Verizon iPhone Rumor Gets Another Booster Shot

It's the rumor thats been around since the the first iPhone landed on AT&T, and it seemes every few months it gets new life. Thanks to a new filing by AT&T with the SEC and some new mentions of CDMA chipsets for iPhone that'd work with Verizon, the rumor of a Verizon iPhone is again front-burner material.

As mentioned by The Wall Street Journal and picked up by plenty of other news outlets, AT&T's most recent 10-Q filing with the SEC makes ample suggestion of AT&T's iPhone exclusivity coming to an end.

No, AT&T doesn't come right out and say its days with Apple and iPhone dominance are numbered, but the company does make reference to expanding its range of wireless devices and smartphones to stave off "dependence on any single handset." That makes sense, seeing as AT&T has made a big deal lately of promoting Google Android-based devices and it's also the exclusive carrier for Research In Motion's new BlackBerry Torch 9800.

In the filing, AT&T references exclusivity arrangements ending -- without explicitly detailing the Apple relationship to which it most likely refers -- but says that it does not expect "any such terminations to have a material impact on our Wireless segment income."

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Now, AT&T mentioning its iPhone exclusivity ending doesn't by itself guarantee the iPhone is headed to Verizon. Plenty of observers see the iPhone going to T-Mobile next, for example, and there are plenty of reasons a T-Mobile iPhone makes sense, not least that AT&T and T-Mobile both offer 3G services using UMTS/HSPA and Verizon and Sprint use CDMA.

But then pesky CDMA chipset rumors for iPhone haven't much gone away either. Reports surfaced earlier this year that Apple was hard at work on CDMA chipsets for iPhone, and according to TechCrunch, that work continues. TechCrunch's sources claim Apple has millions of Qualcomm CDMA chipsets in the pipeline, and the iPhones would be ready for launch by January 2011.

We've learned by now that it's not worth putting much stock in a Verizon iPhone rumor -- how many times has it bubbled up now? -- until it actually happens. But the greater frequency and deeper detail of the rumors ensure it's at least a buzz topic -- something Apple knows only too well how to use to its advantage.