Verizon iPhone Faces Even Bigger Foe

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- You'd think the arrival of the Apple ( AAPL) iPhone at the No.1 carrier Verizon ( VZ) would be the penultimate moment for the hordes of would-be buyers who have been waiting eagerly for this big day.

(Tune in to TheStreet at 10:30 a.m. ET -- we'll be live-blogging the event.)

But there's one phone that could dampen demand for the iPhone -- that's the iPhone 5, a 4G device due to arrive this summer.

"The main event is the iPhone 5; this is just a warm up," said Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar.

Apple typically doesn't muddy its product launches, especially when it comes to iPhones. The Cupertino, Calif., gadget shop has always kept on a one-year pace with its launch of new versions of the iPhone.

Apple is widely expected to stay on that pace with the introduction of the iPhone 5, a 4G LTE so-called world phone capable of working in the U.S. and in Europe. If true, the 3G Verizon iPhone 4 will arrive about five months before the 4G iPhone 5.

People who've waited this long for the Verizon iPhone may be inclined to wait just another few months for the latest and greatest.

"Why would you to be wedded to a two-year contract with this phone when a much more comprehensive offering is just around the corner?" said Kumar.

In the bigger picture, any slack demand for the iPhone 4 at Verizon will likely be offset by the presumably heavy desire for the 4G iPhone 5. So the dueling devices don't really color the investment picture very much.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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