NEW YORK (
) -- The
(VZ - Get Report)
iPhone rumor mill is alive and well -- again.
According to a new report from
The Wall Street Journal
(AAPL - Get Report)
will start mass-producing an
iPhone that can run on Verizon's network
later this year. Citing people briefed by Apple, the
reports that this CDMA version of the phone will have a similar design to the existing iPhone.
earlier this year, the device contains a
chip and is expected to make its debut in the first quarter of 2011. Apple is also building a new, fifth-generation iPhone, although it is unclear when Verizon will start selling the device.
Apple has had an exclusive U.S. relationship with
to sell the iPhone since the smartphone's launch in 2007, although talk of an iPhone selling at the nation's no. 1 wireless shop has ebbed over the past few years.
Following Verizon chief Ivan Seidenberg's recent comments that a Verizon iPhone might be a more realistic option when the company gets closer to completing its 4G network in 2012, there's been chatter around Verizon selling a 3G iPad next year.
Apple, which faces fierce competition from
Android operating system, recently opened up another front in the smartphone war,
launching its new iPhone 4 in China
Despite some much-publicized antenna problems, Apple has described the iPhone 4 as its most successful launch ever and has already sold more than 3 million of the new phones.
The tech giant's shares dipped $1.17 to $287.76 on Wednesday as the Nasdaq slipped 0.96%.
--Written by James Rogers in New York.
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