iPad 3 Launch : Verizon Getting LTE Hardware To Apple Stores

US mobile phone operator Verizon Wireless has apparently been installing LTE equipment in Apple retail stores in the US days before the launch of the iPad 3 (or iPad HD) according to CultofMac which mentions an anonymous source.

Apple Insider also claims that Verizon Wireless has been sending contractors in plain clothes to upgrade the network infrastructure at some Apple stores.

Verizon Wireless is the largest purveyor of 4G in the US with a coverage of 200 million customers while AT&T has around 74 million customers on its own 4G network.

Having two separate competing 4G networks means that we're highly likely to see more than one LTE version of the iPad 3 each locked to a different 4G network.

Qualcomm launched its third generation Gobi modem chipsets, the MDM8225, the MDM9225 and the MDM9625 at Mobile World Congress last week but they will be sampled later this year.

Instead, the iPad 3 is likely to use the MDM9600 or the cheaper MDM9200; both of them provide with GPS functionality as well as backward compatibility with HSPA+

ITProPortal.com has a live blog of the event from London, covering the pre-iPad 3 buzz happening in the hours prior to the launch, rumours and the launch itself later today. We suggest that you follow and bookmark this real-time live blog thread.