Rumor: CDMA iPhone to be carrier exclusive with Verizon

Analyst Shaw Wu sent out his latest investor note on Monday, and unsurprisingly, he says an iPhone for Verizon Wireless is imminent, but he has added a new twist on this long-running story. Wu is claiming that Verizon will give Apple a larger than usual cut of sales in order to be the exclusive carrier for the CDMA iPhone, leaving Sprint and T-Mobile out in the cold. Wu claims his sources have told him that Android has begun to "lose some of its luster" as the number one carrier in the U.S., and BlackBerry OS6 doesn't look as promising as it once did.

Most of the recent speculation has centered around an early 2011 launch for the first non-GSM iPhone, but it remains unclear if it would simply be announced at that time or actually go on sale then. Launching early in the year would either cut short Apple's typical annual product cycle for the iPhone and bring iPhone 5 to market early, or else it would leave a CDMA iPhone 4 with a short life cycle. Given the rapid pace of iteration for Android phones, either option for the CDMA iPhone is a possibility.