Report after report has come out over the past few days linking Verizon to Apple's iconic iPhone. It also so happens that AT&T, the sole carrier in the US, is currently trying to negotiate an exclusivity contract into 2011 with Apple.
It was first reported in September 2008 that Verizon and Apple were having conversations around the iPhone. Up until a few weeks ago, everything was silent.
The biggest leak/news/surprise yet came from Businessweek who claimed to have two sources who've actually seen Apple prototypes shopped to Verizon. The two devices were completely different than the current iPhone. One device they are calling the iPhone Lite, which is smaller, thinner and presumably has fewer features, maybe slower wireless or smaller (same resolution screen).
The second device they are calling a "Media Pad" and will likely use the 9.5-10 inch display we've heard so much about. They mention that the media pad will be able to watch high definition videos as well as browse the Internet and use Skype over Wifi.
Why would a Verizon device be touted as using Skype over Wifi? Isn't that the whole purpose of having a 3G wireless carrier?
If the device does indeed have HD resolution, the screen would probably be similar in size to that of the Dell Mini 10 which packs a 720P screen in a 10 inch package. There are also rumors of Apple getting OLEDs screens from LG around the middle of the year, just to make things interesting.
According to the report, both devices will be significantly cheaper to manufacture than current iPhones and iPod Touch devices because they are built from a System on a Chip (SoC). There are many advantages to having all of the components reside on one chip. The devices are smaller, more energy efficient and less prone to damage. There are a few chip candidates for this task which are run down here.
A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Steve Jobs was at home working on a Internet Tablet. Maybe he is browsing the web with the Media Pad right now?
Or, all of this may be a game Apple is playing with AT&T to try to squeeze a bigger subsidy out of them for the iPhone in 2011. Somehow I doubt it, especially if Apple is showing off CDMA prototypes to Verizon.