Two stories in one…
A story in the Wall Street Journal reinforces the prevailing scuttlebutt of a pending CDMA/Verizon flavor of the iPhone: manufacturing beginning end of this year, debut early next year, Taiwan-based Pegatron Technology Corp. is building it, Qualcomm's providing a key chip set, and all parties involved are remaining mum on the topic.
But wait! There's more! Buried in the story is this intriguing tidbit:
"Separately, Apple is also developing a new iPhone model, said people briefed on the phone. One person familiar said the fifth-generation iPhone would be a different form factor than those that are currently available, said one person familiar with the new iPhone plan. It was unclear how soon that version would be available to Verizon or other carriers."
So it looks like, for the short term at least, Verizon customers will lose their iPhone cherries to the i4 (but not, hopefully, the "Grip of Death" as well). However, as Mac Observer …uh, observed, it's rare for Apple to introduce a major design change for their hardware, then change it again after only one generation; they're likely to enhance/tweak it a bit for a few years, then overhaul.