Confirmed by The Wall Street Journal as Verizon’s official launch gathering for the iPhone 4, an otherwise ambiguous media event was announced today via an ugly, heavily compressed digital invitation sent out by the wireless carrier rather than Apple. The event will take place on January 11, 2011 at 11:00am in New York City, and will most likely feature an on-stage appearance by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, as well as the debut of a modestly redesigned version of the current-generation iPhone 4. Parts leaks have shown a new antenna system that seemingly will be less susceptible to the “death grip” signal issues experienced by AT&T iPhone 4 users, confirming earlier reports that Apple quickly sought to redesign the device’s central frame despite downplaying reports of signal strength problems before and during a July, 2010 “Antennagate” media event.
Rumors of an iPhone with support for one of Verizon’s networks have been gathering steam for literally years, following a reported rebuffing of Apple by the United States’ largest cellular provider prior to the original iPhone’s release. It is unclear whether Apple, which famously guarded the original iPhone and its sequels against carrier badging or pre-installed applications of any sort, will make concessions to the notoriously bloatware- and badge-demanding Verizon akin to the ones that have seen numerous other devices receive the carrier’s red markings and software; similarly unknown is whether Apple will be offering the iPhone as a purely CDMA device, with 4G LTE support like recent Android phones, or as a multi-mode phone with GSM roaming support.