Importantly, Bensinger notes (but without attribution) that "Verizon Wireless has pumped billions into building out and promoting the high-speed data network known as 4G LTE, but the carrier has drawn just 5% [emphasis added] of its customers to the faster network, as it has struggled to convince customers to upgrade from their 3G devices, most notably Apple Inc.'s popular iPhone." Of course, iPhone users cannot now upgrade to an LTE iPhone because none exists.
Then Bensinger claims, "The carrier said that for the rest of 2012, it would only unveil smartphones capable of running on its 4G LTE network. The statement [journo-speak for 'press release'] suggests any new iPhone this year will be 4G LTE-capable."
But assuming that Bensinger is referring to this online Verizon press release (which, confusingly, was issued the day after Bensinger's story is dated), the release in fact does not say or even imply any such thing.
The closest thing one gets to a potentially and profoundly minor hint is in a quote attributed to the carrier's CTO David Small: "Our commitment to expanding and enhancing our 4G LTE network is enabling more customers across the country to enjoy the benefits of the most popular wireless devices." The iPhone certainly qualifies as one of the "most popular devices."
But that, and the fact that the "news" contained in the press release was reported by the Journal, is enough for the iOSsphere. Small's committee-written quotes are a "major hint" that the next iPhone will have LTE, insists Steven Kovach, writing for Business Insider. Adam Mills, at GottaBeMobile, says, "Verizon pretty much confirmed what we think we know."
"From now on, all of Verizon's new smartphones will be able to connect to the carrier's 4G LTE network, the company's chief technical officer said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires," Kovach declares, based on Bensinger's story based on the Verizon press release which didn't actually say that.
"Assuming Apple plays along with Verizon's plan, that means the next iPhone will likely have 4G LTE, just like the new iPad," Kovach asserts.
That seems to Rollup like a pretty major assumption. Even assuming that Verizon said what Bensinger, Kovach and others think it said, the iPhone is such a hugely popular phone that it creates its own exceptions. Even if Verizon did decide to offer only LTE phones from now on, the chances of it not offering the next iPhone, even if it lacks LTE, seem remote: Verizon needs Apple more than Apple needs Verizon. (OK, OK, we jumped on this story too: See "Verizon Wireless: 4G LTE or bust in 2012.")
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