Rumors of the iPhone coming to Verizon have been picking up steam as of late, but the latest report, sourced from the WSJ, adds a little bit more credence to earlier speculative stories. Citing people briefed by Apple, the WSJ writes that Apple is planning to begin mass production of a CDMA iPhone by the end of 2010 so that it’ll be ready for sale on Verizon by early 2011.
Interestingly enough, the WSJ also notes that Apple may be working on varying iPhone form factors, a rumor we oh so conveniently attempted to squash earlier today.
Separately, Apple is also developing a new iPhone model, said people briefed on the matter. One person familiar with the new iPhone plan said the fifth-generation iPhone will be a different form factor from those that are currently available. It was unclear how soon that version will be available to Verizon.
Back in August, John Gruber of Daring Fireball wrote that work on the CDMA variant of the iPhone 4 was well underway at Apple. “It’s certainly not in production yet,” Gruber explained, “and hasn’t reached DVT status (device verification test — like Gray Powell’s infamous stolen unit), but it is, a few little birdies claim, at EVT (engineering verification test). That’s one step below DVT, which is one step below production.”
Gruber continues, “So it’s right about where you’d think it would be if it were scheduled to go on sale in January. The CDMA iPhone is no longer a cold storage, keep-it-alive-just-in-case-we-need-it project.”
And so it would appear that Apple’s exclusive relationship with AT&T is nearing an end.