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Will Verizon get two iPhone-like devices?

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AT&T's exclusive deal to carry the iPhone seems intact, but Business Week reports that Apple may offer Verizon two new mobile devices.

The BW story says that Apple could debut a smaller iPhone and a tablet computer similar in size to a Kindle. The company could unveil both devices as soon as this summer.

While those details came from two anonymous sources, the article quotes Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam, who confirms that "In the last six months, I have talked to Steve Jobs." He was mum about what they discussed.

A long-time, popular rumor says Apple approached Verizon about the original iPhone, but the teleco turned down a deal because Apple demanded too much control over the device and its online features. AT&T, on the other hand, accepted terms that many thought were surprisingly favorable to Apple, in exchange for a five-year exclusive deal within the US. The iPhone attracted 7 million subscribers, according to the BW piece, and AT&T is "reportedly in talks with Apple to extend the partnership."

Spencer Ante, who c0-reported the story, admits that Verizon may wind up with nothing. Apple is extremely picky about its products. If Verizon pushes too hard to curb or control features on any proposed devices, Apple may walk away. Also, Ante wonders if these whispers about new products are simply a bargaining tactic in Apple's ongoing talks with AT&T.

Apple may want AT&T to absorb an even larger portion of the costs of manufacturing the phone. Plus, it may seek to obtain promises from AT&T to beef up investments in its network and customer service operations. Many iPhone customers have complained about the quality of AT&T's wireless network. AT&T's success is so tied to the iPhone that it may have little choice but to accede to Apple's demands.

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