Verizon iPhone: A Reality Check

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Put the words "Verizon" and "iPhone" together, and you're bound to generate excitement. A fresh rumor that the iPhone is coming to Verizon Wireless has raised the hysteria level once again, prompting comments around the blogosphere that AT&T customers will switch in a heartbeat, and Verizon customers are ready to lay down their Blackberries or Droids.

Sorry for the buzzkill, but to get psyched for a Verizon iPhone now is premature. If you're wondering whether to wait for the iPhone's arrival on Verizon, there are a few things to keep in mind in regards to the Wall Street Journal report that's gotten everyone so worked up:

Fall at the Earliest

The Journal reports that Apple will begin production of a CDMA phone--the wireless network that Verizon supports, as opposed to the GSM network AT&T uses--in September, according to one source. But other sources said the time frame could change, and there may be a delay between production and sale to consumers. That means the Verizon iPhone is at least five months away, possibly longer, all of which is based on rumor to begin with. And rumors aren't always right.

No Details on the Phone

While the report mentions a couple of details about a rumored fourth-generation AT&T iPhone due to arrive this summer--it'll be thinner and faster than previous models--there's no word on what a Verizon iPhone would be like. Keep in mind that the manufacturer will reportedly be Pegatron, instead of GSM iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision, and given previous rumors that Verizon's version of the phone would be an "iPhone lite," there's no guarantee the products will be identical.

Network Woes May Not Be an AT&T Exclusive

The Journal noted how the iPhone put a heavy burden on AT&T's network, and previously AT&T revealed that its broadband data consumption rose by 5,000 percent since the iPhone launched. Verizon has said it's prepared to handle the iPhone, or something like it, but AT&T is beefing up its own network with improvements last year and this year. With both carriers clamoring to feed the beast of data demand, there's no guarantee one will be significantly better than the other if or when the Verizon Wireless iPhone finally arrives.

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