Apple's iPhone will soon be available to U.S. subscribers on Verizon's cellular network, if a report from the Wall Street Journal
is to be believed.
The publication cites "a person familiar with the matter" as confirming that the nation's biggest wireless carrier will announce support for Apple's game-playing smartphone at a New York press event on Tuesday.
If true, the move would expand the iPhone's availability to a market of roughly 93 million Verizon subscribers and offer another option to potential U.S. iPhone customers who don't want to sign up with AT&T.
AT&T currently enjoys exclusive access to roughly 15 million million iPhone subscribers in the U.S., but analysts expect Verizon support for the phone could cause anywhere from 1 to 6 million of those subscribers to change their service provider.
The potential expansion comes as the iPhone faces increasing competition from devices running Google's Android operating system, which are not tied to any one cellular network. A December ComScore study found the Android user base approaching that for the iPhone
in the U.S.
Google's is also reporting 300,000 new activations a day
for its increasingly game-friendly mobile platform, outpacing all other mobile platforms worldwide.
But the marketplace for apps on the Android is somewhat fragmented among multiple providers, and different Android phones provide different app performance, as Apple's Steve Jobs pointed out in a recent conference call with investors.