Verizon will have the iPhone by the beginning of next year, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Well, according to the Wall Street Journal and "people familiar with the matter," Apple plans to begin mass producing a special iPhone for Verizon by the end of this year -- an iPhone that will be released in the first quarter of 2011. While the new iPhone will resemble AT&T's iPhone 4, it will be "based on an alternative wireless technology used by Verizon."
The alternative wireless technology is CDMA (code division multiple access), which is a channel access method used by Verizon, Sprint, and various smaller carriers in the United States. The alternative to CDMA is GSM (globally system for mobile communication), which involves a SIM card and is used by AT&T and T-Mobile. While CDMA tends to have stronger coverage in the United States, particularly in rural areas, GSM has a larger global footprint and is the standard in Europe.
The Journal reports that the CDMA iPhone is being made by Taiwan-based Pegatron Technology Corp. Pegatron is the manufacturing subsidiary of Asustek Computer Inc. Qualcomm Inc. will be providing a "key chip set" for the new iPhone.
This new(ish) rumor comes just a couple of weeks after Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg told investors that he would welcome the opportunity to sell the iPhone -- though his tone suggested that such a partnership wasn't going to happen anytime soon. Seidenberg said that Verizon would have to "earn" the right to sell the iPhone, which sounds a bit like Verizon hasn't quite yet managed to do that.
However, Verizon President Lowell McAdam said that at "some point" Verizon and Apple's business interests would align, though he declined to comment on whether or not Verizon would soon have an iPhone in its lineup. "I fully expect it," he said, "But I don't have anything to say.
In addition to the not-so-new rumors of a Verizon iPhone, the Wall Street Journal also reports that Apple is working on developing a new iPhone model all together. According to the Journal's unnamed sources, the new fifth-generation iPhone will be a "different form factor than those that are currently available." (What does that even mean? Will it be a flip phone? Square-shaped? Have three touch screens? Leave your thoughts in the comments.)
Sure, rumors of a Verizon iPhone pop up just about every other week, so you should probably take this news with a fairly large grain of salt. That said, the Wall Street Journal has been pretty accurate in reporting iPhone-related rumors (they were right when they said Apple was developing a new iPhone for the summer of 2010--and yes, this was before the Gizmodo fiasco).