It's beginning to look a lot like the week after Christmas, when East Coast denizens dig out from their snow cover, and the incoming emails from vendors exhibiting at the Consumer Electronics Show (which starts January 6 in Las Vegas) form a digital blizzard of their own. One product that everyone would like to see at CES, for better or worse, is the Verizon version of the iPhone -- but it's highly unlikely that it will put in an appearance.
Despite the out-there rumor floated earlier this month that the VZW iPhone would debut immediately after Christmas, there's no sign of the device yet. The latest suggestion of a whisper of an actual introduction date, however, comes courtesy of sources to BusinessWeek's Peter Burrows.
In an article today addressing the conventional wisdom about winners and losers when a Verizon iPhone hits the market, he passed along a tidbit from a person "familiar with Apple's plans who is not authorized to discuss them publicly." The source told Burrows that "Apple's introduction of an iPhone for use on Verizon's network will come sometime after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January." The story's lead paragraph says the CW is that the iPhone on Verizon could come by Valentine's Day, but there's no particular sourcing for that date.
Of course, "sometime after CES" could technically include any date from January 10 of 2011 up until the start of the following CES in 2012. If you asked me to predict a date, with no inside information... well, let's look at the calendar. CES wraps up on January 9th; Macworld Expo kicks off on the 26th. Put your finger on the Tuesday in between the two and you get January 18.
There's a problem with the 18th, though; Apple has already said that it will announce quarterly earnings on that day. Looking at the past year, there were two major product introductions that happened two days after a quarterly earnings report. The most recent was the "Back to the Mac" event on October 20, with the earnings report on 10/18; before that, back in January, the earnings call on the 25th was followed two days later by a magical and revolutionary product launch on the 27th.
Attention tech journalists and industry analysts: if you weren't expecting to be in San Francisco on January 20, 2011, maybe you should set up a fare alert and keep an eye on your mailbox, ... you know, just in case.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.