For those who switched to AT&T from Verizon in anticipation of the iPhone, now may be the time to switch back. According to two anonymous sources speaking to Business Week, Apple and Verizon may release two new Verizon-exclusive iPhone-like products as early as this summer. The rumors go hand-in-hand with recent talk that the iPhone is coming to Verizon, and that Apple has new devices up its sleeve for the summer.
One device seems like it'll be the closest we'll ever get to the iPhone Nano: a smaller, less expensive iPhone. The iPhone Lite, as it's being called, is smaller and thinner than the existing iPhone and will come cheaper because it "relies on a so-called system on a chip, which incorporates many types of chips and drives down the cost of silicon in such devices."
The other is a "media pad" that has the same functionality as an iPod Touch -- music, games, photos -- but with HD video and calling ability via a Wi-Fi connection. Sources tell Business Week that the device will be smaller than the Kindle 2, but with a larger touchscreen, paving the way for more speculation about Apple slinking into the eBook market. This might be the Apple Tablet everybody has been talking about.
"The media pad category might go to Verizon," a witness told Business Week. "We are talking about a device where people will say, 'Damn, why didn't we do this?' Apple is probably going to define the damn category."
All signs point to a burgeoning deal between Verizon and Apple because, 1) Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told Business Week that he has spoken to Steve Jobs within the past six months even though Jobs is on medical leave; 2) Business Week isn't the type of publication to spread rumors; and 3) if Verizon wants Apple products, new products must be developed. Apple isn't about to renege on its iPhone exclusive deal with AT&T, and the current iteration of the iPhone is on a GSM network and won't function on Verizon's CDMA network.