
But it leaves the door open for rivals with 4G networks to label the Verizon iPhone a great device albeit one running on a last-generation network.
Our sister publication, Connected Planet, has more of the details:
Apple abandoned its GSM-only device strategy to unveil a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 for VZW customers. But Apple also eschewed the latest version of its network technology, long-term evolution (LTE), to make a 3G only device. While every major U.S. operator is deploying new mobile broadband services under the banner of 4G, for now Apple is keeping its iconic smartphone locked in a 3G time capsule.
Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook addressed \\[the 3G/4G\\] issue at Verizon’s press conference today in New York. According to Cook, first-generation LTE chips would have necessitated design changes to the iPhone 4 that Apple couldn’t make. While Apple could have waited for second generation silicon, Cook said, VZW customers wanted the iPhone sooner rather than later. Apple isn’t waiting. It’s taking pre-orders for the new CDMA iPhone on Feb. 3 and will start selling the device across all of it and VZW’s channels on Feb. 10.