June 30, 2010— -- Verizon Wireless will start selling the iPhone in January of next year, according to a report from Bloomberg.
While this is hardly the first Verizon iPhone rumor, Bloomberg is citing two people familiar with the matter.
In the wake of the successful launch of the iPhone 4 (you know, besides that whole antenna thing), a Verizon iPhone would solve the number one complaint U.S. users have about the phone: the carrier.
In the U.S., the iPhone has been under an exclusive contract with AT&T since its launch, and although the carrier originally agreed to a five-year agreement with Apple, the actual specifics of that agreement and what leg-room may exist for bringing the phone to other carriers has never been made public.
Aside from exclusivity contracts, the other big hurdle with bringing the iPhone to Verizon is that the phone would need to be built to be compatible with Verizon's cellular system. This in turn would require Apple to have two production lines, one for the Verizon phone and one for every other phone.
While having two manufacturing lines may not be the most efficient process, it may become a necessity for Apple, especially as Android() sales on the Verizon network continue to rise. With an estimated 53% of Verizon customers saying that they are interested in buying an iPhone with the carrier, the userbase to support such a move certainly exists.
Despite frequent customer complaints over network call quality and call drops, Apple re-teamed with AT&T when offering its 3G data plans for the iPad. However, it is important to note that those plans do not require a contract.
AT&T, meanwhile, has been working hard to update its network and has partnered with companies like McDonald's and Starbucks to offer free Wi-Fi at those locations, but the problems are still not over.
The latest attempt to curb data usage has come in the way of new data pricing plans that put a 2GB limit on iPhone or iPad data (each additional gigabyte of data is another $10 a month).