NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --Adding more fuel to the bonfire of speculation around Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone heading to Verizon ( VZ), Qualcomm ( QCOM) chief Paul Jacobs says the dual-mode 3G/4G chips will ship early next year. The so-called multi-mode chip designed to run both CDMA and the new LTE wireless standard "will ship in early 2011," Jacobs said during the company's Uplinq conference Wednesday, according to JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall.
This report echoes the claims last week by Barclays that the inevitable Verizon iPhone will launch with 4G capabilities. Verizon's looming 4G introduction has added a compelling dimension to the Verizon iPhone drama. Some analysts predict that there's an undeniable alignment of powers between Apple, Verizon and the new 4G network, but other analysts dispute the timing of the Verizon iPhone. Some argue that a CDMA iPhone in January may fit with Apple's overseas expansion in Korea and China, but that a full-fledged 4G iPhone may not happen at Verizon until later in the year (in keeping, let's say, with Apple's tradition of annual June iPhone upgrade announcements). There seems to be less debate about how bruising the Verizon iPhone will be to AT&T, which has sold the iPhone exclusively for three years. Analysts predict a big uptake of iPhones among Verizon customers and also a strong draw of AT&T defectors eager to get their hands on the competing device. AT&T's challenge is to find something that can fill the void created when its iPhone exclusivity ends. Microsoft ( MSFT) Windows Phone 7 for example, conveniently arrives about exactly when Apple's Verizon move is expected. Just saying. --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.