Remember when I said Verizon (NYSE: VZ) isn't ready for the iPhone? Forget it.

Citing an anonymous source in direct contact with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), The New York Times on Friday confirmed that the two companies plan to introduce an iPhone 4 for Verizon's network "early next year."

Crow, meet mouth. Mouth, crow. (Nom nom nom.)

So far, we don't have any of the details of the arrangements between Apple and Verizon. What we do know is that Verizon plans to roll out an initial version of its 4G network, built on a technology known as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), in 38 cities before the end of the year. Denver, where I live and work, is one of those cities.

We also know that AT&T (NYSE: T), demonstrating its affection for open relationships, plans to carry Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) new Windows Phone 7. The former Ms. Bell has been carrying handsets based on Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android OS for months.

Timing is where this deal gets really interesting. The new iPhone should be out weeks after Verizon officially lights up its LTE network. Apple, in a coup, could have the first smartphone built for that network.

To be fair, it wouldn't be the first 4G smartphone. Samsung and HTC already have smartphones designed for Sprint's (NYSE: S) 4G WiMAX network, built in concert with Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR). But neither Samsung nor HTC has the brand allure of Apple, and neither of its smartphones is built for an LTE network.

We also know from surveys that iPhone users and wannabe buyers crave the opportunity to choose a carrier other than AT&T -- one that lacks a history of dropped calls. Unfair? No doubt. AT&T has made huge improvements, but as often happens in business, perception has become reality. For Apple and Verizon, that's a huge opportunity they'll soon be able to take advantage of.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Would you pay a premium for an LTE iPhone? Please vote in the poll below, and then leave a comment to explain your thinking.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He had stock and options positions in Apple and a stock position in Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy worked up a good sweat today. Well done, lads.