The Wall Street Journal – and John Gruber! – say next Tuesday, January 11, is the day that the Verizon iPhone will finally be announced.
Verizon iPhone rumors have been around almost ever since the V1 iPhone hit the market. In the last half of last year they seemed to be continually heating up, with more and more of them pointing at an early 2011 announcement and / or launch. If you follow the tech/gadget press, and especially Apple-focused sites within the tech blogosphere, you’re probably A) sick to death of even hearing the words Verizon and iPhone in the same sentence or B) waiting excitedly to see this mega-rumor come true so you can drop AT&T like a bad habit or C) a bit of both.
I’ve said before that I think this has got to that stage that some Apple rumors seem to reach where they move from red-hot rumor to almost dead certainty. And everything I’ve read this evening on the subject leaves me feeling more convinced than ever.
Here’s a slice of what the Wall Street Journal is reporting on this:
The iPhone is finally coming to Verizon Wireless.
The largest U.S. wireless carrier will make the long-awaited announcement at an event Tuesday in New York City, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.
Their wording isn’t treating this like rumor or speculation anymore. They don’t say ‘is expected to be announced on Tuesday’ or ‘it’s widely believed that …’ Hell, even their headline speaks of a done deal:
Verizon Finally Lands the iPhone
Now my colleague Brandon S. – and lots of others – may argue that the WSJ has been citing un-named sources and predicting the arrival of the Verizon iPhone for far too long without it materializing, and they’re not buying it until somebody from Verizon or Apple publicly states it and offers a date when it will be on sale.
And of course, there’s always plenty of room for skepticism with this kind of thing, but I really think Tuesday is going to be the day we can finally take a tick out of the Rumor box for this one, and put a huge tick into the Confirmed box.
Here’s a few reasons why:
– Verizon’s invite was sent out to major gadget sites and bloggers, but also to a number of high-profile Apple-focused journalists.
– A lot of talk from top AT&T executives towards the end of last year sounded very much like they are resigned to losing their iPhone exclusivity in the not-too-distant future.
– It seems to be becoming a mini-tradition for Apple to find a way to steal a lot of CES’ thunder with a major January announcement.
– John Gruber says it’s on, in his own inimitable style:
The horrendous JPEG compression on the invitation nicely conveys the sense that the carriers can’t do anything right.
It doesn’t say anything about the iPhone, but trust me, this is the iPhone-on-Verizon announcement.
He also offers an absolutely sensible reason why the announcement event will not be hosted by Apple:
If they were hosting this event, speculation would be rampant that it would involve a new iPad and maybe an iPhone 5, in addition to the expected Verizon deal. There is no new Apple product, though. We nerds know that a CDMA iPhone 4 is a different device than the GSM iPhone 4, but from a consumer perspective, it’s the same phone but just works on a different carrier. What would Apple show? What would there be to demo?
This is the sort of thing where Apple needs to play it cool, and act like this is just another carrier. Good news, but not big news. The bottom line from Apple is going to be something like, “We’re delighted to add Verizon as an iPhone carrier”. That’s it.
So … if I was a betting man, I’d be wagering (heavily) that this is finally the Verizon iPhone rumor to end all Verizon iPhone rumors, because it will get announced at the Tuesday event.
What do you all think? Is next Tuesday the day we finally see the Verizon iPhone confirmed?