Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/22/verizon_iphone_predicition/

Verizon iPhone due 'early 2011'

Rumor du jour

By Rik Myslewski

Posted in Mobile, 22nd June 2010 22:35 GMT

Stop us if you've heard this one before: there's a new report that Verizon may soon offer Apple's iPhone, ending AT&T's US exclusivity for the überpopular handset.

The latest speculation comes from Barclays analyst James Ratcliffe in a Tuesday research note, in which he opined that the US's largest mobile carrier would "probably" begin offering the iPhone in early 2011.

Verizon-iPhone rumors have cropped up repeatedly since AT&T — then Cingular — landed its exclusivity deal for the Cupertinian handset after Verizon turned down the same opportunity.

In 2007, referring to negotiations with Apple, one Verizon exec explained: "We said no. We have nothing bad to say about the Apple iPhone. We just couldn't reach a deal that was mutually beneficial."

Since that time, rumors and reports linking the Basking Ridge, New Jersey, wireless provider and the iPhone have surfaced time and time again:

And now Barclay's Ratcliffe adds his name to the Verizon-iPhone daisy chain, telling Business Week: "As the most popular handset in the marketplace, the iPhone should help drive [Verizon] subscribership."

Verizon chairman and CEO Seidenberg, however, cautioned against irrational exuberance among those iPhone users clamoring to get out from underneath AT&T's notoriously spotty service. "That decision's really Apple's," Seidenberg told the Economic Club of Washington on Tuesday. "We stand ready to do it, but that's an Apple decision."

And despite years of rumors to the contrary, Apple has decided to remain with AT&T. But when both AT&T and Verizon move to 4G LTE next year, all bets are off — and, undoubtedly, yet another flurry of rumors and speculation will erupt. ®