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Verizon iPhone to Up Apple Profit 11%

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bullish, but not banking on the Verizon (VZ - Get Report) iPhone, JPMorgan jacked up Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) price target to $400 Thursday.

The research note comes after yet another report that Apple is ending its iPhone exclusivity with AT&T (T - Get Report) and preparing to launch sales of the iconic device at No. 1 mobile shop Verizon early next year.

In a note titled "Plenty of Growth Left," JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said the Verizon iPhone will boost Apple's earnings 11% annually, or $2 a share. But Moskowitz does not base his financial projections or his $400 price target on the possibility of the iPhone going to Verizon. Instead, Moskowitz is more jazzed about the current strength of iPhone and iPad sales this year.

>>Who Owns Apple?: George Soros

The most recent report from the Wall Street Journal Wednesday calls for a CDMA iPhone using a Qualcomm (QCOM) chip, which should sound familiar to Verizon iPhone observers. The ongoing saga of whether the iPhone will go to Verizon has been one of tech's great debates.

Verizon's notoriously uncompromising stance on what devices and services it will support on its network has long be thought to be the barrier to Apple's equally determined approach to control all aspects of its products.

Skeptics continue to argue that Verizon, which is enjoying tremendous success with its Google (GOOG - Get Report) Android phones from Motorola (MOT), HTC and Samsung, will pass on the 3G version of the iPhone and more likely wait for a 4G version later in 2011 or 2012.

Asked Thursday for an update on what the company was saying about the Apple iPhone, a Verizon rep said: "Not a thing."

Verizon and Apple shares were both up less than 1% in early trading Thursday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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