Apple rumored to be working on "Media Tablet"; Another iPhone on Verizon rumor emerges

According to a recent report in Business Week, Apple is planning to bring both an iPhone and an Apple tablet device to the Verizon network. An Apple Tablet is very possible Apple is rumored to be working on delivering a touchscreen "media tablet" which would allow users to view photos, listen to music, watch HD video content, browse the web, and even make calls via Wi-Fi. Note that this type of device would offer many of the advantages of a netbook without any of the headaches often cited by Apple as reasons it won't enter the netbook market (i.e small screen, cramped keyboard etc.) I'm sure that the small margins typically associated with cheaply priced netbooks is another factor. The rumored tablet is believed to be larger than an iPhone, but smaller than a netbook, and might help explain why Apple recently placed an order for 10 inch touchscreens from the same company that supplies it with the panels used on the iPhone. An iPhone Lite model on Verizon seems far fetched Supposedly, Apple has also been in talks with Verizon to release a cheaper, slimmer, and lighter iPhone model, appropriately called an "iPhone Lite". How much lighter does the iPhone really need to get? This is just the latest in a slew of Verizon/Apple rumors that have seemingly been popping up out of nowhere lately. Just a few days ago, I wrote about a rumor which had Apple building a CDMA capable iPhone model for Verizon's network, even though such a move would directly contradict recent statements made by interim Apple CEO Tim Cook during Apple's most recent earnings conference call. Also, the CEO of Verizon recently said that the iPhone wouldn't come to Verizon until it rolls out its 4G network, which is slated to get underway in 2010. Who's sourcing the iPhone/Verizon Rumors? Given the recent spate of anonomously sourced "Verizon is getting an iPhone!" rumors, some have begun wondering if something fishy is going on. Some have speculated that Apple might be planting rumors of the iPhone coming to Verizon in order to bolster its negotiating position with AT&T. If you remember, it's commonly believed that AT&T's exclusive right to sell the iPhone expires in 2010 - and given how successful the device has been in AT&T's efforts to attract new subscribers, it goes without saying that AT&T will do whatever it can to keep the iPhone out of Verizon's hands. While certainly intriguing, Apple is notorious for taking extremely strong positions during negotiations, rumors aside. I therefore find it extremely unlikely that Apple needs any extra help in its negotiations with AT&T. The significant impact the iPhone has had on AT&T's earnings is help enough. Also, it's not really in Apple's DNA to 1) leak rumors and 2) rely on leaked rumors to bolster its negotiating position. On the other hand, a company like Verizon has a lot to gain from these rumors. With the iPhone currently tied to AT&T, and with the upcoming Palm Pre being a Sprint exclusive, Verizon lacks a "knockout" phone to attract and keep subscribers interested in purchasing a premium smartphone. Sorry BlackBerry fans, but the Storm doesn't quite cut it. The idea that the iPhone will soon be coming to Verizon might work as an incentive for current Verizon customers to stay on board and resist leaving for the greener pastures of another carrier with a more popular phone.

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