That’s the rumor at least.
A tip to 9to5mac‘s rumor hotline claims that Apple is prepping their iPhone 3G with the CDMA guts it will need to work on Verizon Wireless’s network. The rumor apparently comes from a Verizon Wireless insider privy to the inner-workings of Verizon’s corporate dealings with Apple. If accurate, we may see Verizon Wireless dropping the iPhone 3G as soon as Macworld 2009!
The arrival of the iPhone 3G on a CDMA network like Verizon Wireless opens the door to the iPhone 3G penetrating Sprint’s CDMA-based network. And, as a sign that Apple is willing to let the iPhone 3G stray from AT&T’s network, the launch of a CDMA iPhone 3G might very well signal the release of the iPhone on competing GSM networks like T-Mobile USA.
With the Palm Pre threatening to steal the iPhone 3G’s thunder and hurt its otherwise meteoric rise to fame, it makes sense that Apple exploit ever larger markets in the US. There’s no way Apple is happy with their iPhone penetration on AT&T’s No. 2 network. But, it remains to be seen whether early reports of a five-year AT&T exclusivity agreement hold true.