Get ready for the "VeriPhone." The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will be releasing a new iPhone this summer, and "appears to be working" on a model for Verizon Wireless. They claim it's a CDMA-based iPhone, and that mass production is slated to begin in September, but it's unclear when Apple will make the model available. The report notes that one Pegatron Technology Corp. (no relation to Deceptacon Megatron) is contracted to build the model.
There have been plenty of rumors already about a Verizon compatible iPhone, but this is the most credible report that we've seen, saying it's happening sometime this year.
Since its launch, the iPhone has seen two major refreshes, both occurring during the early summer period, and it appears that Apple will be keeping with this trend. However, if true, the release of a Verizon compatible iPhone marks a significant break from the single-carrier, AT&T life that the iPhone has lived in the U.S. since its launch. In addition, a Verizon-compatible model opens the door for Apple to appeal to an audience that, whether due to a coverage, rate plan or any other issue, did not find the iPhone compelling enough to switch to AT&T. As always, we'll have to wait and see -- the WSJ says a product announcement will take place in "June or July" as usual.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.