Dec. 30, 2010 at 11:18 AM ET
A report from Bloomberg Businessweek says that not only is the Verizon iPhone likely to appear by Valentine's Day, but that Apple will probably hold "one of its splashy product introductions" announcing the new product — and the end of AT&T iPhone exclusivity.
The report also does away with the notion that Verizon would announce its iPhone at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, or that Steve Jobs would make Vegas-bound reporters add a Cupertino, Calif. leg to their journey on Monday or Tuesday, for a pre-CES launch.
While Bloomberg reports all of this citing only "a person familiar with Apple's plans who is not authorized to discuss them publicly," it makes sense — especially since reporters haven't received any such calls to Apple headquarters, and it's the Thursday before a holiday weekend.
It does present a bit of a problem for Verizon, however. They will be at CES in full force to talk about their 4G LTE network, and they will even be introducing LTE-compatible phones, including the rumored HTC Thunderbolt, that will ship in the first half of next year. Executives will be on hand giving interviews about future phones, but will not also be able to discuss the iPhone, which will likely be offered to consumers a lot sooner than any LTE phones.
By all accounts, the iPhone will not be an LTE phone — like its AT&T counterpart, it will run on a 3G network — but it will be by far the most alluring, and probably most popular, phone sold by Verizon in 2011. It's just a shame that Verizon will come all that way to Las Vegas, and spend all that money on fanfare, yet be gagged from talking about its flagship device.