The iPhone Really Is Coming to Verizon, Probably Early Next Year

If you're a Verizon customer who has long coveted your neighbor's iPhone, the Wall Street Journal reports that you're about to get Apple's smartphone.

After much wrangling, the two companies have apparently come to an agreement, so say "people familiar with the matter." Of course, we've heard these rumors time and again, but this one seems much of the intentional leak variety, as TechCrunch's MG Siegler pointed out.

As a long-time iPhone user (and recent iPhone 4 upgrader), I'm really looking forward to seeing how Verizon's network handles the data load. We'll finally get to do some real-world side-by-side testing of iPhones on both networks.

Apple plans to begin mass producing the new iPhone by the end of the year, and it would be released in the first quarter of 2011, these people said. The phone would resemble the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T, but would be based on an alternative wireless technology used by Verizon, these people said.

The new iPhone spells the end of the exclusive arrangement that AT&T has had since 2007, when Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone. Since then, the iPhone fueled much of the AT&T's growth.

Verizon Wireless has been meeting with Apple, adding capacity and testing its networks to prepare for the heavy data load by iPhone users, according to one person familiar with the matter. The carrier is seeking to avoid the kind of public-relations hit that AT&T took when the boom in data-hungry iPhones overtaxed its network, especially in New York and San Francisco.

Read the full story at Wall Street Journal.

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