Mystery Verizon Wireless event fires up iPhone rumors


At a news conference at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today, Verizon Wireless announced a suite of 10 forthcoming 4G LTE devices - including smartphones from HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; tablets from Motorola and Samsung; a MiFi from Novatel Wireless and a mobile hotspot from Samsung; and two notebooks from HP - which will transform the wireless experience and offer consumers new ways to connect and share their lives at blazingly fast speeds. From left to right, Tony Melone, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon; Marni Walden, vice president and chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless; and Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless took the stage.(PRNewsFoto/Verizon Wireless)

Published: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.

NEW YORK — Verizon Wireless said Friday it will hold a press conference on Jan. 11, reigniting rumors that it will become the second U.S. carrier to sell Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, Verizon already made news with phones and tablets that will run on its high-speed, next-generation 4G wireless network. So it's significant that Verizon will still have an announcement big enough to warrant a press conference in New York a week later, with Lowell McAdam, president and chief operating officer of Verizon Communications Inc., in attendance.



Verizon would not give any further details as to what the event was about. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said she could not comment on rumors and speculation.

Rumors that Verizon would carry the iPhone have been circulating since before Apple Inc. unveiled the smart phone in 2007. Those rumors lingered over the years, but have become louder in recent months, as AT&T Inc. is believed to be nearing the end of its exclusive hold on the iPhone.

Although the iPhone has long been the crown jewel of AT&T's smart phone portfolio, the carrier in recent months added more than a dozen phones that run Google Inc.'s Android software. Until now, Verizon made up for not having the iPhone by selling Android phones such as the Motorola Droid.

Apple, as usual, did not attend the gadget show in Las Vegas. The company tends to make big product announcements at its own press conferences.

Shares of New York-based Verizon Communications Inc., which owns Verizon Wireless in a joint venture with Vodafone Group PLC, closed on Friday at $35.93, down 30 cents. The company gained 10 cents in after-hours trading. Apple' stock closed at $336.12, up $2.39, and gained 67 cents in after-hours trading.

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