Verizon to Announce LTE Smart Phones at CES: iPhone 4?

Why can't it say iPhone in there somewhere?

Verizon Wireless will announce LTE 4G smart phones at the upcoming 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but don’t expect Apple CEO Steve Jobs to take the stage and unveil the Verizon iPhone 4G. The largest carrier in the United States tweeted confirmation of Google’s Android operating system and its new LTE (long term evolution) cellular network today being a definite topic at CES. According to the tweet: “Jan 6. at #CES: #Android and #LTE – could it be like peanut butter and chocolate? YUM!”

Alright, some Android powered smart phones with LTE compatible radios inside will be unveiled to the world on January 6th but which ones? And could an LTE compatible iPhone 4 on Verizon’s network also make an unexpected appearance? I might have an answer to the first question but you probably won’t like my answer to the second.

This is what the Motorola Etna will look like.

The Motorola ‘Etna’ (Verizon’s version of the Motorola ‘Olympus’) could very well be one of the Android powered smartphones to show up at CES. Motorola has big plans for CES this year, including the unveiling of its Android tablet. The Etna has already been verified to be LTE compatible and runs on a dual-core, NIVIDA Tegra 2 processor just like the Olympus.

As for a Verizon iPhone with LTE technology inside…that is probably too much to hope for. Sure, there are rumors that Verizon’s iPhone could be LTE compatible but it is far far more likely to simply use CDMA technology and 3G. The reason why is because Verizon’s LTE network is still small right now. LTE radios are still expensive and consume a lot of power. Apple skipped 3G with the original iPhone even though AT&T’s 3G network was already online because of these reasons.

Besides, why would Steve Jobs share the stage at CES? You know he’d much rather pull off his own announcement at his own event. All of this of course is dependent on Verizon getting its own iPhone in the first quarter of next year—something which has not been confirmed by either Verizon or Apple.

Keep your fingers crossed and hope that the Verizon iPhone is real but don’t count on it being LTE compatible. If you’re more interested in Android phones, this might be just the event to watch. LTE is here and regardless of whether or not you consider it truly 4G, the mobile Internet just got a heck of a lot faster.

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