It was bound to happen sooner or later. Now, I'm pretty sure we're looking at "sooner."

I'm talking about Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) shipping iPhones compatible with the Verizon (NYSE: VZ) network. Rumors and speculation about this fateful event have been around since, well, the birth of the iPhone. What used to be a trickle of circumstantial evidence backed by overly enthusiastic predictions has turned into a massive pile of corroborating information. The end of AT&T (NYSE: T) exclusivity is indeed near.

So how sure am I of Verizon getting the iPhone very soon? Let me count the ways:

  • AT&T is cutting the two-year-plan price on last year's iPhone 3GS by half. By itself, this just looks like Ma Bell is clearing out its inventories of an old and nearly obsolete model. After all, Apple will introduce the iPhone 5 in just a few months, will it not?
  • Oh, but AT&T has another trick up its sleeve: Its faux-4G HSPA+ network must be fed phones with better connection handling than the old and busted 3G models, and 4G is where it's at these days. Therefore, AT&T's truculent stance toward the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android platform is taking a radical turn as the company is announcing a cool dozen Android phones this year, with 20 4G devices in total. Two 4G Android phones are coming this quarter.
  • Verizon just updated its warranty and upgrade policies. Subscribers will soon be locked into their two-year contracts with tighter thumbscrews than before, and free warranty service for a scratched device will be null and void. Is Verizon preparing for an onslaught of service requests on glass-clad iPhones?
  • And then Apple itself is dropping some hints: AppleInsider claims that Apple store employees won't be able to take vacation days in late January or early February. Cupertino could be announcing a revamped iPad soon, but is unlikely to put it in stores until April or so. But there's little to stop the company from dragging out a Verizon iPhone on short notice, assuming that the hardware work has been done.

So there you have it: It's time for an iPhone that doesn't drop every other call. Introducing this model will also open more markets for Apple across the globe -- Verizon is far from the only network using the CDMA2000 and EV-DO network standards.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool has written puts on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. 

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