The mobile space has long buzzed with rumors of a Verizon (s vz) Wireless version of the iPhone, and according to Northeast Securities, the device may finally arrive next year. Citing its supply-chain checks, the financial services firm said in a research note issued today that Apple (s aapl) will launch a WCDMA/CDMA2000-enabled version of the device — not an LTE version — through Verizon by the summer of 2010.
Northeast Securities’ note jibes with a new report from OTR Global via AppleInsider, which claims that Apple plans to roll out a hybrid iPhone — enabling the Cupertino company to sell a single global handset “to all carriers” — by the third quarter of next year. Similar to Northeast Securities, OTR Global said the phone would use a new hybrid chip produced by Qualcomm (s qcom) that would allow the iPhone to support Verizon’s network in addition to retaining compatibility with UMTS 3G networks.
As Sebastian noted last month, Apple could benefit greatly from loosening AT&T’s stranglehold on the iPhone in the U.S., and Verizon would surely love to kick out a key pillar of AT&T’s (s t) growth from the past year. While Verizon’s former lone-wolf strategy wouldn’t play well with Apple’s tightly controlled App Store, the nation’s largest carrier seems to have softened its go-it-alone stance as it embraces Google (s goog) with its Droid initiative. A Verizon/Apple tie-up might have been unthinkable to many of us a year ago, but it’s looking more and more like an inevitability.