updated 02:20 pm EST, Thu January 12, 2012
Verizon wants every smartphone to be LE in 2012
Virtually every Verizon smartphone in 2012 will be an LTE-based 4G device, hardware marketing associate director Keith Lampron said in a discussion Wednesday. It would now be a "hard requirement" for nearly all devices, he explained to CNET. Only push-to-talk phones and, presumably, basic feature phones would be exempt from the 4G demand.
The decision would by its necessity see Verizon hold off on any future iPhones, BlackBerrys, or Windows Phones until they add LTE. It may support beliefs that Apple is preparing an LTE iPhone for this year, as Apple may not want to risk pushing a 3G iPhone on Verizon a second time.
For Microsoft and RIM, LTE may mean waiting until considerably later in the year. Windows Phone so far only has LTE-plus-GSM models lined up for early 2012, while RIM is waiting for a chipset and by extension won't ship with LTE until its first BlackBerry 10 phones arrive in the second half of the year.
Verizon will be the first carrier to set down the requirement. AT&T only just launched its LTE later in 2011 and also has a faster 3G network that diminishes the need for 4G. Sprint doesn't get LTE until mid-2012 and will just have its first LTE devices around the same time.