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Verizon iPhone in 2009 Unlikely

9to5mac claims to have heard from a "tipster" that Apple could announce a Verizon iPhone as early as Macworld San Francisco 2009. 9to5 points to "falsely reported rumors" about Apple's exclusivity deal with AT&T "if one exists".

The problem with the report is that the Apple and AT&T exclusivity deal is fact, not rumor. AT&T's Stan Sigman announced that the iPhone was exclusive to AT&T in a "multi-year" contract at Macworld San Francisco when the iPhone was first launched.

While the length of the contract remains up for debate, the last report from USA Today claims that AT&T's exclusivity with the iPhone has been extended to 2010:

In exchange for its payout, AT&T got a year extension, into 2010, on its exclusive distribution deal with Apple, people familiar with the matter say. Sources asked to not be named because the terms are confidential.

Unless this most recent USA Today report is wrong, Apple will be unable to launch an iPhone on Verizon's network until at least 2010. And if they do decide to do so, Apple will have to manufacture a different iPhone to be compatible with Verizon's network.