Is iPhone Coming to Verizon Wireless?

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The technology world is currently crowded into the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but the most hotly anticipated announcement in the gadget universe is not expected to come until after the massive tradeshow wraps.

Verizon sent out crimson envelopes to announce an event to be held in New York next Tuesday, launching a thousand blog posts at week's end. The speculation? That the largest U.S. wireless carrier will finally be available for the iPhone.

The non-transferrable invitations ("Join us as we share the latest news from Verizon Wireless") went out to technology bloggers and beat reporters, many with extensive Apple coverage under their belts, on Friday afternoon. Verizon isn't commenting, but by Friday evening the Wall Street Journal was reporting that it had obtained confirmation from "a person familiar with the matter."

If indeed true, the news means that for the first time consumers will be able to choose from one of two carriers for their iPhones, which have only run on AT&T's network (to the chagrin of many customers and would-be iPhone buyers).

The move would also signal Apple possibly feeling pressure from Google. The search giant's Android-based phones passed the iPhone in sales for the first time in the second quarter, according to the IT research firm Gartner.

Earlier this week at CES, Verizon announced its first tablet and phone for its new '4G' high-speed wireless data network. Verizon's may be the fastest wireless network in the country at the moment, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But for now, you can't use your iPhone on it.

Apple is famous for its glitzy events, but the envelope that went out Friday is very clearly an invitation to a Verizon reveal. Its "Rule the Air" shindig will be held (on 1/11/11 at 11 a.m.) at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. Could they finally be making beautiful music with Apple?

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