According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making an iPhone for Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) network that will be available in early 2011, a move that will end the exclusive iPhone relationship AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) has had with Apple since 2007. The article, which quotes anonymous sources close to the matter, said the new Verizon iPhone will be available in the first quarter of 2011 and that Apple will start mass producing the device by year-end.
At a press conference at the CTIA Wireless Enterprise and Applications conference in San Francisco, Verizon Communications COO Lowell McAdam said he had not read the Journal article and would not comment on whether Verizon will sell the iPhone.
Last month, Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg, speaking at a Goldman Sachs Communacopia XIX Conference, also deflected questions about a Verizon iPhone, noting that although Verizon Wireless would love to have Apple's iPhone, the carrier was more excited about the wide array of LTE devices it will debut as it builds out its next-generation network. He added, "We would love to carry it [the iPhone] when we get there, but we have to earn it."
The WSJ article is the latest in a string of reports citing anonymous sources indicating Apple is making a CDMA iPhone for Verizon. In August, TechCrunch reported Apple ordered millions of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) CDMA chipsets for a Verizon iPhone, due out in January. A similar report from Bloomberg pegged a Verizon iPhone to launch in January
The WSJ article also said Apple is working on a fifth-generation iPhone with a different form factor. It was unclear how soon that version would be available to Verizon or other carriers.
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
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