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Yet More Grist for the Verizon iPhone Mill from Fortune

Following The Wall Street Journal‘s and The New York Timesfirm, anonymously sourced declarations that the iPhone will be coming to Verizon in the near future, Fortune claims to have confirmed that the Verizon iPhone will become a reality “in early 2011.”
From the article, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes wheel-dealings by which Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg supposedly cozied up to Steve Jobs:

The next step, the iPhone, remains shrouded in secrecy, and neither company will discuss it. But people familiar with its development say it is a fait accompli. Verizon, sources say, will sell its own version of the iPhone 4, which will work on Verizon’s CDMA-based 3G network. Unfortunately for globe trotters, the first version of the phone likely won’t be built to work outside the U.S. — it probably won’t carry a special chip that can turn it into a “world phone.” However, it may have some of the features on the iPad distributed in Verizon’s stores, like live TV for customers of the FiOS cable service.

There’s frustratingly little hard information here, and not much that hasn’t surfaced in Verizon iPhone-watches of the past; moreover, it’s a little odd that a confident declaration on such a major, closely watched story of such import in the business world is wedged into a mostly glowing profile of Verizon’s CEO, and that it’s so little substantiated. Could Seidenberg himself have tipped off Fortune, despite the mag’s claims to the contrary? “While Seidenberg wouldn’t comment on the iPhone specifically, he and Lowell McAdam, his operating chief and heir apparent, seem confident the Verizon network will hold up.” Hold up in the face of what? “McAdam points out that Verizon already carries a data hog of a phone, the Motorola Droid.” ‘Already’ seems to presuppose an even bigger data hog. Are we going to hear a Verizon iPhone announcement soon already, or are the likes of the Times, the Journal, and now Fortune all going to end up with serious egg on their faces?

(Fortune via TUAW)

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