Job’s Comments Stir the Verizon iPhone Rumor Pot

Apple CEO Steve Jobs left many wondering exactly what his offhanded comment on Friday that Apple has both AT&T and Verizon cellular towers on its campus meant. Rumors have been circulating on and off since 2007, when the original iPhone was released, that Verizon would eventually be getting a model of the iPhone for its customers. While the exclusivity contract that Apple has with AT&T is not expected to expire until 2012, both industry insiders and analyst have been speculating that Verizon could be getting Apple’s wildly popular smartphone sometime in early 2011. The fact that Apple has Verizon cell towers on its campus presumably means that the company has already started working on such a device, which would require a different cellular radio (CDMA to be precise) than the AT&T version (GSM) uses.

The exact quote from Jobs that, “We’ve got a strong signal here. We have both AT&T and Verizon towers on campus,” came while Jobs was talking about how the company tests the iPhone 4’s signal strength during a hastily called Apple press conference that was meant to address concerns about the “death grip” problem that the company’s newest smartphone experiences when it is held a certain way. Jobs jokingly referred to the problem as “Antennagate” during the event and promised free rubber bumper cases to anyone who purchased or purchases (before September 30th) an iPhone 4. The problem only manifests itself when the phone’s newly designed external antenna system is touched by bare hands in the lower left corner where the cellular antenna and the antenna that handles Bluetooth and pretty much everything else meet.

Bloomberg is claiming that a Verizon version of the iPhone will be arriving in the first month of the coming year, as are a number of other sources. However, Apple is one of the most secretive companies on the planet and unless another iPhone prototype is “found”—not getting into that whole mess here—with a CDMA radio we will not know for sure until Apple or Verizon makes an official announcement either confirming or denying the claims. Verizon getting the iPhone 4 would certainly be good news for many who are apprehensive on signing a 2-year contract with AT&T due to the company’s spotty network which has been plagued by dropped calls and slow data speeds due to the sheer amount of bandwidth that iPhone users love to consume.

Did Jobs give a hint that a Verizon iPhone is really in the works and being tested?

Drop a comment and let us all know what you think.

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