updated 01:55 pm EDT, Wed June 24, 2009
VZW on iPhone and Android
Verizon chief Ivan Seidenberg last evening told late night show host Charlie Rose that his company didn't have control over the prospect of a 4G iPhone for its upcoming Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. The executive said it was "Apple's decision" as to whether or not it built a phone for the faster network and didn't comment on any possible agreements. Talks have been rumored underway for several months but, even if accurate, are potentially part of a pressure tactic to earn concessions from AT&T.
Seidenberg also teased regarding claims of a Motorola Android phone for his network, saying only that it "might be true." Most knowledgeable reports have anticipated a QWERTY slider device, nicknamed the Morrison, arriving late this year on Verizon's network.
A 4G iPhone is likely for the US both through its speed and widespread support for the technology. Verizon estimates that practical speeds may top 12Mbps downstream. Outside tests of LTE have suggested it would theoretically support 720p video streaming or, through lower latency, two-way video calls at a quality similar to most desktop instant messaging apps.
The carrier is also likely to share 4G airwaves with AT&T, as both plan to implement LTE networks on the 700MHz spectrum newly freed up by the end of analog over-the-air TV. Both networks should be ready on at least a small scale by 2011 and will allow development of phones that work on both networks without a special radio. Currently, the AT&T and Verizon networks are wholly incompatible and require either seperate versions of the same phone or else special dual mode "world edition" phones that can connect to both.