Apple plans to start mass production for a new iPhone before the year's end that would be available on the Verizon network, according to sources who briefed the Wall Street Journal. Wednesday's news adds support to a recent report hinting at similar release dates for the Verizon iPhone. Is AT&T's exclusive rights to Apple's hot product finally over?
First, we shouldn't assume any truth toward rumors until Steve Jobs confirms them himself. With the exception of the iPhone 4, Apple has been notoriously successful about keeping its launch plans secret. We've also seen just as many hints of the Verizon release, with just as many denials. Last year, rumors began bubbling up about the partnership, with USA Today and the New York Times fanning the flames.
Verizon has kept equally vague about the announcement. At the CTIA conference in San Francisco today, Verizon president and COO Lowell McAdam said we would hear any news from about the latest iPhone from Apple first.
"This is one of those things that rolls out every few weeks whether there's a basis for it or not," McAdam said, PC World reports. "I can't give you any insights. But I think Apple is the one that has to make that announcement."
But the Verizon head did offer some optimism for a partnership, albeit without any concrete answers on when.
"What I've always said is I expect at some point in time our business interests are going to align. I think things like LTE are another great reason why they'd want a device or tablet on that network. But I don't have anything to say today about timing," he explained.
According to WSJ's sources, the new Verizon iPhone would come to market in early 2011.