Updated with responses from Qualcomm and Verizon.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of wireless chipmaker Qualcomm ( QCOM) rose in early trading on Tuesday following a Wall Street Journal report that Apple ( AAPL) is planning a CDMA version of the iPhone that could run on Verizon's ( VZ) network.

Citing people briefed by Apple, the report said that the tech giant is developing the device to run on other networks in the U.S. besides AT&T ( T), which has maintained iPhone exclusivity in the U.S. since the product's launch in 2007. In addition, sources told the newspaper that Apple is planning a separate iPhone model update that is likely to be thinner and have a faster processor.
Qualcomm

The Journal also reported that the new CDMA iPhone could make its debut later this year.

Qualcomm, which manufactures CDMA chips, would be a likely candidate to provide silicon for a new iPhone. The rumors have pushed the company's stock up 54 cents, or 1.53%, to $42.40 shortly after market open. This outpaced the modest advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq rise 0.49% in early trading.

Talk of a possible Qualcomm/Apple iPhone deal has rattled around the blogosphere for months -- such a deal would significantly boost the chipmaker's business.

During Apple's recent first-quarter results, iPhone shipments climbed a massive 100% compared to the same period last year, helping grow the company's overall revenue by more than 30%. Apple has not yet revealed its long-term phone strategy.

Qualcomm declined to comment on this story when contacted by TheStreet.

Qualcomm, which already supplies CDMA chips to Samsung and LG, recently raised its profit and sales guidance, citing strong licensing performance and growing chip revenue.

Despite all the rumors swirling around the iPhone, some analysts and experts think that a Verizon iPhone is unlikely to happen this year.

Last month, for example, multiple industry sources and Wall Street analysts said that the iPhone may be staying exclusively at AT&T for longer than expected.

AT&T relies on a GSM network, whereas Verizon and Sprint ( S) use CDMA technology, hence the potential opening for Qualcomm. Verizon also has been wielding its network coverage as a cudgel in a slew of TV ads targeting AT&T.

"There is undoubtedly enormous pent-up demand for the iPhone on Verizon's superior network," wrote Craig Moffett, an analyst at Bernstein Research, in a note released on Tuesday. "iPhone availability will therefore mean an immediate acceleration for Verizon's subscriber growth and, conversely, immediate share losses for AT&T."

Verizon declined to comment on this story. Apple has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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