With a statement that only proves how thick Apple’s iron curtain of secrecy really is, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo made a comment today at the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference that Verizon expected Apple to release the iPhone 5 this Summer.

Fran Shammo isn’t exactly known for keeping a lid on Apple-related news, as he also said earlier this year that Apple’s next smartphone would be a “global device.”

In the past, Apple has always chosen to announce new iPhone hardware during the Summer at the WWDC conference. This year, with several new factors (like the Verizon iPhone) in play, Apple chose to not unveil new hardware at WWDC and instead focus on software, like iOS 5 and iCloud.

The industry has reached a general consensus that the iPhone 5 will be announced at Apple’s typical media event in September, while some separate reports have pegged the iPhone 5 for an October release.

AllThingsD has been the biggest proponent for an October release, and the same man that has placed his journalistic integrity on an October timeframe, John Paczkowski, is now passing along the news that Verizon thought Apple would release the iPhone 5 this Summer.

“Shammo said Verizon thought Apple would debut its next generation iPhone in early summer just as it has for the past few years.

“Obviously we’re disappointed that the iPhone 5 didn’t come out in June,” Shammo said. “We continue to prepare for it and when that comes we’ll be ready.”

And more eager than ever to add it to its portfolio. Shammo said the device’s delayed debut has slowed its push into the smartphone market.

“Obviously this will slow our smartphone penetration down from where we thought it would be,” he said. “We [hoped we] would end the year around 50 percent, but that will probably delay that for a quarter to the first quarter of next year to hit that target.”

Shammo almost suggests that Apple delayed the iPhone 5’s announcement, but it’s difficult to use such language when an official release date has of course not been announced by Apple.

Verizon saw fairly impressive iPhone 4 sales in its last earnings call, but many adopters already opted for the iPhone 4 on Verizon earlier this year. There are also plenty of folks waiting for Apple’s next smartphone this Fall. (We’re sure that some have jumped ship for Android, too.)

A recent report suggests that next generation iPhones are already in circulation with carriers for testing purposes, and Apple is most likely tying up loose ends for approval as we speak.

  • Pam

    Verizon is fairly clueless. I’m surprised they can find their shoes while they’re on their feet.