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By Wilson Rothman
msnbc.com
updated 6/29/2010 3:59:02 PM ET 2010-06-29T19:59:02

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that Verizon Wireless will begin selling the Apple iPhone next year — next January, in fact.

The business news service said that the iPhone's long-awaited move to a second carrier was confirmed by two anonymous sources who were privy to the matter. Representatives from Apple or Verizon Wireless (or its parent company, Verizon Communications) were unable to confirm the report.

The fact that the iPhone's second U.S. carrier would be Verizon is not a surprise — it's the largest U.S. carrier based on subscriber numbers. Also, the fact that there would be a Verizon iPhone in 2011 seems likely, as it would coincide with the introduction of Verizon's new faster 4G wireless network. (The iPhone's sole current carrier, AT&T, said it will roll out a similar 4G network in 2011.)

The only thing surprising about the Bloomberg report is that it said Verizon's iPhone would be "available to customers" in January. To be sure, January is a month when Apple likes to make news, but it's rare for hardware companies or carriers to launch new products into the marketplace in January, when consumers are exhausted from the holiday spending season.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone in January 2007 to much hullabaloo, but the first iPhone wasn't sold until the end of June.

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