Early 2011 Verizon iPhone Rumors Resurface

Despite comments made by Verizon’s (s vz) CEO about an iPhone not appearing on its network in the near future, a new report by the Wall Street Journal reaffirms earlier suggestions that the provider would indeed have an Apple (s aapl) smartphone among its offerings in early 2011.

The WSJ cites “people briefed by Apple” as the source of the information. Qualcomm is said to be providing the CDMA-capable chip for the Verizon version of the iPhone. The article also curiously states that the new handset would be “similar in design” to the iPhone 4 currently available. It could mean that we’ll see a slight design revision, maybe to do with ameliorating antenna performance.

Though I doubt we’ll see a significant change in the physical appearance of the phone (likely just odd wording on the part of the article’s authors), I do think this report is otherwise credible. It’s been confirmed that Apple uses media outlets like the WSJ to leak product information ahead of time when it thinks such a leak would be advantageous. News of an upcoming Verizon iPhone is definitely in Apple’s best interest, since it could stop some customers from buying an Android device just out of distaste for AT&T (s t) and its network.

The article also follows Apple’s reported pattern of using two authors for its intentional leaks, a move designed to provide plausible deniability in the event that something goes wrong and a report proves inaccurate. Article author Yukari Iwatane Kane is often co-contributor on this type of piece.

Whether an early 2011 Verizon iPhone is set in stone, or this is just Apple testing the waters with an intentional leak, it’s still a good sign for those hoping to see the iPhone on America’s largest mobile network.


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