Finally, an iPhone-on-Verizon rumor with a little substance

You know, I don't really ask a lot from my rumors. Heck, I don't have anonymous sources all through Apple's Asian supply chain on speed dial! But I do have some standards, and if you want me as a Apple fanboy blogger to get worked up about your latest bit of made-up rumormongering, you're going to have to make them vaguely plausible. When it comes to "the iPhone is totally going to be on Verizon any day now and then I'm going to laugh at AT&T so hard" rumors, the plausibility bar involves at least addressing the Apple's business practice to this point: that it sells exactly one model of iPhone 3G and one model of iPhone 3GS everywhere in the world, and those models are incompatible with Verizon's CDMA network. But as of last week, that model seems to have changed, with Apple churning out a Wi-Fi-less version of the iPhone for China; and now, rumor has it that, in a somewhat more complicated bit of tweaking, Apple is preparing a CDMA-compatible iPhone model for 2010.

Now, admittedly, this rumor is still of the "anonymous sources in Apple's Asian supply chain" variety, so take it with the grains of salt that entails! But at least it offers a vaguely plausible technical direction for the change: Apple will (so the rumors go) be building a phone based on Qualcomm's UMTS/CDMA world-mode hybrid chip, and thus a single handset will be able to work on all phone networks everywhere.

Still unexplained of course will be how Verizon will be able to hawk iPhones barely a year after unleashing a multimillion-dollar ad campaign making fun of them. (My guess: Cheerfully, and without self-reflection!) Also of interest in the original rumor are the prerequisite photos of iPhone case parts, which in this case are a bit smaller than the current iPhone model (2.8 inches instead of 3.2). Will the whole iPhone line be shrinking? Is this the rumored "iPhone nano," and will it be the only model that goes to Verizon while AT&T keeps the full-sized phones? Or is this a piece of plastic from an entirely different company, and the whole thing is made up? Stay tuned to find out!

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