Rumored iPhone for Verizon to be released in early 2011

by Kelly MacNeil on October 7, 2010

Ever since Apple released the iPhone in 2007, the gadget has been available only to those who had AT&T as their carrier. The Wall Street Journal reports that the phone companies hold on the iPhone is expected to end, as Apple is making a version of the iPhone that Verizon Wireless will sell sometime early next year.

The phones, which will begin to be mass produced by the end of this year and released sometime in the first quarter of 2011, are being manufactured as a way to combat the increasing popularity of other similar products such as Google’s Android. Sales of the Android have gone up significantly over the last year, reaching 10.9 million, up from less than 1 million a year earlier. Sources say that the new smartphones will be very similar to the current iPhone 4.

While neither Apple nor Verizon has explicitly confirmed the partnership, a spokesman for the service provider said at a recent press conference that he “fully expects” the two companies’ business interests to align at some point. The lack of availability has been a point of contention for Verizon users, many of whom are loyal customers of Apple.

“This is the longest running tease in the history of consumer products,” 31-year-old Garret Bedrin, from Glen Rock, New Jersey, told the news source. “As loyal as I am to Apple, I won’t leave Verizon.”

The rumored release ends several years of negotiations between the two companies. The iPhone for Verizon has been talked about before, but there were many complications. Earlier discussions hit a snag when Apple insisted that Verizon not be able to sell the phone at their retail stores. Additionally, Verizon did not want to forfeit their rights to sell music and videos through its own service.

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