Rumor Mill: Apple making mini iPhone for Verizon's network

Apple will release a new, smaller iPhone next year that will be capable of running on all global wireless networks, including Verizon Wireless' network, according to a report from OTR Global. The report cited unnamed sources in the Taiwanese supply chain, and said that the new phone will be able to access both CDMA2000 networks and UMTS 3G networks, by using a hybrid chip made by Qualcomm.

The OTR report also said that Pegatron, a subsidiary of Asustek, will build the new device for Apple instead of Hon Hai, the iPhone's current manufacturer. The new hybrid phone is also said to have a 2.8-inch screen--much smaller than the iPhone's 3.5-inch display.

This is hardly the first time that Apple has been rumored to be making an iPhone that could run on Verizon's network. The conventional wisdom has been that Apple would not go through the expense of making a CDMA version of the iPhone because it would cost too much and not produce a large enough return on the investment. However, Peek CEO Amol Sarva estimates that the cost could be less less than $5 million, according to Silicon Alley Insider. Analysts have said in the past that if Apple inked a deal with Verizon, it could double its iPhone sales.

AT&T Mobility is currently the exclusive U.S. provider of the iPhone, and the company has hinted that its exclusive contract may end soon. Verizon has also recently attacked the iPhone in a series of advertisements, leading some analysts to speculate that a Verizon iPhone is not coming any time soon. However, Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg has said that the two companies may work together when Verizon launches its LTE network. 

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment. An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For more:
- see this Silicon Alley Insider article
- see this Apple Insider article

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