The Verizon iPhone is the Holy Grail of Apple rumors (until Apple comes up with Holy Grail 2). For years, consumers have had their hopes dashed and dreams shattered over ever-reported leaks, reports, analyst predictions, and insider confirmations. It's been a long and painful road for Verizon customers—having to live in envy of AT&T users, with their smirks and superiority and Luke Wilson endorsements—but there could be light at the end of the tunnel. That is, if the rumors are true.
In the past few months, we've seen constant confirmations that the Verizon iPhone is coming in early 2011. There's been supplier contacts and sources familiar with the matter who have guaranteed a first quarter release date. There's been manufacturer leaks and media confirmations. And now we even have official release dates, from Verizon's special announcement on January 11—where the Wall Street Journal said the announcement will come—to a possible Apple unveiling on February 3—this last rumor based entirely on when Apple has blacked out employee vacation requests.
Breathe, guys, just breathe.
There's an extensive and embarrassing history of Verizon iPhone "confirmations." Let's fly back to 2007. It's only months after the device officially went to market, and already ZDNet heralds, "Verizon iPhone WILL be here within a year," citing a report on Verizon's new technical standards. Rumors continue throughout 2008, but really start blowing up in 2009. "Chances high" that Verizon will get iPhone next year, promised one analyst. "Verizon iPhone in Q3 2010," said a research firm in November. Verizon iPhone to sell iPhone in 2010, found USA Today.
But my personal favorite comes courtesy of Fortune. From the same author, under basically the same headline with basically the same graphic, comes yet even more rumors of the Verizon iPhone coming out in 2009—er, scratch that—2010. (Funny enough, the reporter, veteran tech writer Philip Elmer-DeWitt, chose simply to update his 2008 article with 2009's rumors.)
To be clear, this article is absolutely not intended as a knock at any media outlet, whether Fortune or ZDNet. Fast Company is just as guilty of perpetuating any of the aforementioned Verizon iPhone rumors—many of the links above are to our own pieces (including—gasp—one of mine!).
The point here is only to recommend that you take these rumors with a grain of salt. If you trusted every analyst prediction and release confirmation, then you'd likely end up with more years of angst and longing than the Tron Guy.