Apple Cuts 'Sweet Deal' To Bring iPhone To Verizon: REPORT

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Here comes another wave of speculation about a possible Verizon iPhone release.

The latest projection comes from Shaw Wu, a senior analyst at investment banking and advisory firm Kaufman Bros, according to Fortune.

On Monday, Wu distributed a report to KBRO clients that seems to support rumors of a 2011 release for the fabled device.

Wu writes that, based on what he has heard so far, Verizon may have to pay dearly to carry the iPhone. What's more, says Wu, "VZ [Verizon] could be more willing to give in to Apple's terms" if a deal indeed materializes between the two companies.

According to Fortune, Wu's note reveals that "Apple's hand was strengthened by the 14.1 million iPhones sold last quarter, the share gains AT&T made against Verizon over the past two quarters, and reports that Google's Android has started 'to lose some of its luster' for Verizon."

Wu also indicated that Verizon would try to muscle out competing carriers, such as T-Mobile and Sprint, that do not already have exclusivity deals with Apple. This means that Verizon "may be willing to pay for exclusivity to itself and AT&T," writes Wu, who adds that for Verizon, Google's Android has begun "to lose some of its luster."

The Wall Street Journal has been reporting that a Verizon iPhone could be slotted for an early 2011 release, with manufacturing set to begin in late 2010. TechCrunch seems to believe that these reports are part of an “Apple-controlled leak.” It is also believed that Apple has ordered millions of Qualcomm mobile processing chips, which are compatible with Verizon’s network but not AT&T’s. However, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg dampened the buzz about a Verizon iPhone in September, when Seidenberg said, "We don't feel like we have an iPhone deficit. We would love to carry it when we get there, but we have to earn it […] Hopefully, at some point Apple will get with the program."

Although Apple and Verizon remain silent about these ongoing rumors, the two companies recently partnered to release the Wi-Fi enabled iPad with an optional Verizon Mi-Fi hotspot unit.

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