NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- More reports of Apple's ( AAPL) production plans for a CDMA iPhone stirred up the simmering anticipation for a Verizon ( VZ) iPhone and has sent Apple shares to a new all-time high. According to Digitimes, Apple's contract manufacturers plan to ship a CDMA version of the iPhone in the fourth quarter. This information confirms a report last month from TheStreet that Apple had told its iPhone manufacturing partners to start full-scale production of a CDMA iPhone to be available as a Verizon iPhone, as early as November.
Apple iPhone 4
The news comes as pre-orders for Apple's redesigned iPhone 4 have outpaced supply and have even exceeded the sales volume of the previous iPhone by a factor of 10. Analysts and tech watchers will now try to figure out whether the new iPhone will be a success limited largely to AT&T ( T) customer upgrades, or if the shiny new device will attract hoards of new subscribers from other carriers like Verizon, Sprint ( S) and Deutsche Telekom's ( DT) T-Mobile.
For Apple investors, the arrival of a new iPhone is only one part of a necessary two-part move to unleash an entirely new growth cycle. That elusive second part is, of course, Verizon and its 92 million subscribers. The fact that Apple and Verizon have never seen eye-to-eye helps complicate the otherwise no-brainer predictions for an inevitable Verizon iPhone. Apple shares hit $272.90 early Thursday on reheated Verizon iPhone news and the brief reappearance of a rumored 4-for-1 Apple stock split. By midday, Apple shares were up 2% to $271.45. --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.