updated 02:05 pm EDT, Mon May 17, 2010
Verizon expects multiple LTE phones by May 2011
Verizon chief Lowell McAdam in new statements said the company plans to have multiple 4G phones on its network within the next 12 months. He anticipates as many as five phones using the new LTE (Long Term Evolution) network by May 2011. While he didn't name devices, he expected HTC, LG, Motorola and RIM to be early candidates.
The schedule is relatively quick, although when the first phone would appear wasn't evident. Verizon has hinted it wouldn't see the first devices until early 2011, but a Samsung LTE phone should be available on the much smaller carrier MetroPCS later this year. Verizon's official network launch toward the end of 2010 will cover about 100 million subscribers in 25 to 30 cities, but the initial lineup will revolve around data-only devices.
Some of these should include tablets, such as the ICD Ultra. Most of those that reach Verizon, including the Ultra, will use Android. McAdam admitted there was "no reason we couldn't have an iPad" but didn't say there were any deals in place. Rumors have maintained that Apple may have postponed Verizon iPad plans as part of its bartering with AT&T for the tablet and the next iPhone, although LTE would make it considerably simpler by letting Apple make a single device that also supports AT&T's future LTE service.
With existing phones, the CEO confirmed Droid Incredible shortages and said a shortage of the Samsung-made 3.7-inch AMOLED screens was preventing Verizon from keeping up with demand for the Android flagship. The carrier hasn't released sales figures for the phone but has had a steady stream of demand that has pushed new orders back by a week on average.