Verizon iPhone 4 arrival pushes iPhone 5 into spotlight

Good news and bad news for Apple. Verizon nation now knows that the iPhone 4 is coming to them, thanks to a leak which many have assumed came from Apple itself. Such a leak makes sense, as while it would be tricky for Apple to outright announce a Verizon iPhone 4 now which won’t arrive until the beginning of next year, but a controlled leak signals to Verizon customers that they just have to wait for an iPhone a little longer rather than committing to a competing phone platform that’s available from Verizon now. And if it was all part of a secret plan by Apple, it was a clever one.

There has been, however, one side effect: the leak includes the fact that not only will the Verizon iPhone 4 happen at the beginning of 2011, but that Verizon will also get the iPhone 5 in due time. It’s an odd inclusion, perhaps meant to make it clear that the iPhone 4 isn’t going anywhere, or to make it clear that Verizon won’t have to wait until iPhone 5 just to get the iPhone. But either way, the unintended result is this: in addition to letting Verizon users in the U.S. know that the Verizon iPhone 4 is coming, the leak has reminded the entire world that the iPhone 5 is coming.

When your product is updated on an annual cycle, you do not want people talking about the next generation a mere three months into the current generation. Sure, everyone who pays even a little bit of attention to Apple’s product release cycles knows that the iPhone 5 is most likely going to debut in June or July of 2011. But the mere mention of the phrase “Verizon iPhone 5 also puts the phrase “iPhone 5 by default – and if Apple really is waiting another nine months to release the iPhone’s next generation, it’s unclear why Apple would include anything about the iPhone 5 in the leak at all. It makes one stop and wonder whether the Verizon iPhone report was really an Apple leak at all, or perhaps it was but it wasn’t reported in quite the manner Apple had been hoping.

Probably no harm done, as talking about next year’s model of any technology product is very much an insider’s game. But it’s still odd that a story which seemingly originated from Apple itself has any mention of the iPhone 5 when it’s still so early in the iPhone 4 era, whether it be a Verizon iPhone story or not. Here’s more on the Verizon iPhone.

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