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Bloomberg claims high profile sources have said it's a done deal that the iPhone 4 will land on Verizon in January 2011.  (Source: Boy Genius Report)
Company still has no official word on plans

Some time ago, we covered that the iPhone was going to be an AT&T exclusive until 2012.  That might not remain the case, though, if a report in Bloomberg is to be believed.  

The publication claims two high profile sources shared information with it that points to the iPhone coming soon to Verizon.  It writes:

Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile-phone company, will start selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone next year, ending AT&T Inc.’s exclusive hold on the smartphone in the U.S., two people familiar with the plans said. 

Those sources point to a January launch date.

The language of the report makes it sound like Verizon will be receiving the real deal -- the iPhone 4  -- in 2011.  It had previously been speculated that Apple might launch a separate model of iPhone on Verizon.  Of course, the rumor that Apple was working on a full-fledged CDMA iPhone has also been long standing.

UBS AG analyst John Hodulik says if Verizon gets the iPhone, that may help it hold off second place AT&T.  Verizon currently has 92.8 million subscribers, and Hodulik estimates at least 3 million of those would buy iPhones.

Hodulik comments, "Apple is going to dramatically increase the number of devices it sells in the U.S. when exclusivity at AT&T end.  It’s hard to ignore the quality issues that AT&T has faced."

The move could spell trouble for AT&T.  In the first three months of this year, it picked up 900,000 new iPhone subscribers.  Without these subscribers it would likely have posted a loss for the year-opening quarter.  For Apple, the move would be good news, though; it is estimated it would bump yearly sales up from an expected 11 million this year to around 14-15 million units.  Multiple carriers could also help it try to hold off a surging Google Android, whose smartphones are officially carried by every major U.S. carrier.

Verizon and Apple spokespeople declined comment.  Our AT&T contacts had no official word for us, but in our past conversations they've expressed to us that they are unsure when exclusivity will end exactly.  Ultimately, only a few may know the true answer to that question.





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