Driven by rapid sales of the Droid Incredible smartphone, from HTC, Verizon Wireless (VZ) will release as many as five handsets designed to run on next-generation LTE networks in the next year. The carrier’s plans were described by CEO Lowell McAdam, speaking at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York City.
Verizon’s new slate of mobile devices, which will also include tablet computers, will reach the market sooner than previous estimates of mid-2011. McAdam did not specify models or manufacturers, but said that the devices could come from Motorola Inc. (MOT), HTC, LG (LGERF.PK) and Research in Motion (RIMM), maker of the BlackBerry.
Conspicuously absent from that list is Apple. Despite months of rumors of a “Verizon iPhone,” recent reports indicate that AT&T (T)’s exclusive deal to market the popular smartphone will continue for another few years.
The new lineup of phones will be designed to run over Verizon’s emerging LTE network, which will offer data speeds up to 10 times faster than today’s 3G networks.
“I’d say all the major manufacturers we’re talking to today are making the transition to LTE,” McAdam said, according to Reuters.
Verizon sold 100,000 Incredibles in the first two days they went on sale last month. Suppliers – particularly Samsung, which produces the device’s screens – cannot manufacture components fast enough to keep the devices on shelves.
The Droid Incredible runs on Android, the mobile operating system from Google. Last month, according to research firm NPD Group, Android surpassed the Apple iPhone OS in sales for the first time.