Verizon rumored to launch LTE 4G capable Apple iPhone after Christmas

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A new report claims that Apple will launch a new iPhone on the Verizon network after Christmas, with the upgraded handset capable of accessing the carrier's new 4G long-term evolution wireless network.

Citing a single, anonymous source, MacDailyNews reported on Monday that Verizon showed off LTE-capable iPhones to company management at a training session last week. The information was credited to a source that the site said it believes is "credible," but cautioned that the news should be treated as a rumor without independent confirmation.

MacDailyNews isn't a usual source of inside information, and a few alleged insider tips they have reported in the past have missed the mark. However, this story has been reported for the sake of completeness.

If true, the rumor would contradict reports from a number of mainstream publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Bloomberg. Those reports claimed that Apple plans to launch a CDMA iPhone in early 2011, but made no mention of an LTE 4G radio.

In Monday's latest report, the source claimed that the new iPhone will be announced after Christmas, as the current exclusive carrier of Apple's smartphone, AT&T, reportedly had a "final demand" to maximize holiday sales.

The new Verizon iPhone is rumored to become immediately available once it is announced, and it was said that the CDMA variant of the handset has been completed for some time.

"Verizon agreed to take 100% responsibility for security, so all the devices will be in their hands until the official announcement date, and they will then distribute thru channels in massive manner (hence early stockpiling)," the report said.

The source claimed that the new handset will be marketed as Verizon's first and only 4G LTE phone, but because the network is not yet nationwide, it will also include a CDMA chip for coverage on the company's existing network. Verizon's 4G network launched earlier this month in 38 metropolitan areas and more than 60 commercial airports across the U.S., offering data speeds of between 5 and 12 megabits per second downstream.

The report said that Apple originally planned to launch an "iPhone 5" in the summer of 2011 as LTE-only, but it looks unlikely that either AT&T or Verizon will have their 4G network operational nationwide by then. It was said that Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs is unhappy with the situation, and the company is assisting the carriers in building their next-generation networks.

Some previous reports explicitly stated that the next iPhone will not support LTE, though it has also been rumored that the Verizon iPhone could support concurrent data and voice connections, unlike previous CDMA devices.

In November, Verizon Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg admitted his company's 4G LTE network has attracted the attention of Apple. He said that attention helped the carrier to gain access to the iPad, which it began selling in October.