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Verizon iPhone Release Set For Early 2011, WSJ Reports

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UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal has rewritten the lede to its story on Verizon getting the iPhone in early 2011, sparking speculation that the latest "Verizon iPhone" rumor is part of a controlled Apple leak.

As Boy Genius Report points out, the iPhone story first read: "Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year, said people briefed by Apple."

The lede to the article was later rewritten to state, with a hint of more certainty, that Verizon was to offer the iPhone. It now reads, "AT&T Inc. is about to lose its lock on the iPhone. Apple Inc. is making a version of its iPhone that Verizon Wireless will sell early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, ending an exclusive deal with AT&T and sharpening the competition with Google Inc.-based phones."

TechCrunch notes, "Today’s Wall Street Journal report about Verizon readying to launch the iPhone in early 2011 has all the makings of a good old Apple-controlled leak once again. And so it may be time to really believe."
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The long-rumored Verizon iPhone may be on the horizon, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Citing "people briefed by Apple," WSJ said that "Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year." WSJ went on to say the following:

The new iPhone would be similar in design to the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T Inc. but would be based on an alternative wireless technology called CDMA used by Verizon, these people said. The phone, for which Qualcomm Inc. is providing a key chip, is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year, according to the same people.

The same sources also told WSJ that Apple may be currently working on an iPhone 5 model, though few details were given. Apple, Qualcomm and Verizon all declined comment. In September, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg told investors that a partnership between Apple and Verizon may be farther away than reports have indicated. "We don't feel like we have an iPhone deficit," Seidenberg said, according to AP. "We would love to carry it when we get there, but we have to earn it."

In August, TechCrunch reported a large purchase of Qualcomm chips by Apple, and Bloomberg has speculated about a 2011 release date for the Verizon iPhone. If the rumors are true, they could mean the end of AT&T's exclusive partnership with Apple.

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