Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

Summary: Verizon Wireless will launch its iPhone on Tuesday and the tech industry is abuzz about the possibilities. The most interesting item of the Verizon iPhone launch may revolve around support for Long-Term Evolution connectivity.

SHARE:

Verizon Wireless will launch its iPhone on Tuesday and the tech industry is abuzz about the possibilities. The most interesting item of the Verizon iPhone launch may revolve around support for Long-Term Evolution connectivity.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the iPhone will be available at Verizon about the end of January. Others are busy handicapping whether Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be at the Verizon launch. The iPhone will have unlimited data plans on Verizon, a big difference from AT&T, according to the Journal.

For me, the Verizon iPhone launch really boils down to three letters: LTE. Here's my situation:

  • Contract at Verizon Wireless has expired.
  • I've basically drooled over an iPhone on Verizon for three years.
  • I have kind of gotten over the iPhone thing and would be fine with an Android phone.
  • First phone to LTE---perhaps the Motorola Bionic at right---wins.
  • I have no desire to sign a two-year contract and restrict myself to 3G.
  • Also note that I don't need LTE coverage today, but want the option when 4G fires up for smartphones.

The other wild-card here is I want an LTE phone that can act as a hotspot for my laptop. Bonus if I can carry a second battery since LTE will burn through a lot of juice.

In a dream world on Tuesday, I'd want to hear that the Verizon iPhone is LTE ready. And since Verizon's network is so swell you can tether or use it as a Mi-Fi for an extra charge.

The chances of me hearing those items are slim and none. If Apple had an LTE capable iPhone it would be holding its own event.

Now this calculus will be irrelevant for most folks---there is so much pent-up demand for a Verizon iPhone that Apple will move millions of devices in the first quarter alone. My hang-up is that I have been holding out for LTE speeds. If the Verizon iPhone only does CDMA as expected, then my decision matrix goes like this:

  • Wait for iPhone 5 and see if there's LTE.
  • Go with a Motorola, Samsung or HTC LTE phone in March.
  • Cave and sign up for another two years of 3G, but look a lot cooler on the commute to New York City.

That last one isn't going to happen: It's hard for me to ever look cool and I'm not restricting myself to 3G. In a nutshell, the iPhone will be quite welcome at Verizon Wireless, but LTE may be a hang-up for a few techie types.

Related:

Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Networking, Verizon, Wi-Fi

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

53 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • It is practically not important: LTE is very patchy and pricy

    It will not mean much whether Verizon's iPhone will support LTE or not -- though, technically, it makes more sense that it will, since Apple had to have motherboard/chipset and steelframe antenna redesign anyway, why should not have it include LTE chip rather than common CDMA chip?
    DDERSSS
    • You're thinking today, not a 2 year contract

      @denisrs

      The problem with your statement is you assume that LTE won't be expanded over the next two years. Verizon has already stated that LTE will cover the majority of their network in two years, which means the metro areas that have it now will likely have far better coverage within a year. If my contract expired today I'd hold off for an LTE device for future proofing. When you buy the end of a platform's life cycle, especially one that gets refreshed every year, and are stuck for two years it's not very smart.
      LiquidLearner
    • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

      @denisrs Dears! It's pricey not pricy. Do you kids even have college or undergrad degrees? Are you just high school kids littering the technical turf with gibberish because you happen to know absolutely nothing about the technology and very little about grammar. LOL!

      This is a technical forum, you're not at libterty to destroy it with your raw and crass graffiti or to rape our faculties with the most illogical,absurd, preposterous, bizarre, illiterate, naive, and warped notions that neither contribute any value to the site nor enlighten its visitors.

      Unless you have something of value to contribue, just simply listen; you retards might eventually learn just enough to partially comprehend the content, though, you'll still never be able to contribute anything of value as seems glaring obvious from your retarded and myopic mindsets.
      Khushal69
      • And what did you contribute?

        @Khushal69

        That is right. Nothing but raw and crass graffiti, raping our faculties with the most illogical,absurd, preposterous, bizarre, illiterate, naive, and warped notions of a grammer queen.

        And neither did I present any new information with this post.
        Bruizer
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        @Khushal69

        Coming from someone who just used "LOL" while crying over bad grammer...

        Your post was really useful!
        LiquidLearner
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        @Khushal69 It's liberty not libterty :)
        mattmuir
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        Grammar. Not grammer.
        WarhavenSC
      • The use of "LOL" essentially nullifies your statement.

        At least you capitalized it properly.

        And are the rest of you misspelling "grammar" as some kind of joke?
        dgurney
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        @Khushal69 I'll give @denisrs the benefit of the doubt, and assume he simply mistyped and left off the 'e' in pricey, just as I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on your typo of libterty...
        zdnetreader123
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        @Khushal69 heh heh he said Crass....
        KineticArtist
    • What a pathetic strawman.

      @denisrs

      "Patchy"? Apple used essentially the same lame excuse when it launched the original iPhone with no 3G. 3G was better established then than LTE is now, making the original iPhone obsolete from day 1.

      As far as why shouldn't it have the LTE chipset: We're talking about Apple here. They do all kinds of backward-ass, anti-customer things. Remember the headphone jack on the original iPhone, the one that 99.9% of headphone plugs wouldn't fit into?
      dgurney
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        @dgurney Yeah, that obsoliete from day 1 original iPhone sure had a hard time selling didn't it ;-)
        non-biased
    • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

      @DeRSSS Is 4G LTE that much faster than 3G or even 4G?

      http://4gltephones.blogspot.com
      John Smiths
  • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

    What real techie type would carry a walled-off product like an iPhone anyway? iPhone users like to look cool but would not even notice if their phone had major speed or was sputtering around on some 3rd rate carrier's EDGE platform.
    callenjr
    • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

      @callenjr I think real techies like them all: iPhone, Android, Linux, OSX, Windows, Python, Perl, C, C++, C#, Obj-C, Java, etc. Narrow minded techies get locked in a few techs, elevated those techs higher then they deserve, and complain constantly about the techs they don't like.
      IAmMarty
    • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

      @callenjr "real techies", especially developers, use the iphone and its familiar development environment to access and control a whole host of servers, network and enterprise applications. "real techies" tend to use apple and various google products because they are easier and cheaper to use. Ultimately though, "real techies" like to plat with cool toys and probably have more than one smartphone anyway.
      dogfighter99
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        @dogfighter99

        Toys is the operative word. Apple provides toys for the posers, Android toys for the geeks, MS provides professional tools. Developers tend to use the most powerful development environment and that's MS. Being able to target enterprise, PC, Xbox, WP7 and cloud with the same code is extremely useful and having the most advanced tools also helps.

        I won't use Android for the same reason I don't use Linux, my hobby time is taken up with WoW ;-)
        tonymcs@...
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        @tonymc

        So according to you, Unix/Linux/Android is a hobby and the only way to target the enterprise is with MS tools that you know. If you are a half descend developer than it should not matter too much what tools or platform you are using. I was a .Net developer but was able to learn Java and Objective-C (iPhone). All computer languages and frameworks are closely related and a developer should be able to learn new skills as required...
        prof123
      • IT doofus

        @prof123<br>tonymcs@... is a microsoft certificated IT doofus, his whole life and carrier revolves around microsoft products and certificates. what do you expect from these people?
        banned from zdnet
      • RE: Verizon iPhone: How important is 4G LTE capability?

        @tonymcs you are SOO right. When all of these fools finally discover that you can install the internet on your M$ fone and point and click and cut and paste and do all of the things that are so difficult if not impossible with any other product they will too be assimilated.
        HackerJ