No, seriously this time. Maybe. Probably? Well, obviously everyone is taking the Verizon iPhone rumors with a grain of salt, but now there's new reason to expect that it will come out next year.
Financial services company Barclays PLC believes that Verizon will most likely begin selling a CDMA version of the iPhone in 2011.
Verizon is currently the leader in mobile phone service subscriptions in the US, with nearly 2 million customers. Adding the iPhone to its arsenal would only strengthen its stronghold on the market.
"As the most popular handset in the marketplace, the iPhone should help drive subscribership. We believe most of the activations will come from pent-up iPhone demand from Verizon’s current subscriber base," said Barclays analyst James Ratcliffe in a BusinessWeek article.
Despite AT&T desperately hoping to renew its exclusivity contract with Apple, Apple has outgrown itself and no longer needs help from any mobile carrier in exchange for exclusivity.
Verizon is the likely next target because of its massive customer base. It would be easier to create a T-Mobile iPhone, because T-Mobile runs on the same kind of mobile network as AT&T, whereas Verizon and Sprint operate on different technology that is largely proprietary to the US market.
Regardless, it seems pretty clear at this point that iPhone hopefuls will soon not need to switch to AT&T or be stuck with one of the consistently worst-rated mobile providers in the country.